editorials call for teachers to sacrifice
Original post made by Sandy Piderit on Mar 15, 2009
The San Jose Mercury News editorial, on the other hand, said that teachers were right to organize protests to draw attention to the plight of California schools. Read it for yourself, here:
While these commentators evaluate the actions of teachers and their unions differently, they share a hope that classrooms can be partially insulated from the impact of cuts to school budgets. They encourage teachers to help cushion the children, and preserve some of their colleagues' jobs.
Hunt concludes as follows:
"The challenge for school districts is to approach tough times like Fed-Ex does, instead of like manufacturers who simply slow production and layoff people. Fed-Ex must continue to deliver its routes so layoffs are limited. Instead, the leadership took 10 percent salary cuts, while the rank and file took 5 percent. All shared the pain to keep the company strong."
Similarly, the Mercury News editors suggest a shared sacrifice, but not such a deep one. They call for a pay cut of 1.5 rather than 5 percent, in the form of a freeze for at least one year of stem and column increases. The editorial also points out the possibility of taking furloughs on professional development days or renegotiating health benefits.
From where I sit, teachers already sacrifice plenty. They work at a pace at least as frenzied as other professionals like accountants, lawyers, and doctors, but for far less salary. They give more of their time than is reasonable to help students, because they know that if they don't, those kids could get left further and further behind. They share techniques that work with other teachers, and seek out new approaches on their own time and throughout their careers.
I think I do my share, as a parent and a taxpayer, but I can tell that the status quo will not be enough for next fall. Already, I am digging deeper, and next year I will volunteer more hours in our schools. But the numbers of us who can volunteer, because we have flexible hours or part-time jobs, are dwindling. As a volunteer, I cannot replace a reading specialist, computer technician, librarian, or counselor.
Teachers know better than any others that the work that all the employees at a school do together is important. They know the value of their team. As the APT negotiates with the school district in Pleasanton, I hope APT members will consider demonstrating your respect for your coworkers with jobs on the line. A tangible financial sacrifice offered at the negotiating table is a way to show solidarity. Whether that is accepting furlough days, freezing step-and-column, or shown in some other form, it help protect the educational climate when school starts next fall.
Negotiations begin behind closed doors, of course. When it's time to share details of the proposed contracts with the public, I hope our community can show respect as they debate the APT's proposals.
on Mar 15, 2009 at 11:18 am
Tim Hunts position surprised me, his wife is a teacher in the district that is immune to a lay off. It is good the see his support for real administrative and union concessions.
The negotiations with the unions should have been done before going to the community for a parcel tax, the opportunity was there.
The community has not seen the administration demonstrating real cuts, more vacation days don't count. They should be doing something immediately and not waiting until the next budget. In fact, administration raises could be rolled back today. Every dollar cut this year gives more money available for next year.
We all support our teachers, and if reasonable cuts and concessions are made we do not need a parcel tax to keep teachers jobs and maintain valued programs.
on Mar 15, 2009 at 11:32 am
I am convinced that, while there are some people (like Sandy) who are trying to educate the public and have meaningful dialogue here, there are 10-15 other people who continually post on this thing (using a variety of fake names) and their goal is to spread their personal agendas, misinformation, and propaganda .
If you are looking for information with integrity, look at the people who post using their FULL names... like Sandy :)
on Mar 15, 2009 at 11:45 am
caveat emptor - Does this mean your post has no integrity?