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Budget Cuts Forcing More Teachers To Also Act As Class Pets

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WASHINGTON—The lack of funding for public education continues to have consequences on schools nationwide, as budget cuts are reportedly forcing more teachers to also act as class pets. “In more and more classrooms around the country, the systematic defunding of basic classroom supplies has given educators no other choice than to give students the benefits of having a class pet by climbing into the cage or terrarium themselves,” said National Education Association spokesperson Belinda Dunn, citing recent data that nearly 60% of elementary school teachers were spending their weekends living in metal crates in different students’ homes to help teach them about responsibility. “Funding for class pets is way down from previous decades, but as we’ve seen in many other cases, our committed teachers have stepped up, spending hours swimming around in aquariums once filled by district-funded fish so the students can take turns feeding them. Our public educators continue to go above and beyond to give their students a good education, whether that means buying school supplies with their own money, spending hours after school helping with homework, or telling students that for the next 90 minutes they’re Truffles the Turtle as they climb into the enclosure in the back of the classroom.” The NEA also shared insights into how underfunding is impacting secondary education, with nearly one-third of high school biology teachers saying that budget cuts had forced them to act as classroom dissection subjects.

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