Saturday, January 24, 2009

High Anxiety

The last few weeks have been stressful, and don't look to be getting any better. With the economy in the pooper, our state budget has been drastically reduced. The school budgets have been cut a lot this year, textbook budgets were cut in half, we can't even copy on colored paper. The governor originally said that they would freeze teacher pay, now he wants to also cut salaries.

As I have mentioned before Bud is finishing his Master's this year, and I am taking 32 credits this year. We have spent over $7,000 to take classes this year, but we figured we would make that back next year. But with the freeze they not only are eliminating raises for experience, but also raises for education. And the 6% pay cut is a real kick in the gut. If we knew that was going to happen we never would have pushed ourselves so hard this year. Also, anticipating our raises we decided to have another baby. The school district has already said they don't think that it is legal to do any of this, they believe they are still bound by various contracts.

This has turned into a huge public battle, angry letters to the editor, angry comments on message boards. Everyday I get to read that teachers are lazy, we should be happy we have jobs at all (we are), and if we don't like it we can all leave the state. Well, we already have a teacher shortage here, so I don't know that getting everyone to leave is the answer.

Right now we are short 40 math teachers. Which means there are substitutes with no math background teaching math classes. Can you imagine having your child in a class with a teacher not qualified? I would be pissed, but we just can't find enough qualified teachers. I can't see that this pay cut is going to help us fill in these gaps. Bud has 44 kids in one of his classes, 5 kids have to sit on the floor, and now they are saying classes will be bigger next year.

So I torment myself by reading editorials, and the online paper and their message boards. Seriously, don't threaten to cut my pay and insult me, it is too much. I get so irritated with people, then I start arguing with them in my head! Always effective and productive. I get all worked up into frenzy, by the time I go to bed I don't sleep well.

Whew, well that was boring! But I feel a bit better getting it out.

1 comment:

melissa said...

That sounds completely illegal to me about cutting salaries. I'm very active in my union & if the school board has approved the contract then the district is bound to it.

Next year is our last year on this contract and I am very concerned about negotiations. Right now we have pretty good pay, excellent benefits and salary reimbursement for graduate classes...I'm sure they are going to try to cut something out. I really hope it's not the health benefits.

I, too, would get all worked up over this stuff. I hate comments about teachers being "lazy", must be nice to have summers off, etc. UGH!

I will step down from my soap box now;)