But do they know what they want to say?

There’s a budget crisis in Texas. Actually, it’s a national budget crisis but that’s not what this post is about. Many State workers, including educational employees, are scrambling to either find a way to save their jobs or at least the integrity of their profession. The stress of this have trickled down to our students and they’re feeling the crunch of upcoming shortcomings.

Human nature tends to make our brains try to fill in holes we may have in the facts and kids being kids, easily fall into that trap even more so than adults. There are a lot of possibilities for “band aids” on how to make school work for next year. There’s talk about:

  • going from an A/B block schedule to a 7 or 8 period day,
  • having a 4 day on, 3 day off school week,
  • increasing class size,
  • laying off teachers,
  • etc. – the suggestions are endless
  • in helping to relieve some of the financial woes our government has put our districts into. What’s the best answer? Your guess is as good as mine since band aids on this type of a problem are only temporary and usually lead to bigger problems. So, as kids hear the possibilities being tossed around out of context, they take it as gospel and get upset that their world (as they know it) is going to change. Well of course, they’re kids. And good for them for wanting to do something about it and their parents for supporting them in projecting their voice. BUT, what everyone needs to understand is that walking out of class, causing havoc during lunch, getting upset in classes is not going to help create a positive change. Not enough people understand that the school districts are being given their annual “allowance” by the State and are having to make due with pennies compared to what they’ve operated from before.

    When that happens in a kids life, they go find a job (if they’re old enough) or whine and cry to their parents until they get what they want (I got a job ’cause crying to my parents wasn’t going to change what little they had to share with me when I was a teenager). When that happens on a government to school basis, neither is going to offset the millions of dollars they’re talking about. There’s no choice than to make changes because they district only has what they’ve been given from the State.

    Let’s review – who has control of the money districts operate from? The State government. Tell me how walking out on classes and standing around the outside of campus is going do any good? OH, the media is going to talk about it – probably not, folks. There are school districts having to lay off anywhere from 500-2000 employees. Those are the districts the media wants to talk about. Our school district has actually made some smart moves with their rainy day fund and are willing to dip into it to offset some of the shortfall from the State. Being proactive isn’t what the media wants to talk about – it’s not “good news” (except it is actually good news).

    Speaking of rainy day fund, why isn’t the State dipping into theirs? Are they waiting for a monsoon or something? I think a multi-billion dollar deficit could be considered a bit more than just a sprinkle. In fact, I’d call that the monsoon!

    So, writing this blog entry – is that going to solve anything or put a band aid anywhere? No. And I know that. Is that going to make kids smart enough to know that disrupting the last of their well funded education days they have left isn’t going to help the situation? Probably not. But it makes me feel better. And right now, that’s all I can do.

    Love you, mean it.