Affordable training for teachers in budget crisis

POSTED: Thursday, May 12, 2011 - 4:25pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am

WACO -- Every dollar counts for local school districts facing hundreds of layoffs after budget cuts.

Now schools also have to worry about how they're going to pay for training teachers since the state is also facing tougher testing for students.

Valley Mills Superintendent, Larry Robinson, says teachers must learn new tactics to prepare for these situations, despite budget cuts.

"That's where the rubber meets the road. That's where the kids are so that's the most critical."

The dilemma is sending teachers to bigger cities to get that training can cost up to $2,000 per teacher.

That's money schools don't have.

"It would make it more difficult to approve those trips because of the travel and the hotels and food and that kind of thing. I think it would be much more of a burden on school districts," says Robinson.

While students face over-crowded classrooms and harder testing, Education Service Center Region 12 Director, Jerry Maze, says teachers need that training.

"It's tempting sometimes in a tough budget year to reduce professional development, but, of course, you know where that road leads. That's like deferred maintenance on a building or automobile. Eventually, you're going to pay that price. Except here, we'd be paying that price with children's education," says Maze.

That's why schools spoke out, saying "bring the training to us."

Now Maze says Region 12 in Waco is meeting that request.

"Every teacher wants to stay on the forward edge of what they need to know to make sure their students get the best education possible. This happens to be a year when there's a lot of training attached to that. We're able to provide that here at Region 12 for them."

Region 12 is expecting thousands of Central Texas teachers to come to Waco for training. Their conferences cost around $140, saving more than $1,800 per teacher.


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