Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I have a lot to say lately. Just haven't felt like getting online to say it.
But today I. Am. Furious.

Last night my local television news station (which I pretty much never watch and probably never again will) reported on the deal reached in the ongoing California budget talks. The reporters explained that a deal had been reached. That no taxes had been raised.

I quietly thought about what that really means. I thought about the tax this budget crisis is charging my kids. Their future. Our future.

Then the reporter went on. There would be borrowing from local governments. There would be cuts in social services. But education would be spared. I was surprised. Pleasantly so. I called my sister-in-law this morning and told her what I'd heard. She's one of the pink-slipped teachers, waiting to learn if she'll be re-hired for the fall. This was good news for her. I thought.

Then I saw this on NPR:

Although the cuts will prove painful, Schwarzenegger tried to put the best face
on the cuts, saying the money taken from education "will get fully refunded" and
that the budget would prove "more efficient" as a result of the tightening.

Huh? Money. taken. from. education.
Again? (You see, I have a long memory when it comes to stealing money from kids-- this isn't the Governor's first time "borrowing" from education.)

And then the truth (also from NPR):
The agreement
calls for no new taxes and $15 billion in cuts, with the remainder of the
shortfall to be closed by borrowing from local governments and one-time
accounting measures. Education took the biggest hit, with $6 billion in cuts to
K-12 schools — money state officials have promised to reimburse when the state's
fiscal health recovers. Another $2.8 billion will be cut from state colleges and

Call it what you will. We have put our kids at risk. Again. In the name of not raising taxes. But it's all semantics. You say a $6 billion cut to public schools is a spending cut. I call it a tax on education. I call it increased class sizes. I call it fewer classroom days. I call it less money for special education and general education. I call it less opportunity for growth and enrichment. I call it a tax on children.


Anonymous said...

But didn't you leave teaching because there was more money in law?

Karen said...

Actually, no, Anonymous. I didn't leave teaching because there was more money in law. In fact, I didn't leave teaching for law at all. I left the classroom to develop professional development for teachers.

BUT, even if I had left teaching for the hope of more money in law (which, by the way, there often- but not always is), what does that have to do with shortchanging our kids financially? Wouldn't me earning more money to pay more taxes to hire more teachers -- as long as I were putting my kids in public schools, which I am-- HELP education (financially speaking).

AND, even if I left TEACHING for more money in law, so that we could afford to have a full-time parent at home so that our kids would have someone watching them do homework and participating in school activities, again- how does that DE-value education?

I just don't see the connection. After all my point is that we need to give MORE money to education, which is consistent with someone wanting to also personally earn more money, isn't it? (If that were my singular motive for leaving education.)


Michelle said...

I call it my husband not having a job for who knows how long. It has been 8 months and I cry myself to sleep every night over it.

And I also call anonymous an Ass. Don't comment on something that you have no idea about. You don't know someone's whole story by reading their blog.