Monday, May 12, 2008
School's New Uniforms: Orange Jumpsuits
I went into the breakroom to make my morning snack and what did I find? Platter upon platter of snack items. But not the donuts and bagels that are usually brought in. These are things that could have come straight from my snack-time wish list: fresh fruits & veggies, nuts, chunks of cheese, olives, including garlic stuffed olives!
In news that's actually news, teachers in the Monkey's school district may be starting a labor action this week called "working to the bell". This means that they'll be doing only what they are contractually required to do, and none of those extras. Like going to PTA meetings. Wait, what? There are teachers who actually go to PTA meetings?
Good to know.
I feel kind of bad, though, because I can see both sides of the argument.
The state budget is in such a large deficit that they are seriously considering cutting the funding that goes to schools instead of doing what the law says and increasing it (Hi Proposition 98! I guess you were good to us while you lasted!). So you have an already poor district being faced with less money coming in pitted against teachers who are also feeling the pinch and would like to have a little more in their paycheck to help balance that out.
On the one hand, now is really not the time for the district to be looking at increasing expenditures. Our district, in particular, is faced with having to make some hard choices, and there will most likely be layoffs. In fact, there are, right now, 89 positions on the chopping block.
At the same time, you aren't doing anyone any favors by short changing the driving force behind education - the educators! Teachers aren't in it for the money. That would be stupid. But they've got families to care for, the same as anyone else. Costs are going up for them, too. The same as everyone else.
How do you balance that?
When Proposition 98 was being pushed, back in 1988, I was in school (junior high, to be exact). I remember the commercials showing shots of classrooms with leaking ceilings and the general disrepair and, you know what? I went to schools that had the issues shown in those commercials. While I'm not going to go so far as to say that we had things so bad back in the day, it was a shame that education had such a low priority in the budget.
Education is still a low priority in any budget battle and the fact that it's 20 years after Proposition 98 and schools are still having to fight for money should be an embarassment to California legislators.
Meanwhile, kids are getting dumber and fatter and more hopped up on perscription medications to control "bad behaviors" and you can't tell me that it's not clear there's a correlation.
Give the schools their damn money, already.
Our kids shouldn't have to wait until they're in prison to get a decent education.
PS: my breath smells fabulous, by the way. Thanks for asking.