We’re Number 50! We’re Number 50!

Just when you don’t think education in Arizona can get any worse, the state legislature pulls another stupid one. One of the state senators actually said education wasn’t important to business – getting good business in Arizona was what was important.

Yeah, I know….but it gets worse. We are facing a 16% to 18% budget cut for next year – which will basically cripple the district. Imagine having 35-40 kids in math class, all of whom failed math in middle school. Can you imagine the nightmare? We’ll have less monitors and one less assistant principal for a school of nearly 3000 students. No new texts, no supplies for next year, and 600 teachers cut district-wide.

Yeah, I know….but it gets worse. Our governor who managed to hold the legislature in line and not let them decimate education is now in charge of Homeland Security, and we have a bunch of bozos in the legislature. They insist on balancing the budget on the back of public education. At least the charter schools are facing some of the same budget cuts. Bus routes cut, support staff cut – and a new superintendent who is trying to bring this district into the 21st century – who can’t believe the turf wars and unreasonableness of the state.

Yeah, I know….but it gets worse. I do have a job, but no raise again this year, and I am looking at either losing my extra 20% of my contract with a class cut, potentially losing more in my contract due to a proposed salary cut if things get worse, and watching this affect my last three years’ earnings for my retirement. Yes, I have a job, but in 30-plus years of teaching I have never worked in these kinds of conditions. Vermont friends – you have no idea how wonderful it is back there!

Yeah, I know….but it gets worse. We still have to meet all of the state and federal mandates. In fact, we just had to sign on Wednesday (and the paper was due Wednesday PM – convenient for the board) that we approved the new 301 monies for the extra work we do (funded by sales tax), and without a 70% (I think) vote we wouldn’t get any money at all next year – and still have to do the work (and a “I didn’t vote” vote would count as a “no” anyway).

Yeah, I know….but it gets worse. Now the state is threatening to take away our “carry-over” money – savings we have worked to keep as a result of becoming more fiscally responsible. And ya know – not once has our state superintendent stepped forward to have his voice raised to support education (Well, maybe once – to tell us we were being too worried, and the cuts would only be about 2%). Better believe he ain’t getting re-elected….

At least I still have a job – I don’t know how effective I can be for kids who are terribly at-risk and need the best we can give them. No child left behind, huh? At least I know this year my students have learned math and now think it’s okay – still hard, and they’re not fond of it, but they know they CAN DO IT.

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