Monday, February 16, 2009

Scary Times!

This past Saturday which was Valentine's Day and Arizona's 97th birthday, I attended a rally close to the state capitol building in downtown Phoenix. The rally was titled L.O.V.E. which stand for "Lifting Our Voices for Education." This gathering was organized by Dr. Gary Nine, who is the superintendent of Florence Unified School District.

Education appears to be taking the brunt of cuts needed to balance the state budget. Arizona is already way behind most states in spending on education. There is a saying that "you get what you pay for." I believe that a lot of time, but I don't believe it when it comes to education in Arizona. Let me explain that a bit more.... Every day I see what teachers do for children in Arizona. It is amazing to see this first hand as an elementary school principal. The teachers at my school have approximately $125.00 per school year to run their classrooms. This miniscule amount
allows them to purchase pencils, erasers, construction paper, writing paper, staples, etc. from our district warehouse. I know that every teacher uses his or her own money to purchase many things for their classrooms. I did when I taught and Kerri and Patrick do it now for their classrooms.

Yet these teachers go to school every day and teach our children math, reading, writing, science, social studies, art, music, PE, computers, and character. They deal with discipline issues, do duties, talk to parents, plan for the next day, take professional development classes to learn new and innovative ways to teach today's students... I could go on and on. Schools are a microcosm of everything that is good and bad in our society. We see it all!!

Our district does a very good job of providing as much as possible with the limited resources that we have now. I can't imagine how we can get by with even less. The teachers I know will still do their very best no matter how little they have.

My greatest concern is for the children of our state. What does it say about our society if we don't meet the needs of our children and our future?? Public education where everyone has a chance to get an education is what has made our country so great. We educate everyone, yet we are compared to countries that don't.

I have another concern that I am so hoping won't happen. The only way to truly save money is to reduce the number of people who draw salaries. The thought of having to tell some of these wonderful people that I work with every day that they may not have a job next year is one of my worst fears. I just can't imagine having to do this.

For many years I have said that educators need to become politically active and stand up for what we believe in. It is never more true than right now.

There is going to be another rally--I believe it is going to be March For our children on March 4th. Our school had a wonderful turn out last Saturday. It was so great to see so many of our teachers and families at this rally. Cameron went with us. I was always taught to stand up for what I believe in. I talked to him on our way over about the importance of what we are doing. He may not realize it now, but I think he will in the future. Cameron, as well as all of our children, deserve a first class education.

I have so much respect for Dr. Nine and the fact that he is trying to help our children and our schools. He has a website and I am including it on this post. I also put a link to it on the sidebar where other blogs I follow are posted.

I hope that more people go to the next rally and I hope that the legislators and our governor will do what is right for our children and our future.

MAYBE THIS IS A GOOD SIGN............ When I was trying to decide on which quote to put on t his post, there were two that I liked the most. I chose the one that is on the beginning of this post. After I published the post, I noticed that the other quote was the one on the blog under "quote of the day." WOW!!!

Education is the transmission of civilization.
Will Durant

2 remarks:

Martha said...

Hey, Sheila. I was on your blog earlier and just saw on Carol's that you made a new post. Let me know if March 4th is definitely the date of the next rally and I will try to go. The 4th is a Wednesday which would make it hard for most teachers to attend.
Talk to you soon!

Anonymous said...

Beautifully said Sheila!
Love & hugs,