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.