I read the paper a lot in my office and for the past two years, I’ve been following the on-going onslaught of budget cuts that have come directly from the Governor’s office. I hope no one is really fooled into believing that more than one person is responsible for furlough fridays, because that is entirely untrue. The lead state negotiator in the union talks is the one and only governor and she has instituted some of the most manipulative tactics to push her agenda. Think twice when you read the paper because many times the news you read there comes directly from her publicity agent (yes, she has one) so it’s meant to show her in the best light in the most reprehensible situation.
I’ve heard that one of the most frustrating things that unions have had to deal with during negotiations with her are her negotiation strategies that include, leaking information to the press before bringing it to the table for discussion with the unions.
Right now, you may be thinking, “Isn’t that politics?” And yes, you are right, it is. We’ve seen it and fell for it countless of times, but please remember it isn’t the way it should be, especially when the cost is our children’s education. This will hurt everyone and, if we let her fool us into believing that she’s doing the right thing because it’s cost-effective, we’re beginning the descent into dumbing down the state for our future generations.
Our governor has done a bang up job for the last two years implementing the impossible situation for our state that we are currently in. I remember attending a town meeting and at it, they were talking about the governor needing our libraries and schools to estimate a decrease by 10%, 15%, and 20% budget revision for the following year. Later, the 20% decrease was put into effect and a few months after, furloughs were added to that.
I’ve read some chatter on this subject that deals with the fact that the DOE and BOE signed off on the furloughs, let me first say they signed off on a considerably smaller number than the original request from the governor, which was 36 days a year and a cut in salary for our teachers. I’m not always a fan of the way our educational system is, but I do know if we don’t put value on it, neither will the people that do that job. So we need to remember that this is a problem but the solution is not NOT funding education! It’s making sure that once we get all our kids back into schools on Fridays that we do our best to make sure that the good teachers are the ones that move ahead and the bad . . . well, it’s time to really make sure that the governor never gets an opportunity to make our children’s education a business decision again.
But don’t forget here that the person that caused the problems that we are currently dealing with in terms of our children’s education is the State Negotiator. I know it’s time to move on and to “do the right thing” but the only one who isn’t “doing the right thing” is the Governor. Too bad she just can’t admit that she made an awful decision and concede, instead, she is stubbornly trying to save face over a situation that, nationally, made her look justifiably reprehensible.