Those old fat cats in Salem are feeling the heat and maybe a little burn. Last week, Gov. Ted Kulongoski announced that teachers need to work for free if schools are to stay open. He offered to lead the way, volunteering to work for four days for free (note, his salary is around $98,000 per year while the average teacher's salary is around $40,000). Meanwhile, if "rainy day funds" aren't tapped into, districts are looking at closing school for 4-20 days, depending on final budget assessments, union demands (such as closing schools in a manner that makes us teachers eligible for unemployment), and the needs of the particular district.

But now, the legislators are working to spend some of the nearly $400 million set aside in a "stability fund" for education, though Kulongoski said he will veto any plan that spends that now. "He insists it be saved to weather darker economic times in 2010 and 2011," says The Oregonian.

Last week's rally and now some legislatures are saying no to closing schools early and breaking teachers' contracts. Tapping into these funds now would potentially cut the aprox. $17 million that my district needs to cut by JUNE to only $4 million.

Of course, when it comes to money, I'm as dumb as they come. So maybe it's hopeful naivete on my part, and I've seen enough to know the answer to this question, but I'll throw it out there anyway: Can things really get worse than finding out you have three months to save $17 million and may need to close down your school in one of the best districts in one of the most progressive states in the country?

I hope not, not just for the sake of my own bank account, job security, etc. and not for the students being short changed on their education, but for what that means for my friends out there who are already eating shit because of this economy: inability to find jobs, inability to get promoted to better jobs, not getting enough hours to make do. It sucks.

1 comment:

  1. It sucks doesn't it?? Anthony's district, which is the #1 district in the state of CA, lost over 3 million in the Lehman Bros. bankruptcy- so in addition to state cuts, they're dealing with that too. Why can't there ever be enough money for education??? Come on, Barack, get us out of this!! I miss you, babe!