The Student News Site of Chandler High School

The Wolf Howl

The Student News Site of Chandler High School

The Wolf Howl

The Student News Site of Chandler High School

The Wolf Howl

Blue Spirit Budgeting gives CHS students a voice

Blue+Spirit+Budgeting+gives+CHS+students+a+voice
Victoria Montenegro

Have you ever walked around Chandler High and thought of some things you would like to see changed or wished something were added to the school? Well, this is precisely what Blue Spirit Budgeting does. Blue Spirit Budgeting is part of CUSD’s Participatory Budgeting Project, “a democratic process in which… students decide how to spend part of a public budget. It gives students real power over real money.”(cusd80.com)

Each year the Blue Spirit Budgeting team collects ideas for improving our school with our $10,000 budget provided by CUSD. Then at the end of the school year, once they have compiled a list of projects, they ask students to vote for the one they want. This is a very effective way to make sure that students have a role in upgrading our school and that these projects leave a legacy in our school. CUSD Academic Coach Sarah Sacco emphasized that “through this program students have a chance to see government in action and to really understand what it means to be civically minded and exercise that right to vote.”

So what are some of the things that Blue Spirit Budgeting has accomplished? The wolf statue in front of the JSU, the shaded area next to the cafeteria, extra water fountains around the school, the mural in the cafeteria, and beanbags in most classrooms are just a few of the many things that have been achieved thanks to Blue Spirit Budgeting.

 

But how does the Blue Spirit Budgeting team ensure that the improvisations are actually what students would like to see around campus? This year Blue Spirit Budgeting has created a survey which has been posted on the Google Classroom for every grade level. They have also hung up flyers with QR codes that direct students to the survey, set up an information table during all lunches, and members of the Budgeting team have walked by classrooms during advisory to give more detailed instructions. The quick survey asks students a few simple questions about any suggestions or recommendations they might have to better our school. If students come up with more ideas they can answer the survey as many times as they want. 10th grade student Tamaiah Briggs, a member of the Blue Spirit Budgeting team, said, “I think it is a really good way for students to get their voices heard…we get multiple students from different grade levels… and it allows people to give their own input.”

Once all of the information from the surveys has been gathered, the students on the Blue Spirit Budgeting team will come up with specific projects that address these ideas. “We have a steering committee of 25 to 30 students who take all of those ideas and then talk about them, synthesize them, and come up with… ballot options. Really it is a student-led process… so we are able to really dig into what students’ problems are,” explained Ms. Kelsey Brown, head of Blue Spirit Budgeting at CHS. Towards the end of the school year, the projects will be presented to the principal and the CUSD directors to determine whether they will be approved or not. The votes from students will also help decide which project will be carried out. It is important to note that the time it takes to execute the project depends on what the project is and what will be required to establish it in our school. 

This is a very good way of encouraging students to get involved in improving their community, address problems, come up with innovative solutions to them, and better understand how to take into account the ideas of others. Blue Spirit Budgeting benefits our school, teachers, students, and many more. 

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About the Contributor
  Victoria Montenegro is a sophomore at Chandler High and reporter for the Wolf Howl. This is her first year as a part of the team. Victoria was inspired to join Newspaper because of her love for journalism and creative writing. Additionally, she thought it would be a great and fun opportunity to get more involved in the school’s community. To Victoria, journalism is an important job with a purpose of exploring opinions and topics in a creative way. In her free time, Victoria enjoys reading and science. Her future plans include traveling to Washington D.C. and seeing the Smithsonian, visiting Paris, and becoming either an architect or physicist. She hopes to become involved with the school in another way by joining the swim team. A fun fact about Victoria is her favorite ice-cream flavor is vanilla with chocolate chips on top.