Sunday, February 20, 2011

If You Can Read This, Thank a Teacher

My Mom's a Teacher!

Greetings from the front in Wisconistan, the name adopted by tens of thousands of protestors who have converged on the state capitol building in Mad City in the wake of the new governor's plan to slash salaries and benefits of public servants statewide ~ including teachers.

I won't get into the budget details except to say that Wisconsin is in the same shape as most of its 49 bretheren. Not enough cash coming in, too much going out. You may have heard that the federal government's coffers are about bled dry, too.

I must weigh in, though, because my chicas ~ both of whom go to school in the Dairy State ~ have been demonstrating on behalf of all teachers, including their Mommy.

They were walking down State Street, on their way to the Capitol, when they encountered a tea party type. She leered (according to eyewitness accounts) at the sign above.

"She can be replaced, you know," sneered the tea partier.

"By whom," my eldest countered. "You?"

The budget crisis is real, I'm sure. But why start with the teachers? The governor says he'll call out the National Guard to do the jobs of those who walk off the job in protest. I may be biased, but I'd like to see one of those camo-clad warriors in Room 215.

"Well, your classes wouldn't have any discipline problems, that's for sure," opined one of my cherubs, who hails from an Army family. "And we'd all be really, really organized."

But would the kids learn anything? Only, I suppose, that the governor has tried to balance the budget on the backs of those who, for a lack of a better cliché, might figure in shaping their futures.

28 comments:

Tracy P. said...

That's a great photo, and excellent post. This whole situation gets so convoluted. Wisconsin may be the first place we are seeing this, but it's just the beginning. Makes me nervous.

Jenn @ Youknow...that Blog? said...

Love the new look - it's energetic! I think mine broke my rss feed (no one's showing up anymore, except for haiku on wednesday!)

Love that your girls are being activists for this - you raised them right, my friend! Cutting fair wages is never the answer, and it will be far costlier in the end if they do.

Carol said...

Great post!

Nance said...

Ohio is already in turmoil. Thousands showed up at the statehouse in Columbus where legislation is already proposed to severely curtail or eliminate collective bargaining for all public employees as well. Our association is sending busses on Tuesday. I personally know colleagues--teachers--who voted in this republican hatchetman governor, who already cut the pay of capitol administrative staffers, secretaries, so that he could boost the pay of his new appointees who are making six figures. I'm heartbroken and terrified. Why are teachers being so demonized by so many (i.e. Oprah, Bill Gates, republican lawmakers on the federal and state level) who ARE NOT IN EDUCATION? Come to my classroom; watch what I do with what little all of you--parents, lawmakers, policy wonks--give me. THEN TELL ME WHY I DESERVE YOUR DISDAIN.

Susie said...

They are cutting off our noses to spite our faces! IMHO, they should start with welfare reform and building local businesses.

Jeanie said...

Great to see the solidarity of your chicas. I agree with Tracy P, Wisconsin may be the first, but it won't be the last.

BLOGitse said...

Thanks for your kind comment - everything is calm in Casa, we're okay.
At the end of March back to Finland...

Ash said...

I too LOVE the new look. You know me and beaches.

As for Wisconsin, well, I'm worried that it has all turned into "us" vs. "them." For my little family in the private sector, we've fortunately survived at least four lay offs over the last few years, swallowed the fact that we've had to take responsibility for our own retirement as my husband's employers did away with the pension option, and are now having to figure out how to deal with an extra $200/month in healthcare costs. In the end, we are very happy to have a job. Honestly, it's difficult for me to watch fellow Americans not understand what the rest of us have been dealing with for a while now.

Public sector workers are incredibly important. I appreciate and love their efforts a great deal, but is the governor asking them do anything that the rest of us are not already accepting?

I'm only asking this as a friend. You know that. XO -Ash

Kristal said...

Now you know I homeschool, but I am appalled at how teachers are disrespected and under paid.

Mrs4444 said...

Well, if they can't balance a budget, how are they going to teach math?! My biggerst fear is that this is going to cost a lot more than money. Really, it's heartbreaking.

I love your new look over here--very fresh :)

Queenie Jeannie said...

What a mess all of this is!! No one wants anything cut, but there's not enough money for everything. Raising taxes if they can't afford to be paid won't work either. That's assuming people even have JOBS! This is a sad time in our country's history. Senator's leaving the state to avoid doing the job they're paid for....sheesh!

What's your take on the PA teacher who's being flogged about her blog?? I'd love to hear your input!

Krystal said...

soooo then who would take over the national guards job?? :)

Sarah said...

I'd like to see the governor taking a pay cut himself before cutting others who earn way less than he does. That includes all the congress members as well.

Tara R. said...

Our public school teachers are underpaid, under-appreciated, and under-supported. Good for your chicas for taking a stand.

The Blonde Duck said...

I personally think teachers should be paid more than pro athletes!

Debbie said...

Love the pic! I have an award for you on my blog. Please come by and pick it up! http://nofiltermom.blogspot.com/2011/02/oh-im-versatile.html

blueviolet said...

It's really a mess over there, isn't it? Such a shame!

Trooper Thorn said...

First Step is to get rid of computers in the classroom. A huge consumer of the budget is the student IT and it provides no measurable benefit for learning.

I'm an IT person and have seen no relevance for students learning powerpoint, excel etc. They are better off with gym, music & art (the subjects that usually suffer the most when there are budget short-falls)

Kristin said...

Good grief. You would think that all those brains in charge could come up with a better idea than that.

Betty Manousos @ CUT AND DRY said...

what a shame! teachers should be well paid and super-appreciated for all the valuable things they offer.

Great post, Melissa and great photo, too.

B xx

Ms.Wasteland said...

Your girls are really wonderful, aren't they? What's going on in Wisconsin is terrible and I agree with the folks who commented that it won't be the last state to have these issues.

StarTraci said...

As a daughter of a teacher,I celebrate and support all teachers and as a union member in my field, I support the union members.

First off, what adult is picking a fight with your beautiful daughter? But good for her for standing up for herself and for you!

Teaching is hard. And if you do a good job, it is REALLY hard. Why don't we believe that to be work worthy of a decent living?

I support you from way down South in Austin, TX.Stay strong woman!

From Tracie said...

I really love that your daughter said that.

Melva said...

Excellent post....same thing going on in TX...my greatest sadness is that I have a feeling the kids are the ones getting hurt the most by all this....the message is...education ISN"T important to the US...sad. We public school teachers find a way though, to teach no matter what obstacles they throw at us!

mama-face said...

The National Guard????????????? That statement alone should be grounds for an impeachment.

(Not that I know what the heck I'm talking about.)

LOVE the sign. Why don't more people get involved and fight for their children's (and country's) future? Too much apathy. Maybe it's time for the youth to rise up. Who will listen to them though? Do enough of the youth care or know about this issue?

Yeah. I am no help whatsoever.

Lourie said...

I have friends who are teachers and friends who are in school to become teachers. Here in CA they have already made 5 furlough days in the school year. The budget trimming should start at the top. What are these people thinking anyway? I was sent over by way of Ms. Wasteland. ;)

400 Wakeups said...

The only thing the governor has succeeded in doing throughout the past couple of weeks is show his butt. The teachers even agreed...100% agreed to all of the concessions. They were willing to pay more into their benefits and now he won't accept it. He wants to strip them of their collective bargaining rights, too?? I don't think teachers should be the first to foot the bill for a budget that can't be balanced, but if they agreed to it, then that's between them and the governor. But there is no reason for the gov to continue on his warpath when they have guaranteed to his terms. Now he is just being bullheaded and ridiculous. And you don't want the Natl. Guard teaching your children. TRUST ME.

miss jo said...

Yep, blame the teachers and send in the camo....Fabulous snap of the august capital and las dos chicas for being in the thick of things. This is such an important fight....You must be one proud mom ! (I'm one proud aunt !)

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