Monday, March 16, 2009
*Taken from pinkfriday09.org
"-California ranks 47th in the nation in per-pupil spending
-California has the 7th-largest economy in the world...
The recently passed state budget just makes things worse. It cuts education by a magnitude unlike any we have seen in our state's history, slashing more than $11 billion from schools, colleges and universities."
Friday the 13th (how ironic) last week marked the day for thousands of teachers, administrators, custodians and bus drivers in California who received the "pink slip (lay-off notice)." Tenure wasn't even a saving factor. Since more teachers are getting laid-off, classroom sizes in California will increase. It only makes sense, right?
As a student teacher, one of our largest classes consists of 43 students. In fact, anything under 35 seems small. I was just talking to a friend on Friday about the CA education budget cuts and she mentioned to me that the student to teacher ratio in Washington was 1:15!! With so many students in each class, it is extremely difficult for any teacher to give a decent amount of attention to students who are in need of assistance. Now imagine if classroom sizes reached 50+-- unfortunately, it is a close reality.
Programs that prepare students for future careers, electives such as health, music, art (gasp) and so forth will be cut back in order to compensate for the loss.
In honor of this horrid day, teachers and students wore "pink" as a form of protest and support for those receiving the "pink slip." Several of our students showed their support by donning "pink" slips of paper, yarn bracelets and headbands to show their support. It is always good to know that most students will side loyally with their teachers and fight for their education. Rallies and protests were being held in Southern California, but is this going to change anything?
On May 19th, there will be measures on the ballot that will have a tremendous impact on the future of California education. Proposition 1B is one to keep your heads up for. If passed, the state will pay back more than $9 billion of the money owed to schools and colleges. Please, please, vote to make a difference. Students, post-students, parents, we've all been there before and can relate. This also makes me wonder if having an "ex-actor" such as The Governator do more damage than good to our beloved state.
If the future of California and the rest of the nation lies within the students of today, where are our priorities?
"Change does not necessarily assure progress, but progress implacably requires change. Education is essential to change, for education creates both new wants and the ability to satisfy them." - Henry Steele Commager