When it comes time to cut the education budget, the extracurricular activities are always the first to take a hit. The current education budget proposals for 2018 would further cut $9.2 billion or 13.5%, including $1.2 billion from the after-school program where money is already incredibly tight. These programs serve almost two million students, many of them who are poor or have high-needs.
“Our country’s future depends crucially on the quality of its schools,” explains the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in regards to school budget cuts. “Yet rather than raising K-12 funding many states have headed in the opposite direction. These cuts weaken schools’ capacity to develop the intelligence and creativity of the next generation of workers and entrepreneurs.”
Debate and speech activities are especially beneficial for all students who participate in them. These clubs and teams that make up a student’s balanced education and create a positive school climate.
The National Center for Education Statistics states, “Extracurricular activities provide a channel for reinforcing the lessons learned in the classroom, offering students the opportunity to apply academic skills in a real-world context, and are thus part of a well-rounded education.”
Debate and Speech activities are not only fun for the students, but they provide social learning and a safe environment for students to interact in outside of the classroom. The removal of these programs will affect those in need the most. Some of the programs include those for students who require more attention outside of the classroom and those with developmental issues.
Debate and Speech offer students constructive ways to spend their time, which is crucial for those who come from a lower economic background. Boredom in high school students, especially for those with more needs, often leads to poor decisions or getting into trouble. These activities allow students to stay off the streets, out of trouble and focused on interests that they could further pursue.