Rebecca Eaton, “Underfunding the Impact”
Mentor: Benjamin Trager, Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research
I will be exploring underfunding in public schools and non-profits and the effects it has on our youth of today, by asking the question, “How does underfunding of public schools and non-profits in Milwaukee affect the Milwaukee youth?” The context of my research will be conducted through my community-based internship program and the community engagement work I have done throughout my college career. I will dive into the public school system, the non-profit world, and the current policies on funding. My methods of conducting are dialogical reflection, guided reflection, and expressive reflection. The conclusion I have come to is funding greatly impacts kids. Schools are seeing high rates of teacher burnout. From my observations classrooms are over-crowded, and students are facing barriers they are unable to overcome. Students in Milwaukee are graduating high school with what seems like a second-grade reading level. The reading level students graduate with leaves them unable to attend higher education let alone prepare them for life after school. The non-profits that aim to support and aid these students have high turnover, overwhelmed staff, and stretch their dollar as far is it can go. As a result, both teachers and non-profit staff are suffering along with the students. My recommended solution is to rewrite the tax laws we currently have, to ensure everyone pays an equitable amount. Increasing the taxes for the heavily successful people and profitable companies would bring in more money. The influx of money would reduce class size, increase pay for teachers and school social workers, and raising the standards for the professions. The money would also bring back and fund important programs such as home economics, performing arts, and visual arts classes. Home economics teaches life skills needed in adulthood. While the performing and visual arts teaches positive self-expression and promotes creativity.