Finding a Voice to Support Teachers  

A friend of mine who teaches in the Virginia public schools noted that the only profession where government officials think it's okay to not pay the workers is in the schools. I didn't believe her, no one would do that, or so I thought. From OregonLive:

Leaders of Oregon's teachers union did not outright reject the governor's suggestion of unpaid teaching days but said each district would have to figure out a balance between using reserves and other cost-saving measures.

"If we ask school folks to work for free, it means we are going to affect the economy even more greatly," said Gail Rasmussen, vice president of the Oregon Education Association. "These folks, too, are part of the fabric of their communities."

Kulongoski's comments came one day after legislative budget leaders went public with a list of proposed cuts, including a reduction to public schools that would force many districts to close early by an average of five days.

There was also the North Providence School District in Rhode Island:

NORTH PROVIDENCE — The School Committee has garnered $664,000 in concessions from teachers, the equivalent of six unpaid work days, in an effort to erase about $3 million from a projected $13-million deficit for the budget year that ends June 30.

And some of the comments on the thread about teachers working UNPAID are just demoralizing. It's like we don't value teachers as a society but in reading the comments, it seems as if we're really saying that we don't value working with kids. I'm not sure which we value less as a society, teachers or children, perhaps it's both.

But there is something you can do. Well, at least if you live in the DC area. You can join the Washington Teachers Union (WTU) in the District for community mobilization. This Saturday, DC Teachers and supporters of teachers are taking to the streets with the teacher's local, and you can join in:

United House of Prayer Charlotte Mission; 1721 7th Street, NW

Apr 25 9:30 am - 12:00 pm

As part of the United For DC Kids campaign, the Washington Teachers Union (WTU), labor and community allies are canvassing local neighborhoods to support teachers and improve the quality of education for children in DC public schools. “When we stand in support of the teachers who work in our public schools, we’re helping our children succeed,” says the WTU. “Please join us for a neighborhood walk and show your support for DC teachers by canvassing our community.” Lunch will be provided; email to RSVP or click here to download an event flyer.

You can sign up for updates on the WTU site.

Teachers always get a bad rap. My daughter wants to go to college to become a teacher. She has an affinity for languages and wants to teach Arabic and Japanese, two languages she currently studies in high school. And here I am, wanting to discourage her from doing this because of reports I've just sited. Teachers are so undervalued in this society, but then again, I really think this is more of an issue of not valuing our children and wanting them to have the best possible education. In the end, the arguments against teachers are always that same...I don't want my taxes to go up. Wow, simply wow. Someday, I hope we can value our kids more than the change in our pockets.

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