Because of education being hit so hard in California’s budget crisis, there is a good chance that I will be losing my job at the end of this school year, making this the third teaching job in 10 years. If I do get to keep my teaching position, I will have many more students both in the classes I teach and on my special education caseload, with less time in my schedule to prepare for and serve both as prep periods are being taken away. This will be the situation for almost all teachers in my state who continue to be employed.
Laying off teachers seems to be the method of choice used by most CA school districts in responding to having tens of millions of taken from their annual budget. The Napa Valley Unified School District, the district I teach high school for, has had over $17 million dollars cut and will be eliminating over 80 teaching jobs. The way most CA school districts have been able to eliminate teaching positions is to play with their numbers in class size and/or doing away with prep periods. Some, like Napa, are willing to pay the fines to have more than a 20:1 student to teacher ratio in K-3, because more money is saved overall with less teachers. The school board position is teacher salaries make up the majority of it’s budget, so there is no other way to save $17 million dollars without reducing the amount of teachers.
So far 16,087 pink slips have been delivered to California teachers as of today, March 1st. This number is increases daily and the deadline, the day the majority of us will get ours, isn’t even until March 13th, “Pink Friday”. (More info at www.pinkfriday09.org as well as ideas for that day, how to help support teachers, and a forum).
Although the affects of this will further destroy public education in California (something started years ago at the federal level with NCLB – No Child Left Behind), I have been dis-heartened to find this seems to bother very few. In fact, there are some singing it’s praises. I had no idea there was such a large group of people out there who have believed every bit of propaganda fed to them about public school educators until reading the comments on the many articles and/or letters that have been in the media recently.
I’ve included a link to show the latest example:
Rethinking School Layoffs, a letter to The Napa Register
The comments made in this letter to the editor of the Napa Register shows just little people know about public education or teaching in public schools. Some comments have left me completely amazed how gullible (or stupid) people are. Like I said, I had no idea of the number of teacher-hating extremists there were until reading the number of comments made to the several articles/letters on the topic of teacher lay-offs.
If you are one who is bothered by any of this, there will be events all over California, around March 13th, a.k.a. Pink Friday, where protests and rallies will be taking place that I strongly encourage you to attend and support your local school teachers. I also encourage you to write letters to legislators and/or a local newspaper, or at least pipe in on some discussions and support public school teachers. Especially if you see the majority of posts or comments are not in their support, like in the link I included.
And thanks for reading. I know everyone is affected by budget cuts and my post only mentions CA teachers but it is what’s on my mind as I prepare for my pink slip I will be handed next week. So because of this, please comment about how any budget cuts are, or will be affecting you or those close to you, whether it relates to education or not. I would love to read about it.