Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Budget woes

Today the proposed state budget came out. Looks like a lot of cuts, including, of course, education. This means schools, which means teachers, which may well mean me. I'm writing this in immediate response to this and the warning from my principal that cuts would be, in his words, "unprecedented". So while I've had to deal with this for the past four years, this year feels different for a number of reasons.

We all knew this was coming. Last year the school district barely squeaked by because we managed to raise taxes just enough to cover the deficit in spending. But now the governor has proposed a cap on how much to raise taxes...and I can't blame him. The state can't keep taxing everyone to death because it's so screwed up financially that the only way out is to gouge its citizens. I live in the county with the highest taxes in the COUNTRY. Don't think I don't know. Frustration just boils through, that it always seems as though education gets cut first instead of reorganizing and trimming fat from places we damn well know could lose some. Or a lot.

I'm scared. Being 34, a mom, and jobless doesn't fit well with my mental picture of my life. I know I'll land on my feet, but my position is at best precarious. I've played this game of Survivor and stayed on the island, to stretch the metaphor, so far. However, I've never had so much at stake before. We have a child coming, and I can't afford not to work. Yes, I'll find something--I'm qualified and have good references. T will get another job if he has to. But I don't mind expressing that the meantime doesn't feel good at all.

I will try very hard to work on what I can control. I've updated my resume. I'll stay calm. No more extraneous purchases. Keep baby healthy in utero. Particularly, I can focus on the rest of this school year and making damned sure I give those students everything I've got. Best of all, I'm not in any way in this alone. I have a wonderful support system in my husband, family, and friends, and we will come out of this.

I just have to remember that.


jules said...

There is nothing easy about this picture, so I won't pretend to say "everything will be alright," but know that I meant everything I said yesterday. You deserve so much more. And you've got a great ally/reference here if you need one.

Strongmama said...

It sucks, and it won't be easy, but I am pretty sure there will be much more joy in your life than worry.

The school district that J is supposed to start in next fall is short 74 million dollars because of cuts in state aid. They only thought it was going to be 10 million at first. Whoops. It's hard for everyone out there, which doesn't make it easier, I know.

Focus on the good for now and wait to see what happens. There is very little you can control right now except for being as calm and collected as you can! Hugs.

Wonderland said...

You are very brave and smart. I'm glad I know you :)