I don't know who created this, but clearly it's a grandstanding person who is trying to curry favor by advocating cuts and fiscal prudence for an already underfunded school. As such, the author appears to be more part of the problem than part of the solution, IMHO.
I'm the grandstanding person he's talking about. The critic must think there's something appealing about advocating budget cuts in education. There's not. My wife and many neighbors are teachers. They earn and deserve every penny.
But getting elected to a School Board carries responsibilities that are a double-edged sword. We have to do right by the students and the community. The critic assumes our school is underfunded. And in the psychedelic world of educational economics this is always true. It is an American meme to believe schools are underfunded. The unions, parents, teachers and administrators will all swear on stacks of holy books that this is the problem. And far too many Board members believe their job is simply to escalate and spend endlessly like rich aunts and uncles - visiting dignitaries with no responsibilities except to be loved for their largess.
In fact the idea of cutting a school budget is so antithetically imprinted on Board members that every year I sit through at least one near nervous breakdown monologue about how emotionally unprepared that school board member is to imagine cutting the school budget. No Hollywood drama can ever express the angst that goes along with these discussions.
I pass along cogent and what I believe are compelling arguments for cutting the budget. And the argument I receive far more than any other is that teachers don't make as much as billionaires and CEOs. It's hard to argue with that. By that metric teachers are really making a lot less.
But I don't live in a town of CEOs and billionaires who we can shake down for pocket change that will pay for the substantial increases in our expenses.
I know better than that but the education industry is deaf and blind to the human condition outside their world. In fact, our teachers have NEVER gone a year without a substantial raise in the past decade. In a decade where most working Americans have seen zero income growth, teachers here operate as if its too damned bad. Cough up more taxes. Ditto for administrators making six figures more or less. Teaching shared community sacrifice is something abstract that doesn't happen here.
The fact of the matter is that EO Smith is spending money as if this were the Roaring Twenties rather the Depression era of the new century. These days the unemployed are unionizing to get relief.
It's been only a month that a union for the unemployed has come into existence through an ingenious grassroots organizing campaign. In case you haven't heard about it, the union's name is "UR Union of the Unemployed" or its nickname, "UCubed," because of its unique method of organizing.There is not a day that goes by that the State of Connecticut is either deferring pension payments or raising fees on citizens, or cutting local aid. In an economic climate in which the taxpayer is being squeezed from all sides the teachers and administrator's contracts project unbridled avarice and greed. If I were complaining about price gouging of oil companies, electric bills, or a local crook no one would claim I was part of the problem.
UCubed is the brain-child of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), whose leaders feel that the millions of unemployed workers need a union of their own to join in the struggle for massive jobs programs.
The idea is that if millions of jobless join together and act as an organization, they are more likely to get Congress and the White House to provide the jobs that are urgently needed. They can also apply pressure for health insurance coverage, unemployment insurance and COBRA benefits and food stamps. An unemployed worker is virtually helpless if he or she has to act alone.
Joining a Cube is as simple as it is important. (Please check the union web site: http://www.unionofunemployed.com ). Six people who live in the same zip code address can form a Ucube. Nine such UCubes make a neighborhood. Three neighborhood UCubes form a power block that contains 162 activists. Politicians cannot easily ignore a multitude of power blocks, nor can merchants avoid them.
I'm not a tea-bagger and I have better things to do with my life but as long as I'm serving I owe the public an opportunity to insist on a cutback this year and for the next few years. Its not a message, its not malicious. It's necessary.
The community needs to set the amount that a school can spend and then the process of seeing what that sum affords can begin.