Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A BIG Rant


I know when it comes to politics I'm usually more liberal than most of the people in my neck of the woods (blame my parents, they taught me to think for myself and make up my own mind based on actual facts....crazy, right?)

But I can't keep my mouth shut about this. Yesterday I saw a sign sitting in the front yard of one of my neighbors that made me sick. It read "No new debt Vote NO for the District 93 Levy." I wanted to go knock on their door and ask them a few questions.

I wanted to ask them how they expected their district to recoup the losses that the Legislature so lovingly bestowed upon them, I wanted to ask them what programs that keep their kids out of trouble after school they'd be willing to see go, I wanted to ask them if they'd like to go to a meeting with the teachers and tell them which ones will not have a job next year.....I wanted to punch them in the stomach and run the other direction.

But....I didn't, I just kept pedaling my bike on past their disgusting sign.

Then, yesterday, one of my best friends found out that because the Bond in her school district in Hansen, ID got a big fat NO vote, she will not have a job next year....that made me wish I really had gone to punch the ignorant person with the big yellow sign in the stomach...she is a wonderful teacher. She instituted some awesome programs in her English classes that the kids had never experienced before. She works hard to be creative and to make sure the kids are successful....why her?

Then, this morning, a Facebook invitation to join a group in support of the District 91 Bond. Of course I joined, and left a little message about why I support it.

Well people, knowledge is power. So, I feel the need to educate all of you.

For those of you in District 93-

What is a levy? dictionary.com defines it this way: "

Levy definition

To collect or assess money that is due.

Investopedia Commentary

An example of levying is the government assessing how much tax you owe, or a regulatory agency fining you for not paying what you owe.

In other words, you may not owe any money, a levy just gives the city the right to assess if you would owe any more money to help out the school, to prevent them from losing programs, to prevent them from having to fire teachers.

For those of you in District 91 here is the definition of a bond:

A written and sealed obligation, especially one requiring payment of a stipulated amount of money on or before a given day.

This definition is pretty straight forward. The school district is basically asking you to invest in your community and the children in it.

Why should you vote in favor of a Bond or Levy? Well, for starters the money that they end up collecting is going to keep teachers in the classroom. Your child will get more one on one attention because the teacher doesn't have a class of 50 kids to take care of. Classroom sizes have already grown considerably in the last few years, losing teachers would cause them to grow more!

Losing teachers also means the possible loss of programs. For example, your music teacher may be the newest teacher, because of this (last hired, first fired), they might feel that they can cut the music teacher and with them the music program all together in order to stretch their funding. Your child may not be a musician, or in one of the music classes, but what about the other 200 kids that do participate?This is the reality in Hansen, ID. Except their music teacher, in fear of losing her job, went and found another one, and the last discussion I'd heard on the matter, they were not going to open a search for a new music teacher, thus killing their music program effectively. Or perhaps the most recent hire was a baseball coach, but they had yet ANOTHER losing season. Perhaps your district decides to do what Snake River School District did a few years ago, they decide to cut the "unsuccessful" sports programs. You then would be in the same position as parents from the Snake River School District and be forced to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars each year to keep the program alive.

These are just a few scenarios, but they do happen.

In bigger school districts like 91 and 93, they could also cut those all too important AP classes. These classes allow your children to take classes like Biology, Chemistry, English, Anatomy and Physiology, and many many others, for college credit. In order to save money, they just might decide that your kids can just go ahead and spend more time in college, this costing YOU more money in the long run.

I urge everyone to go to your district websites, and school board meetings and get the FACTS! Don't let the bias of the way you were raised influence you.

I understand these are tough economic times, but do we really want to ask our kids to suffer? That is exactly what would happen. Public education for everyone is a wonderful thing. It gives people opportunities that they had never dreamed possible. It gives a little boy or girl the opportunity to raise above the circumstances they were born to to become something better. If structured correctly, it allows your child to explore all their options to become the person they want to be.

With massive budget cuts and the loss of teachers, we run the risk of upsetting a very delicate balance. Your child might be at risk! Your community is definitely at risk. Often times, programs offered at school or through the school are the only things keeping kids out of trouble.

Even more importantly, a good teacher can change the world! (Why do you think after 7 1/2 years of college I am back for another 2 getting my teaching certification.) I have had so many wonderful teachers influence me for the better. What if that teacher, the one who has the power to get through to your child, is the one who loses their job?

Please support your local school districts.

Furthermore, write your congressman, write the governor, write your legislative representative- tell them how disappointed and upset you are that the decision was made to make these cuts to education. One voice is a fly in the ointment, but thousands and thousands of voices can cause the wound to fester (in a good way). They chose to endanger our public education system with one vote. We can vote to save it.

Get educated, make up your own mind. God bless.
Hugs and Loves until next time!

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