3.12.2008

When Teachers Eat Their Own

I had my first instance of teachers starting to cannibalize those about to be laid off in the wake of our Governator's lame and incredibly harmful 10% across the board budget cuts for education. These cuts are going to make already strapped schools have to make really hard choices on how to do them when there's no more to be trimmed away and the schools are already running as absolutely lean as possible.

And the education budget cuts are short term savings with really serious long term effects. A less educated populance is less able to compete on the global market, a less educated populance is more prone to drug abuse, violence, crime and depression. A less educated populance is less of an asset and more of a liability.

But I digress, there's nobody that actually thinks the budget cuts are a good idea and I think Schwarzenegger is a big meat-headed coward for attacking education.

But it isn't anything I can do anything about so I'm trying not to let it get to me although I will miss a few teachers and support staff next year when they are unable to get a new contract.

And it is these portending layoffs that have sparked this post. I had a teacher, one I spent two or three day upgrading and improving their classroom computer not more than a month ago, ask me if she could get a new computer. When I asked what she meant, she elaborated by saying that, if some of the teachers and support staff being laid off have a better and newer computer than hers, then she'd like first crack at getting one.

It isn't hard to understand and accept really. Its the nature of business and education. Layoffs spark a feeding frenzy for cube goodies, computers, chairs and more. But any layoffs are months away and it kind of felt like the buzzards have started circling before the explorer lost in the desert has even run out of water or tumbled to the ground.

Also, I had to gently bring the smackdown on someone in our district offices that was emailing the entire technology department with her computer problems. The first time she did it I expected someone more senior to give her a little education but they apparently did not. The second time, I emailed her and asked her to not email the entire department and also gave her instructions on how to log a Help ticket to get a tech automatically assigned to her problem. There is a pretty shocking lack of understanding of how to put technology to good use in the school system and the number of people who are aware of the resources they have available.

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