Mecca’s Blog: Love Thy Neighbor and Textbook: “Backpack Full of Cash” Rewind.

Welcome to the blog of APT’s Fall 2017 Marketing Intern, Mecca Brooks! Mecca will share her reflections on the amazing artists performing live in Auburn this season. You never know who you’ll see at the Auburn! We hope you enjoy this installment of Mecca’s blog @ APT. 

Growing up I had a lot on my plate, but worrying about where I was going to get an education wasn’t one of my worries. This is a touchy subject that is super important to me, and I think very important for all of us. I think people as privileged as most of us are truly don’t understand just how lucky we are! We of course have educational and budget problems. Instead of worrying about what is right and what is wrong, I’m going to make this blog post about how we can help change Auburn into a thriving place for children and their education while sharing some facts from the documentary “Backpack Full of Cash,” which screened at APT’s cinema last week!

We know that the 2017-2018 total budget for Auburn Enlarged School District is $75,272,249. According to The Citizen, this was a 2.5 increase from the previous year that came with a 3.98-percent tax levy increase. [1] This is a pretty big feat. According to the same article there were still going to be 13.5 position cuts. This included: two elementary special education teachers, six teachers at the secondary level, four elementary classroom teachers, one assistant principal, one technology staff worker, and a part-time high school counselor. [1

We need those teachers, I’ve talked to teachers since the West Middle School shut down. [2Like in Philadelphia in “Backpack Full of Cash,” there were a lot of students jammed in one middle school and even changing the format of the elementary school from K-5 to adding Sixth Grade to the elementary curriculum. There were also a lot of layoffs and more moving around in the school district.
But on the bright side, West Middle School is on its way to becoming affordable housing. It is amazing that we are using a structure that is already there, and turning it into something useful to our community. The poverty rate in Auburn in 2017 is 17.9%. [3] There are still plenty of people here not making enough money to make ends meet. [4]

Some may say Auburn is depleting, but there are things that we as citizens can do to help our fellow neighbor. Like voting November 7, 2017 for your district, it’s important to have great leaders that talk to the constituents and better yet LISTEN to them.

Arm yourself with knowledge! “Backpack Full of Cash” recharged my faith in the fight for equal education opportunities and the fight for a tangibly better future.

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