Dad, husband, baseball coach, writer, community activist and crappy guitar player...I tend to stand a little to the left on most issues. I don't get my news from Fox "News" - and neither should you.
School is back in session, which means the mornings are crazy, the days are longer and the evenings are spent doing homework, pickin out outfits and packing lunches. And on top of working nearly 60 hours per week I also have to find time to hold "computer class" at home on our one family computer. Why? Because of budget cuts this year and projected budget revenue loss in Greendale, the computer lab has been completely eliminated at my children's school.
The teachers also lost half of their "lounge" which is more or less used as a storage area, a place to eat lunch for 15 quiet minutes and a spot to make phone calls home to parents. More important though is the loss of the computer lab. Apparently because of increasing enrollment and a loss of funds from the state, the district office, which was in the same building as my children's school is moving to a different location, the computer lab has been changed into a classroom and the lounge has been cut in half.
The teachers will still have access to the computers (5 at a time, on a cart) to bring to their classes. My children also attend the afterschool daycare in which they are allowed to visit the computer lab during bad weather days, but not anymore! Budget cuts demand that instead of computer time, puzzles with missing pieces and a 27 year-old version of "Connect Four" will have to suffice.
While Scatt Walker may have saved me $12 on my property taxes this year, he might just have forced me to spend $500 at Best Buy to make sure my kids get ample time on a computer, since they will no longer receive adequate computer training in school.
Also in education news this week: It appears that Greendale lost 16 quality, experienced teachers to retirement this year. No big deal right? Wrong. Here is the amount of retiring teachers for the last 4 years:
- 2010/2011 16
- 2009/2010 3
- 2008/2009 6
- 2207/2008 6
Greendale lost more teachers this school year than the last 3 previous school years combined. I remember warning the schoolboard that this would happen, especially imcumbant, Jim Schutte, who was positive that Scatt Walker was giving the schoolboard the proper "tools" to make their job easier. While the schoolboard's job of balancing their budget may have been made easier by a high number of retirees, the jobs of the teacers has just been made for dificult. Most of those teaching positions were not filled, and the teachers that are coming into the district will have less experience, if any.
Let's hope that ACT scores don't drop and our high national ranking doesn't fall because of a budget-cutting method that relies totally on cutting quality, well-qualified, experienced teachers for new, untested, cheaper replacements.