Sunday, June 7, 2009 | What good news! Our public schools are not going to have to face as dire cuts as had been expected. However, there are some scary contradictions. For years we have been told that educationally-challenged schools needed experienced teachers, but to save money we are giving a “Golden Handshake” to experienced teachers. Their salaries are too high up on the pay scale; new teachers just out of college will replace them.

These new teachers are going to need help from counselors, librarians, school nurses, security personnel, and clerical staff or they will be unsuccessful in the classroom and soon drop out of teaching. Speaking as a former teacher, I know that if I had not had support staff backing me up, I would have had to spend so much time on non-teaching staffs that many of my students would not have learned to their capacity.

When will California learn that our state’s students deserve better schools than our state is willing to pay for? We’d rather put our tax dollars into prisons, rehab centers, welfare even though they are much more expensive that good public schools. But we will pay even more than that. A strong state economy requires a well educated population. Otherwise we will no longer be competitive with the other large states in our nation, much less in the wold economy.

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