Friday, May 1, 2009

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS WEEK



The photo above is from the Concord Transcript on 4/30. You can see Nancy and James. If you view the photo, you can also read what they had to say about our demonstrations. Thank you CC Times and Concord Transcript.
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United States Senator Barbara Boxer sent a personalized response to a letter written to her about the situation here in the MDUSD. She acknowledged the efforts here and assured us that she will keep our views in mind when law makers are discussing this issue.
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Our very own Tom Henneberry (Mr. T) submitted the following letter to CC Times which was published. Great job Tom!


As a concerned parent of two boys educated in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District, I am appalled at the budget cuts imposed on the districts' teachers and other staff.

These cuts have distressed teachers and parents. It seems teachers have become the scapegoats for the failed policies of the state government.

Every teacher, student and staff member deserve all the support our community can muster in voting yes on Measure D in May.

The budget cuts deny our students a quality education, and undermine the dedicated work of the educators providing it. This penny-wise, pound-foolish philosophy has to stop.

Our elected officials must get their priorities straight for the future of our country, which rests in the hands of our children. Wholesale staff reductions and larger class sizes do not provide a solution.

Teachers ask only for a fair shake — for the opportunity to earn a living wage — and to create a positive environment for their students.

With public school education in crisis, it is time to draw a line in the sand. It is vital that we restore this institution to its rightful place in our society, and stop the shortsightedness before it is too late.

Tom Henneberry

15 comments:

Denise said...

I wanted to thank everyone who came out again today. Thank you all for your support!! It was great to see families of staff join us as well.

Tom - I thought you put it all very well in your letter to the editor. - GOOD JOB!!

I am so proud to be part of a great school and such an incredible staff!! El Dorado Rocks!!!

Becka M. said...

Wow Tom, well said. Thanks for the support. You, as a parent and a colleague, can show the position of those "in the know" of our profession. As with all things people don't have personal hands-on experience with, it is hard to measure the scope of a systematic decision. But you have the unique view on this that should be considered extremely insightful. Thank you again for your support and for your service at our site. We appreciate you.

Concerned Community Member said...

Glad to see you guys are in contact with law makers. Is the capitol trip scheduled yet?

Becka said...

We don't have a date yet for our trip to Sacramento but expect to hear of one soon. The students at EDMS have been writing some pretty amazing letters to both state and federal law makers and are eager to have them delivered. We are planning on having a few of them video taped reading their letters. When we do, I will post it on the site. Thanks for the interest. We are definitely excited about it too!

Wendy M said...

We just video taped letter reading on Friday. I should have the DVD Monday for viewing

Tom said...

To Becka, Roy, Denise, James, Nancy, Ann, Lisa, Wendy and everyone fighting the good fight at EDMS, you are to be commended for all your dedicated efforts. It is time for the orphan to come in from the storm - to be given a minimum daily requirement of sustenance - so that it may grow and flourish. Since there is a sea change swirling around us in America today, perhaps, someday soon, our government will recognize the vital need for a healthy public education system, so that it can be restored to its rightful place in our society. Thanks to Becka and Denise for the kind words. Take care,

Tom

Roy Cuizon said...

Tom,

You have a powerful way with words. Very influential. Reminds me of journalists and photographers from back in the day. Wait...you are one of those individuals.

One of the few that was able to photograph the Beatles arriving to SF during the British Invasion. Having your insight and knowledge of "takin' it to the streets" is invaluable.

Thank you for your support!

James said...

Tom,

I agree with Roy - you have a powerful way with words. Thank you once again for putting it so eloquently. Hope you are feeling better.

Denise said...

That last comment was from Denise..

Anonymous said...

I was a Mt. D. Mom of 2 kids; now I am a grandma of 2 more in the district. None of us want/need to pay higher taxes - however, if we don't join together and help our schools, the consequences for our kids and families will be far greater than any increased taxes - and, will ultimately cost us all more.

Anonymous said...

Great point! It is a step in the right direction. It is about investing in schools.

Denise said...

I understand the above concerns and appreciate the willingness to take a step in the right direction. It is an investment in not only our schools but in our children, their future and ultimately our future.

Shirley Aiello said...

I am really concerned. I have been at EDMS for about 15 years. During that time, I have seen our school train new teachers, giving them support and sending them to workshops only to have them leave to take that training elsewhere. Finally, we have teachers who are working hard to insure that our students are receiving the education that they deserve only to have the district sending our teachers aways without jobs, or sending them elsewhere. While it is true that our numbers will be replaced with employees of the district who have been involuntarily transfered from elsewhere in the district, they will be unhappy to leave their schools and their students and will resent being here. I can truly say that I love El Dorado and it's students. This is where I want to be. I want to see The staff happy and secure in their positions so they can give their time, attention, and energy to their students.

Roy Cuizon said...

Well stated Shirley!

Anonymous said...

When the board approves the layoffs tonight, will the teachers be informed asap? Or, do they have to wait until the weekend? It seems to make sense, that if they vote on it tonight, they should just let teachers know right away. This game they play with real jobs and real lives, is uncalled for. This cycle HAS TO STOP! Year after year, the message this sends is that- it is OK to do this to teachers and school staff. When did that become right??? If enough people stood up against it, systemic change may occur.