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San Clemente, CA, United States

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Everything Else

There is a good chance that the state of California will soon be announcing mid-year cuts to education. My district will be carved to the tune of about $19 million dollars. The blogs and editorials I read all assume the district will cut days from the year to recover the money in the resulting teacher salary cut.

It may come the that. But I'd suggest that the very last thing we do is cut the school year. We are charged with teaching children. With our last nickel we must teach children.

When the bells ring on a school campus, and children are in their seats learning new material, no one else in the district matters other than the classroom teacher. Most everyone else has to go.
If there are 4 custodians, we go to one. For every 10 office workers, we go to one. Close the library. Go to a skeleton crew.

At the district level. everyone goes. All available monies must go to the classroom. If we cannot afford to pay the light bill, I will take my students into the stands of the football field and teach them exponential decay formulas and how to determine the half life of an isotope. If we can't afford lunch personel, I'll stay after school and make 1000 PB & J's. WITH OUR LAST NICKEL we must stay open and educate kids. We have one job and it isn't to answer phones at the district office. It isn't to schedule meetings for new teachers. It isn't to implement new second language programs. Our one job is to stay open. With our last nicke we must keep the doors open.

Then, if we are still at a shortfall, then ask the teachers to work for free. Cut my pay by the week you would have cut school. I'll take the hit and I'll stay and teach. Many of my colleagues may not. I respect that. But I'll stay and I won't be alone. Most of the teachers will stay.

Cancel the buses and the games and send home the lawyers. With our last nickel, we have teachers in classrooms because at the end of the day, no one else matters.

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