Saturday, May 09, 2009

Stimulus Disconnect

Stimulus what?This was left in my mailbox at school yesterday. My "stimulus bucks"? Please. I've been at my school for 18 years, and the amount of money and services coming into it for students right now is laughable, compared to just a few years ago. Just where are these stimulus bucks, who is getting them, and what are they for? Does anybody really understand what is happening in US schools right now?

The Letter Not SentToday I received a special gift: a nonrenewal of my teaching contract in the mail. Here it is. A 28 year teaching veteran, I am one of 3,300 teachers in Seattle getting this. I am being offered a new contract for less money. I have 10 days to appeal this. Believe it or not, my state has a collective bargaining agreement. My union negotiates our contracts with the school district. Or so I thought.

It is the weekend, of course, so it's a great time have this happen... less media coverage and all that. The bare bones of the breaking story were here and here. Much has happened in the past few hours. My union told me the letter was coming. The district denied that it was mailed. It arrived today. I will try to add updates here. Here's the latest.

What a very sad drama in Seattle for teachers and their students. The disconnect is bizarre. It becomes so difficult to teach with enthusiasm, energy, and passion.


Doug Noon said...

The questions about what the stimulus money is going to do are important to ask. We'll soon see. Our unions need to get actively involved - as your situation clearly indicates.

Cla said...

Mark; Events like this, wherever they occur around the world, continue to amaze me. We hear so much about the importance of education and creativity, and yet people involved in the process of education continue to be treated poorly. I am amazed at the disconnect in this thinking. The process absolutely needs to succeed in order for nations to be function, yet those who are the linchpin in the process are ignored. Stay well.


Clarence Fisher said...

My contact info was cut off on that last comment.

Mark Ahlness said...

Doug and Clarence,
Thanks for your notes. As for the situation in Seattle, I close my eyes and try to visualize the tunes hummed around my union HQ water coolers to be Woody Guthrie classics. I really do.