School Systems Handing Out Pink Slips – Our Priorities Are So Screwed Up

by on March 10, 2011

in bruce's thoughts

Opinion on

It’s odd how we can only see what we can hold in our hands. And so it goes that my local school systems are preparing to hand out ‘pink-slips’ to teachers. In one local school system alone, they’re looking at fifty cuts.

I find this to be such a huge shame that when the monies get tight, we don’t do something better that looks to preserve the one process that will help keep this country strong, educated citizens. Sure, the few that stand out will continue to stand out, but just how overcrowded will classrooms become before it really shows in the end result? The day of specialized attention is over. When the classroom was small enough, someone could ask a question and have it answered, but now if there are too many kids in a classroom, time is more limited and maybe even those kids who are borderline shy may just never ask their questions.

Teachers were already under-appreciated. I know a few personally and over the last ten years, they still had the short end of the stick when a teacher has to commit their own monies and time to make sure the kids that are under their auspices get the right amount of resources to make their experience productive. Teachers are one of the must undervalued trade out there. These fine folks fight a system that isn’t friendly to them and yet they still fight the fight, for the kids.

What irks me the most is that in this terrible economic time, as our spending looms out of control, no one is allowed to cut the right corners to save the system. Every time someone wants to cut spending somewhere, that specific specialized group fights tooth and nail to keep their political power and incoming monies. No one is looking at the big picture, and no one seems to realize that if they don’t look at the situation outside their own little funnel-vision of specialized liberties, the entire system will come down and they will, in the end, lose what they have.

Here locally, I watched police unions fight tooth and nail to keep their members from taking pay cuts. Pay cuts designed to save the system. They were told that it’s either pay cuts, or staff cuts. The unions won their battle and no pay cuts were affected. Not looking at the big picture, but the unions were patting themselves on the back for their victory. Then six months later, wholesale staff cuts were made to save the same money. Good job people.

Here in California alone, I watched billions of dollars dropped from the special interest groups on mid-term elections to get their favored person’s butt in a seat of power so they can retain whatever privileges the special interests reap from that bought person’s seat. Billions. Mean while, those monies could have saved the school systems wholesale. I can’t imagine how much was spent across the country for all the mid-term elections, but I imagine many, many schools could have been saved, many people possibly fed and sheltered, many teachers not looking at pink slips.

Instead, we, as humans, can only see what we hold in our hands and what affects our special interests specifically rather than stepping back and doing what needs to be done. From what I’m seeing, there’s no stopping this economic spiral we’re in. No one wants to step up as a group and say, let’s tackle this because they don’t want to lose what they have in-hand.


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