A heavy feeling settled in my soul as I read my Facebook page to see that a bond for our District that would have maintained special area classes and 72 teacher jobs failed. It wasn’t even a close vote, a difference of about 2,000 votes. I thought about the teachers, my friends, colleagues, maybe even myself, who might lose their jobs next year. I thought about the significantly larger classes we will have. I thought about the lack of resources, technology, and books that won’t be available. I thought about the time that will not be available to plan, prepare, and work with students who need me, all this because our constituents didn’t want to maintain our current tax rate. Yes, you heard me right, it wouldn’t have raised their taxes or lowered them, it would have maintained them, one of the lowest in the state.
What’s interesting is our district is ranked in the top 5 in our state and boasts great test scores, programs, and exceptional teachers and accomplishments to go along with that. We don’t have the best of everything though, our technology is not the newest and we don’t have 1:1 computers like many districts. We sometimes lack books and resources, but manage to make do with what we have, sometimes borrowing, sometimes copying, sometimes sharing, but it works. We still manage to maintain exceptional status within every school in our district.
That heavy feeling is connected to the realization that next year we will be short many teachers, have more students in our classes, and less resources to utilize. That heavy feeling also comes from the thought that once again; our community has said that they don’t value education through their votes. Our community and our country will continue in the same direction until we make education a priority.
Teachers will continue teaching even in adverse conditions. My husband likes to say it should be a volunteer position because he’s sure there would still be people who would teach. He might be right, and he might see this happen in the future since this is the direction we are going.
My question to you though is, what will happen when the public at large refuses to fund education anymore? Do you think private and charter schools will fill the gap? I don’t and here’s why I say this; they are in the business to make money. They usually have a corporation or company behind them that are out to line their own pockets. Unlike public education teachers, whom many are there for the love of teaching, they will never be rich in the monetary sense. I hope our community and the country are willing to live with more companies that are in it for themselves, and not their children. The future of education…?
("Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on DiscoverySchool.com")