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RE: Curious about other states... long reply soap box

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From: Berg, Renee (Renee.Berg_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Mar 17 2002 - 16:45:52 PST


Larry, I'm about to step on my soap box, forgive me. Over the last 5 years
we have watched our class sizes get bigger. Friends who have taught 15-20
years get axed due to cuts, programs cuts. There is nothing left to cut
without drastically altering the quality of education we give our kids. My
husband and I have taught for 15 years in South Dakota. We thought about and
I guess are still looking for jobs in other states. But the more we look at
other states, it is not just our state that is in sad shape. It is America.
Politicians and Citizens of America need to see the importance of a good
education or our society will start crumble. Our state has no state tax,
people want everything for free. Local Property tax pays for a lot. Until
people are ready to pay for quality education and something is done at a
national or state government level, our kids are getting it in the shorts.
 I have been told as an art teacher over the last few years, I might get
cut. If I lived my life always wondering if I was going to get cut, it
wouldn't be much of a life. I've moved on and prayed that God will provide.
Live your life, buy that house and be the best darn teacher God wants you to
be. Thanks for letting me spout off.
Renee Berg
6th,7th Art and 8th grade Art Tech
Mitchell Public Schools
Mitchell, SD
http://teachers.k12.sd.us/rb043

-----Original Message-----
From: Larry Seiler [mailto:lseiler@laona.k12.wi.us]
Sent: Sunday, March 17, 2002 9:17 AM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: Curious about the state of other States?

Since September 11th...Wisconsin government and regional news has spoke of
hardly anything else except budget shortfalls, cut backs...local governments
picking up slack, etc., Quite a few school districts have been laying off
teaching staff, ten here...12 there, etc;

Looking ahead and contemplating with simple reason, I would guess education
is going to be going through some major overhauling. The University of
Wisconsin systems are only allowing 25 to 30 students at the most enter
education at their individual campuses each year. When the boomer
retirement hits big in several years...there is going to be a major
shortfall of available staff. Perhaps that will be quite the open
market...though some are predicting that technology might step forward with
more virtual/interactive learning made necessary.

This is my tenuring year, and as contracts and notices go...I'm back again
next year. My wife and I patiently waited to begin the process of looking
for a house of our own until after this year. However, living in a small
rural logging community in NE Wisconsin...I'm now beginning to wonder if its
smart to buy a house. On one hand with less to lose, (not owning a house),
I might be making myself more a target to be let go simply whereas other
teachers indebt with a mortgage might get more consideration/empathy. Then,
of course...there's still the likelihood that because we teach a nonacademic
that has no supposed legitimacy with state and federal testings of
students...I could be cut or cut to part time anyway. We have funding for
next year, but the superintendent is predicting the year following is up in
the air with some cuts likely.

Just curious though...what the climate, temperment...social conditions are
for art teachers throughout the country with all that's going on? Budget
shortfalls, cuts... How many are concerned about possible lay-off's,
etc.,???

Larry

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