Saturday, March 15, 2008
YOU'RE FIRED !
Last week more than tens of thousands of California’s bright and talented teachers pink slips, courtesy of the Govenator. The state budget is in a dire state again with a deficit measuring in billions of dollars, and the governor’s proposed $4.4 billion dollar education budget cut announced in January is anticipated to shorten the school year by a month and increase class size by 35 percent.
The drama of the budget crunch comes in a worst time as the economy is in a downward spiral throughout the nation and recession according to some economist is already here.
While Democrats vow to stand by the teachers and reject any budget proposal that will compromise the public education sector; Republicans on the other hand vow to reject any new tax increases that will help cut the deficit.
As the tug of war continues in Sacramento between the Democrats and the Republicans the state public education sector will lose thousands of highly qualified teachers who must begin a search for a new career and even return to the university classroom for training into a new field, never to look back to teaching. There was a time that California had the reputation for having some of the best public schools in the nation; it is now ranked at number 47.
“When teachers are laid off due to budget cuts, sadly, it’s California’s students who suffer the consequences,” said David A. Sanchez, President of the California Teachers Association. “If we want talented teachers to remain in the classroom teaching our students, we cannot constantly be pulling the rug out from underneath them. Some of these teachers will never return to the profession,” he added.
Once again the most important profession in our society is undermined by political and bureaucratic decisions that disregard their impact on the most critical members of our society, the children. As it is, there are serious needs for improving education in our state’s urban school, which are the most underfunded and have the highest teacher erosion. Budget cuts that cause the elimination of teachers, those prepared to deliver content and instruction, create a domino effect that will also affect exemplary programs and initiatives that are contingent upon the skills and dedication of these individuals. In times of such high accountability as set by No Child Left Behind, loss of quality teachers and programs is bound to reverse all the efforts that have gone into school improvement and rising academic achievement. In trying to find a light in these challenging times, teachers who are fired will no longer have to worry about losing pay because of underperforming students. The most important question is, who will ultimately pay for this decision!