February 20, 2010

Save Our Schools

The purpose of this post is not to complain but rather to share my very realistic fear that I could be out of a job for next year. For those that do not follow Illinois politics, our state is facing an enormous budget crisis that's putting our entire education system (as well as other systems like human services) at risk.

When the state cannot or does not pay districts the money they've promised, the districts are forced to make massive budget cuts. This means cutting jobs (some districts in my area have gone as far as to declare that they intend to let go of every non-tenured teacher and re-hire as needed), programs (special education is directly affected in my district), activities (cutting or eliminating sports, music, and art programs).

With classrooms of 30 students already, I can't imagine what further cuts in my district would mean for class size. I worry about students will special needs and whether they will have access to the necessary resources and programs that are helping them succeed. I worry about the schools' abilities to maintain or achieve their Annual Yearly Progress as mandated by No Child Left Behind.

And yes... I am also worried, on a selfish level, for my own job. As a second-year teacher, there is a good possibility that I will be among the staff that is let go because of these cuts. And because this is happening all over the state, I worry about how long it will be before I have another opportunity to teach. I'm not as scared about the prospect of losing my job as I am about the prospect of not having a job at all. I LOVE my job... I want to keep it!

Will you help me fight to keep my job?

If you're in Illinois, please contact your senator and representative. Urge them to support HB 174 to Save our Schools! Click here to locate your officials.

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