Today in America a teacher stood in front of her elementary class pleased that, she had a job and had children to teach. She was glad to be around kids again, but there were so many little ones. As she directed them to line up for lunch, she saw that she had thirty-six students. How was she ever going to prepare them all for the future?

Later in the staff lunchroom, while talking with colleagues, she discovered that everyone was overwhelmed. Budget cuts had caused the school to fire several teachers and that meant more children per class. The principal reluctantly acknowledged that teachers in certain grade levels may get even more children than they currently had.

Schools all over the United States are facing tough fiscal times. We are told we are in a fiscal recovery and not a recession, but the economic climate does not look promising. For educators the full weight of last year’s recession is about to bring more painful budget cuts. Policy experts say the budget crisis from last year will be felt acutely this year and to expect more cuts in education in the future.

According to a study administered by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) earlier this year, 82 percent of districts will cut or eliminate 27,516 education jobs in 2010-11 and 53 percent will freeze hiring. Projection of National Education Job Cuts for the 2010-11 School Year.

Stated differently, “Although the economy has begun to rebound, K-12 education leaders say they are still facing serious budget shortfalls for the coming school year that threaten their ability to implement new technologies, raise the quality of instruction in their classrooms, and close achievement gaps among students, a new survey reveals.” This according to eSchool News April 9, 2010.

How can we provide help for the teacher with 36 plus students? Many school districts are looking to technology. Providing online class management software and support is crucial for teachers now more than ever. Online grading, scheduling, lesson planning, and attendance taking tools will help teachers spend less time on administration and more time teaching in the classroom. It is imperative that administrators give teachers the tools to manage ever-increasing class sizes.

How does technology help? Teachers spend a significant amount of time on planning, developing and organizing instruction along with housekeeping and record-keeping tasks. Online school management systems help reduce time spent on repetitive or complex tasks such as grading, administration of quizzes and tests, taking attendance and student/parent communications.