As tough economic times continue throughout the state of California, educators are being relieved of their duties at alarming numbers. One newspaper article titled Modesto parents, students, lose chance to fight for their teachers, explains the importance of those who are educating our youth, while another titled Budget cuts more painful at inner-city schools, demonstrates the need to address the issues of inner-city schools.
Educators play an integral role in the development of children throughout their childhood. According to the Modesto Bee, Jaden Brown is empathically caught up in the decision to remove 91 educators from Modesto city schools. Jaden organizes car washes, walks her neighbor’s dog, and even bakes cookies to sell in hopes of saving an educator’s valuable job from a Modesto school. While this is a feat to pull off as an adult, it is more impressive that Jaden Brown is nine years old, and the teacher she is trying to save is her own. While budget cuts are required, many argued the lay-offs were incorrectly implemented.
While some educators are more valuable to children due to their experience, some who do not have the experience of a twenty-year educator are successful in their endeavor. The justification that the district gave to keep some educators over others was strictly based on seniority and not the ability of the educator. In Modesto, there were instances of educators having the skill and experience needed to successfully perform at the level required, losing their job due to seniority. Administrators argue that this is a fair means of dealing with a dark situation in times where fiscal uncertainty is the only certainty.
From an administrator’s point of view, reducing staff size, by eliminating those who are “lowest on the totem pole”, seems to be the best method of leaving the tenured educators in their positions to educate our youth. The only flaw with this model is the fact that there are educators who are more skilled, albeit lacking experience, than those with tenure. Administrators are tasked with an unbelievable difficult job of preserving the best and brightest for the future of our children. While administrators deal with the bureaucracies of education, those working on the front lines, the teachers, are those hit hardest.
A fifth grade elementary teacher from Mendota Heights School District in Minnesota moved away from what she loved. She hoped to find another teaching opportunity in California to help our budding youth reach their full potential; this was three years ago. Three years of searching for an opportunity to continue what you love to do, is heart wrenching. This is one of the many cases of an educator not able to improve the lives of youth around the state. Due to the budget cuts, educators are left no choice but to find other work in other areas. This reduces the availability of those willing and able to mold our children into the future leaders of this country. Without this mold, children, as indicated within the inner city school districts of Los Angeles, will be more tempted to lead a life of crime and violence than one of innovation and intellect.