By Larry Statler
California education has just been slapped with debilitating cuts due to a 14 billion dollar deficit. As you might expect, special education has been spotlighted as one of the major problems because huge portions of the general fund are being diverted to pay for under-funded special education services.
Visual and performing arts are already decimated and class size reduction will probably become a thing of the past. Silicon Valley businesses are clamoring for a highly trained work force well versed in math and science while teachers are instructed to forego these subjects and concentrate on reading. The high school graduation rate is plummeting and newspapers are demanding to know why even though graduation requirements and exit tests have shut out any hope of graduating for many of our students. Our newer teachers are leaving the area in droves because of the extremely high cost of living and low starting salaries. Compound this with ever increasing credentialing demands and the road to becoming and remaining a teacher are perilous to say the least.
Although every state and every district may be faced with somewhat different problems, I am sure the feeling of being overwhelmed is pervasive for new and experienced teachers alike. How to cope with all of this might be a good topic for discussion.