It's been a very, very long time since I last posted. I've been slacking, and I really don't have much of an excuse. I do have plenty to say, however.
Has anyone else noticed that in these tough times, we are scrimping on the things that matter most, the things that we shouldn't be scrimping on? My children's school system has to cut between $23-$33 MILLION dollars from its budget for the 2009-2010 school yr. Now, maybe I'm wrong here, but it seems to me that leaving the next generation sorely undereducated or even UNeducated is NOT the way to solve this economic crisis. How are my children ever to have a chance to do better than me if their education isn't as good as mine? I am seriously considering homeschooling, depending on the cuts they decide to make, in order to be sure my children get a halfway decent education.
Our school district has cut 522 teachers. 522 teachers that are now jobless. Only 4 of them at my children's school, but one of them is J's Pre-K teacher. Granted, he'll have her thru the end of the yr, but still. She'll be out of a job, and just like me and everyone else out there, she has a home, a child, and bills to take care of. There will now be classrooms with more kids in them, leading to a less than stellar education. They keep insisting that "we will still be within regulations regarding class size." Well, whoop-de-doo. You can drive 55 and still be within the legal speed limit, but does that mean it's always best to drive 55? Of course not.
C struggles with math. He's apparently inherited my sorry math skills. I am very concerned that he will suffer greatly from these cuts, since the loss of teachers is not the only change that will be made. We don't know what else they are going to do yet. It's a waiting game right now, as is everything else.
Right now, C gets extra help in the classroom for his math issues. But that's because there's an assistant in the classroom. Will there be one next yr? Or will my son just be expected to either figure it out on his own or fail?
Yet, in all this discussion of "what can we cut?", no one is suggesting FCAT. All this No Child Left Behind crap, and what is it really doing? Well, I'll tell you this: it's not doing what they claim it does, or should. I see my son being taught stuff that has absolutely no real bearing on life, but it must be learned because it's on some stupid test that even the people who administrate it can't pass. They won't admit that, but seriously, if they took the test, I'm sure that probably 90% of the school board members, government and everyone else involved in the creation of this ridiculous "program" couldn't pass it.
Cutting education budgets is a mistake. I've always tried to be an optimistic person, not all gloom and doom. But I don't see any possible way that these cuts will NOT lead to bad things. Crime and drug use will rise as these kids get older. My kids will miss out on things that I had when I was a child, and while I will admit that I was slightly spoiled, it's just not right. There is supposed to be that...expectation that the next generation will do better than the one before it. Better money, better home, education, job, on and on down the line. Well, so far, what little I had that was better than my parents has been taken away from me. And my own children, at least the way it looks right now, will never have anything better than me. They'll be lucky to have things as good as I did.
I was laid off last May, and I still have no job. There are no jobs around here. What few there are, have their pick of candidates. I'm stuck in a limbo where people who are better educated than me are taking my jobs, but I can't get a job in a lesser position because I'm "overqualified, and we're not going to train you just to have you leave when something better comes along." I've got a family to support, I don't want to work at Target or Walgreens, but if they'd give me a damn job, I'd be grateful and I damn sure wouldn't be going anywhere any time soon.
My kids love the extra time with me, we have more time to work on homework, to play games, watch movies, play outside and just be together. And I won't deny I enjoy it, too. But at the same time, it's a major problem too. It would appear that I may end up having to give up my house. Things have just reached the point where it's not feasible to keep it anymore. This breaks my heart in so many ways. This house is my dream, it was my goal for so long, and I swore once I had it, I would never leave. It's the first home that both my kids could call theirs. I feel as though I am letting them down, that I have failed them. I haven't told them yet. And frankly, I don't know that they'll really care. We'll have to move back in with my parents, if we have to give the house up, which my kids would actually like, so they've told me. But that doesn't eliminate my feelings of guilt and failure.
My mother told me that she thought I was not a very materialistic person, and I'm not. But a home...it's not just a possession. It's security, it's comfort, familiarity, it's the one thing that should be constant, that you know no matter what else is happening or changing, home is always there. Losing a house is not just losing a material possession. It's like losing all that security, comfort, the consistency.
I know there are countless others out there that are going thru the same situation. We are not the only ones. But that knowledge does not make the situation any easier.
Everything is so screwed up. Let's hope it gets better soon.