Call to Action – Take Charge of Your Future

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It’s a busy time of year for teachers . . . I’ve been thinking over my blog post for the last couple of days and considering everything that I need to relay to members.  The projects that we are working on are advancing the norms of education.  Education is no longer the “sage on the stage” that it used to be, and our teachers are making ground-breaking advances to teach in the style that today’s students learn.

In a perfect reality, teachers would be able to focus solely on the students and do what we do best . . . educate.  However, we need to also maintain focus on the reality of the world around us.  We need to not only stay connected with the political action going on in Illinois and in the United States, but we also need to make our voices heard.  It is more productive to voice our ideas and relay our wisdom about our profession than it is to try to get a misguided policy reversed after-the-fact.

There are two topics of conversation this week:  the State budget and preparing for negotiations.

Both topics involve a common factor – funding.  It is our responsibility to make our voices heard in this budget crisis.  It seems that legislators try to micromanage education by implementing programs that promote progress.  Unfortunately, when the funding is cut for those programs, or for education in general, it leaves a black hole in education.  Ken Swanson, our IEA president, has urged us to visit the Governor’s Budget Website and add comments – make your voice heard!

Ken Swanson has asked us to flood the Governor’s Budget Website with comments and stories this week, March 1 – 5 in order to influence the Governor’s Budget Address scheduled for March 10.  We are also asked to encourage parents and community members to take a stand for education and add comments to the site.  The State has failed to fully fund the allocated money designated for education in 2009-2010, prompting cuts in several districts around the State.  It is our responsibility to demonstrate how important education is to Illinois.  Present options, opinions, etc. to the Governor to ask that our legislators “walk the walk” when they say that Education is important.  Let’s ask them to Show us they mean what they say – don’t let them cut Education.  Ask that they find a way to fund what our students deserve.

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2 Responses to “Call to Action – Take Charge of Your Future”

  1. piratedjlangley Says:

    Following is the comment I left on the Governor’s Budget Website:

    As legislators prepare to address the budget crisis, I ask that they keep two things in mind. First and foremost, the crisis that Illinois is in now requires both an increase in revenue and a reduction in spending. Illinois is at the stage where it is obvious that taxes must be increased. Legislators need to consider what the right way to solve the problem is – without regard to repercussions at the elections. It is time Illinois accept the reality. Second, with program cuts also inevitable, it is imperative that legislators stand by their conviction to improve education. Currently, the State has underfunded disbursements to most school districts around the state, causing those districts to cut programs and staff. With national Race to the Top programs under way to improve the quality of education that our children receive, the State needs to parallel the US in its efforts to assist educators in providing the education that our children deserve. Our children need to be prepared for not only college, but also for the work force. Cuts in education inevitably affect the education of our children. Legislators need to “walk the walk” and find ways to fund education, proving to our children that education is important.

  2. Jamie Yates Says:

    John,

    Well put. Although I wear the administrator hat I certainly agree that we are all in this together. Also, as a father of a daughter with a disability I find it frightening that our state ranks dead last in the country in funding to support children and adults with disabilities. My fear is that general education is next. You are correct when you say our teacher are making groundbreaking changes. I couldn’t ask for a harder working staff who truly care about children. Change is hard but we are already seeing fantastic benefits from trying new strategies that are required with RtI. PBIS is next and it too should help provide more stability in our ever changing buildings.

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