Additionally, the staff at my school were united today as well. Today the Michigan Education Association declared a "Day of Action". We were asked to wear red for public ed. . .and to share information with community members about how cuts to school funding will impact the students at our school.
Often, when teachers make noise about what is happening in our districts, it appears to directly relate to what is going into our pockets. The perception is that we only care about our raises and job security, but that honestly isn't the case. Think about the teacher in your child's classroom. His or her working conditions are the learning conditions of your child.
Our district has faced many cuts this school year, and as such are facing many changes in the way our schools will do business in the fall.
Students lose when class sizes increase, each student receives less individual attention. For students with IEPs (those that receive special education services) that means it becomes tougher to honor the accommodations each student deserves. When operating budgets are cut, we can't replace broken and outdated technology, nor can we prepare our students to be marketable in the Information Age. When teacher teacher salaries decrease, fewer of the brightest and best college students make the career choice to become educators.
Parents lose when their hard earned tax dollars pay for business tax cuts instead of education.
Communities lose when their school districts face financial ruin.
Local businesses lose when their customers (former school staff) don't have money to support them.
I hope you'll take some time to consider what your hope is for the children in your household and community. Gov. Snyder sends his children to a private school that charges each family nearly $18,000 a year. In 2008, Michigan public schools received less than $13,000 per pupil, and that funding has been cut every year since. The recent changes to the Governor's proposal help, but our budget is still far less than what Greenhills School in Ann Arbor will be using to educate the Snyder children. And did I mention? They're having a fundraiser.
Consider what you think is important. A united community who writes to their legislation is the only thing that is going to make a difference.