A student group has been formed on FaceBook called Save the Teachers of IRHS. If anyone knows what it means to butcher education from the inside out, it is the students who are losing their teachers. You gotta love teenagers with their idealism and energy. And for those who keep saying that there’s bloat in the system and lots of room to cut, one must understand the way schools are funded. I don’t have time to explain it all right now (readers should pressure Mark over at Caveat Lector to do it) since I’m working on my homework assignments to become (ha!) a high school teacher, but I can point out this: Usually, about 85 percent of school budgets are tied up in salaries. No one working in the schools make a ton of money, especially teachers. When you’ve been there for more than 20 years, you might be clearing 60K; beginning teachers make so little that, if they have children and are the sole provider in their family, they actually qualify for food stamps in many states.
So … point is, there’s not a lot of fat to cut, and when they cut, they have to cut muscle (the teachers). And, unfortunately, cutting the newest teachers (not necessarily the youngest, but the new blood, new energy, new ideas folks) because of deals with the teachers’ association may not be the decision with the most foresight when approaching the problem. Then again, as an assistant principal told me today, “Not in my lifetime” will Arizona use performance as a measure to retain or let go teachers. So the kids get angry, and start FaceBook groups, which describe themselves like this: ‘This group is to save our favorite teachers from the chopping block due to cuts. It’s complete crap and we need to get them back.” You go, boys and girls. My hat’s off to you.