I have been following another teacher’s blog, an art teacher in Arkansas. Just as with so many other teachers out there, she too is having a bit of an upset with what and where she will be teaching. She, at least, still has a job; as we know there are so many who have been pink-slipped and then given final notice. Here is a quote from her blog:
…my job is changing next year. I will no longer be the art teacher in my building. It’s tough to give that one up. I have really enjoyed these last three years of teaching art to grades 3-6. There are four of us who are instructional facilitators in our two buildings, primary and elementary. Two are math facilitators. The other two of us have been half art teachers and half literacy facilitators. Well, the new administration decided that wasn’t working, so we were told that three of us would be kept on as facilitators and one would have to choose another open position. The other art/literacy person decided to take the art job. She will be teaching 29 classes per week over seven grade levels in two buildings. I didn’t want such a strict schedule. She will barely have time to pee each day! So, although I will really miss teaching art (really miss it!), I will be full time facilitator next year.
After reading this post, I commented about the way my district is handling things this year:
I am assuming you work for a school district that did not offer buyouts for their employees? Only reshuffling of positions? My district offered veteran teachers a full year’s salary if they would retire this year. Instead of the usual 200 who would retire, there are closer to 600 who took the deal this year.
One of the commenters left this message:
Wow, what kind of school district has 600 people retiring?! Our whole district only has 70 teachers TOTAL.
That made me smile. The district for whom I worked for 21 years is the biggest employer in our city, after the IRS which has an outpost here for the west coast tax collection. There are over 10,000 employees for about 76,000 students in this big district, the fourth largest in the state. I have honestly lost count of the number of schools, but I think it’s 110.
Budget woes have caused the district to scramble to find a way to cut costs, like $71 million. Getting rid of veteran employees who have high salaries is the easiest. Teachers with the district for over 20 years are making about $70,000. With benefits hitting $17,000 for each employee, you can see that it would be cost efficient to hire two new teachers at $35,000. More bang for the buck.
The inner city high school where I taught all those years has 20 staff retiring this year. A few others have been shuffled, sort of like the art teacher in Arkansas, to other positions at other schools. Next year will be interesting, to say the least.