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Robert Wells Clark is a high school career technical educator in The Dalles, Oregon.

By Robert Wells Clark, Career Technical Educator from The Dalles, OR

I work at a high school in the North Wasco County School District, and I’m a Career Technical educator. My story goes to show just how much our schools and students truly stand to lose due to budget cuts and the lack of funding for schools.

After years of cuts in our school district, we are finally restoring many of the programs that had been cut in previous years due to lack of funding.

Through grants and great educator-led initiatives, we have added back Metal Shop, Fabrication and re-expanded the full complement of Auto courses. We’ve added Construction and full day Wood Shop, as well.

Our student community benefits immensely from these programs. We have clawed our way up from a 57% graduation rate, to an 83% graduation rate. Our AP program has doubled in the last two years as well, and now finally matches the student demographic of our school.

Yet, this all stands to change if we don’t figure out how to fund our schools adequately. As a result of the current revenue shortfall, and the resulting budget cuts in our school district, we are facing the possibility of cutting seven positions. Seven!

These cuts will destroy so much of the progress we have built in the past four years. Who knows how many students will end up dropping out and never graduating due to these types of cuts? Please commit to the funding our schools require so Oregon’s students can have they education they deserve.

Robert Wells Clark is a high school career technical educator in The Dalles, Oregon.

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