Friday, December 5, 2008

deep, deep depression with a hint of an immature tantrum

Our county is going through severe budget cuts at the moment and it looks as though we are about to lose our year-round school program. I am devastated. We all are. Along with losing our calendar other changes across the county will be that our class sizes will go up, they are going to cut the funding for supplies, cut positions, increase our case loads, and not give us our cost of living pay increase.
To be honest, when given a choice, I'll live with all the other changes, including keeping the same salary to be able to keep our year round program.

I'm working on writing letters to the school board listing the reasons they should keep us as year round. It feels futile and I fear I sound whiny.

Truthfully, part of me IS whiny. I want to throw a kindergarten tantrum, kick my legs, yell, pout, sit down and refuse to move. And of course, I am whiny because of what I wont say in my letter-

What am I going to do with that long summer break? I'll go out of my mind! (Not to mention what the kids will do- their parents can't afford summer camps and fun day programs). I'll have to get a summer job- like at a book store with college kids home for the summer. I don't want to have the whole summer off. I want to teach!!
And we'll have to teach through October. October. The most glorious month to have a 2 week break. The crisp autumn air, the tourist have left the city, plane tickets are lower, and we've worked hard for about 12 weeks. October is a great time to relax, reflect on our kiddos, and come back refreshed for the craziness that is November and December.

We're all walking around in shock. It's happened so fast and I don't think our families even realize the county is discussing it. I don't know if we even have a plan to deal with how to tell our families.

I feel like walking around kicking the ground with my hands in my pockets for awhile. This sucks.


The Science Goddess said...

Some unsolicited advice from someone who has (unfortunately) been there, done that, and been handed the t-shirt...

It may not be "enough" to point out all the positive things that your calendar offers for students. School districts---by law---have to have balanced budgets. Your calendar has been targeted in order to "save" something else in the district (likely teachers' jobs).

I wish it was enough to say that "it's good for kids." It should be reason enough. It should be the bottom line, every time for every decision. Instead, we adults are left scrapping with one another for the few dollars that are out there. Others outside your school and think that you could accomplish the same outcomes with a traditional school year---and with less money.

So, here's my $.02. When you talk to people in the district office and/or school board, you are going to have to offer them an alternative other than "don't change our calendar." You're going to have to suggest other budget reductions in place of that.

Give the budget people the numbers they need and they will leave your calendar alone.

organized chaos said...

Thank you! hmmmm.... back to the drawing board. That is helpful.