Sunday, January 13, 2008

Hey Govna, don't bother investing in the future

Some of you have already heard about the uproar over the Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to reduce the $15 billion hole that the State of California is in. First off is a 10% cut of state services across the board (including closing dozens of state parks). Second is 5% of cut in education, which will require 2/3 support of the state legislature to happen. That is only thing that will eliminate Proposition 98, the education funding guarantee that closes the door on strict cuts.

Proposition 98 is not going away. Stop even bothering getting enraged about it.

I'm still baffled how anyone, conservative or liberal, can think that Education is correctly funded and that the best way to deal with economic problems is to reduce spending on kids. It is so abundantly obvious that schools don't have the adequate tools to teach kids (try visiting high schools), yet the Cutinator can't order an audit of his education structure to figure out where the money is going? It sure isn't going into my pocket. It sure isn't going into the my classroom. It sure isn't going to my campus or my district. Yet the Ahnold feels that it is only right to stick it to a venture that is already drastically underfunded at the most basic of levels.

Apparently the Supers around California received a fax from the State of California basically saying that teachers are not getting a COLA (Cost of Living Increase) this year and probably not next year. Many categorical sources of funding are getting cut or eliminated, including programs that fund tutoring for elementary school students after school (something that is basically required for a school in Program Improvement), and Special Education funding, something that already massively encroaches on our General Funding. Oh yeah, and we are in Program Improvement, which has a variety of Federal and State requirements (including buying massively expensive books from the pimps at the textbook companies) that are not funded. See, people in schools really are familiar with the term "unfunded mandates", because that's how government has decided to run us.

So morale is pretty low right now, because on top of everything we are in negotiations for a variety of issues, and the Super came into her job with a hefty raise. Regardless of whether she deserves it or not (I've addressed before that I think the position is underpaid, as are we) the troops feel like they are getting table scraps. When you look at classrooms, technology, crappy pay and bogus benefits, it's easy to feel for them.

Me? I'm not worried about losing jobs (-crosses fingers-), losing my home, or starving. My wife and I didn't go into home ownership 2 1/2 years ago with a clouded mind. We didn't go sub-prime and we are stable with our situation in terms of income. Still, prices are going up and up, and our income is not even close to catching up with it. Worse is the feeling you get towards the government's opinion on Education. Its like the problem that nobody really wants to tackle with reasonable authority but everyone is willing to tackle with half-ass measure. The Governor's plan is a half-ass measure, pure and simple.
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