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Thursday, February 17, 2011

District Layoffs

Assuming you don't live under a rock or spend ALL of your time reading, you've likely heard that the state of Texas is facing a pretty significant budget crisis and that education is bearing the brunt of proposed cuts. Forgive me for the following political rant, but Rick Perry is a fucking moron. I mean, seriously. He was just reelected based on a campaign claiming Texas is not facing any serious financial shortfalls, and then three months later turns around and cuts $10 billion from educational spending because Texas is facing a huge budget deficit. Wherever you fall on the political spectrum, you've got to admit that's pretty shitty behavior.

The Austin Independent School District just announced massive layoffs, somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,017 positions, many of which are currently under contract. This hit our campus hard and we're losing 12 teachers next year, 4 in the Math department alone. Naturally, no actual work is being done today because these teachers were notified yesterday afternoon that they will likely be pink-slipped, so it's all anyone can talk about. There is talk that these announcements are intended to scare the State Legislature, which is currently in session, into avoiding such drastic measures and giving the schools more money than originally planned. Either way, the district has handled the crisis poorly and has made quite a mess of teacher morale. While my job is safe now, who knows where I'll stand by the time this showdown is over.

In other news, one of my 8th graders just asked me what "occupied" means. Yes, it appears border security is far more important than education...

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