3.13.2008

The Effect of The Governor's Budget Cuts at Ground Zero

Its no surprise that I'm not a big fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger playing the role of governor of California. I think he's a meat headed jackass who recycles movie lines because he can't think for himself.

And he proved it in his recent budget proposal to slice 10% across the board off of the state's budget for education. Ten percent less than not enough means our children in California are getting shortchanged by the government we pay for. In fact, education in California should get a 10% increase in budgets and pay, maybe alot more than that but it would be a good place to start.

One of the best teachers I know is facing a layoff because she doesn't have tenure and will get booted to make room for teachers that been teachers but moved into other roles in the district. Well, they'll be moved back into classrooms because seniority. And I can't really fault the mentality behind it but I would be bummed to see her go, she's an excellent teacher, gets the technology side and engages her students in a really positive and encouraging way. We NEED more teachers like her, not less.

And, if she has to go work in the business world during the layoff there's a pretty good chance she'll never come back because it is awfully hard to take a huge pay cut to put up with all the bullshit in education. Truly it is.

The cuts are going to adversely effect other schools even more deeply with some schools talking about a straight 10% reduction in staff which translates to larger classrooms, less support personnel, complete loss of "non-educational" programs like music, art and PE.

And the thing is, the cuts are short-sighted. An under-educated populance is more expensive to care for, just like an under-nourished populance has more healthcare issues and short lifespans. There is no way to cut education now and not pay for it for years and years down the line.

Plus, its a cheap and cowardly tactic to go after money for education rather than actually working to find ways to cut all budgets to make up for the shortfall. Burdening education will just drive more teachers out of the profession and we'll be left with more and more under-qualified and under-motivated people teaching our children. The cycle is the epitome of vicious.

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