Saturday, March 21, 2009

PINK FRIDAY HITS EL DORADO

On March 13th, around the state, teachers and other school staff were given notice that their services may not be needed in the 2009 - 2010 school year. Here in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District, over 600 pink slips were issued. These layoff notices hit the mailboxes of 43% of EDMS staff. The scope of these cuts is wide-spread; we could potentially lose teachers, custodians, campus supervisors, administrators and our librarian. And the cuts have not stopped! Some of those affected here at El Dorado have been serving our school and community for over 10 years. These people are not only qualified and dedicated educators and professionals, but the heart and soul of our school.

It is easy to feel helpless and discouraged in the face of uncertainty. Our district is having to cut millions of dollars from the budget and these cuts keep getting deeper each day. This is going to seriously effect the quality of education the children of our community will receive.

Not only as educators, but as members of this very community ourselves, we can't just sit idly by and watch schools take this kind of hit without a fight. We care about our school, our colleagues, and especially our students too much for that! It is for all of these people that we have joined together to do what we can to slow the bleeding.

Here's where you can help:
There is a measure on the ballot for the upcoming election on May 19th that will provide 7 million dollars a year to our district. This help comes in the form of a parcel tax of $99/year. These funds would be used to reverse some devastating program and personnel cuts. We are reaching out to our community to VOTE YES ON MEASURE D and save our schools!

20 comments:

Roy Cuizon said...

It is crazy to see how many people received layoff notices just in our district. According to the Contra Costa Times, the board expects to approve layoff notices for more classified employees on March 24 and April 7. Wow!

Julie said...

You have my vote!

Becka said...

Scary times. The wait and see game is a hard one to play. It's an impossible position to be in; we don't know if we should end the year writing our syllabi for the first week of school or packing up our rooms. And we won't know. Not any time soon at least. Not on May 15th when the 45 day notices go out... Not when we get whatever part of the stimulus package comes trickling down... Not even after the May 19th election. So we wait, and hope - and VOTE!

Denise said...

Becka - I completely agree with what you said. It is such a scary time right now and the wait and see part of it is incredibly stressful on our staff. There are many in the same situation around our state. I feel so lucky to be part of a community who is willing to stand up fight for the our students. It will be a while before we have confirmation about our jobs for next year and I don't even know how to explain to the general public the way this affects our families and our schools. You are right- for now we wait, and hope and vote - BUT - we also Fight the cuts and Fight for our students. I know that our community will do everything in it's power to improve our situation. These are our kids - they are our future - they are worth it!

Denise Hood

bedessien said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bedessien said...

These are very scary times. 43% of our staff affected, truly affects 100% of our staff and community. We are in a state of limbo, yet we continue to come to work every day with smiles on our faces. We continue to remain strong for our students. This is our livelihood.

Anonymous said...

My professors at Cal were shocked to hear of the magnitude of cuts happening at a time when we are in dire need of vamping up education so that we all can compete in a global economy. President Obama himself asked his constituents to take it upon themselves to go back to school and obtain a higher level of education. Therefore, it is our DUTY to make sure that the public education system does not become eviscerated by those who do not see its value!

Anonymous said...

This is a really scary time we are in right now. I just thought this would never happen to me, but when I got that packet in the mail my heart sank and I really didn't know what to do from there. I can't help but think about the ramifications of our declining educational system and its impact on our society. For example, crime rate increasing, high school drop-out rate increasing...all these issues snowball other issues and it scares me. It scares me to think about having 40 kids in one classroom smashed in like sardines trying to learn how to write a response to literature. It seems like the end of things, but I know something good has to come out of it. I know that I feel more camaraderie between our staff. It's a double edged sword because it's great that our staff and community are coming together, but something negative like getting pink slips was the catalyst.

nancy said...

Yes Becka, Now we VOTE. Maybe we need more signs simply stating VOTE ON MAY 19TH.
YES ON MEASURE D.

Anonymous said...

I agree Nancy- More posters that are to the point and are easy for traffic to read.

Roy said...

Great suggestions! The sign making location last week is where we are meeting this week to change and make new signs. Same time-

Shirley said...

My concerns is that the students are getting a crazy idea of what this profession is all about. The students support the teachers, but when you hear them talk, they think it is all about either the STAR scores or money. I love teaching because I value education. I know this opinion in shared by most of my colleques. Remember when you are picketing, it is to save education, the kids, and jobs of all those who love the profession.

Japanese Rambo said...

We are not expendable.

Anonymous said...

They drew first blood...

Roy said...

Shirley,
Great points!

Barb said...

Hey Roy and Becka,
I am so glad that you guys organized this. Three cheers for you! I even think we should do it two times a week. Our schools have been understaffed for awhile now and if we lose even more, we may as well close the doors. It is a major matter of safty for our children. We can't let that happen! If we put our children first we wouldn't have to have so many prisons. Our children are our future and we need to invest in them and support them and guide them. I've been at El Dorado for almost ten years. I love our kids and couldn't ask for a better bunch of people to work with. Your all definatly like family and we all have to stick together and make this work.
Thanks again guys and please let me know what I can do to help.
Barb, Para-educator, El Dorado :)

Roy said...

Thanks Barb! So many people, too many to count, pitch in to help. It is the only way this could work. So, the real thanks goes to edms-

Shirley Aiello said...

First of all, thank you Roy for all of your organizational skills. Thank you also to all those who are picketing peacefully. The morale is low, but I have been impressed by how much everyone is supporting one another. Keep up the good work, and see you out there on Friday!
Shirley

Roy said...

Shirley,
Thanks for emphasizing that we are picketing peacefully! Everyone pitches in to make this happen.

Denise said...

Remember Everyone to come out and show your support once again tomorrow from 7:30 - 8:00!! See you there!!