I too want to respond to Mike's questions, but at the same time, it is my understanding that Calif is in an especially bad sitauion right now and perhaps some teachers form that state can fill us in more precisely as to what is going on there.
It is true that this is a cyclical aspect of our worlds, and that for the rest of your career in Art, you will be working to prove just how valuable your program is. IMHO, one thing which helps is getting some years in a place under your belt, as I think it does increase your credibility. I also have had the experience that people are so pleasantly surprised when Art teachers do other things well (lead committees, write curriculum, speak publicly, teach other areas, organize events, run extra-curriculars, etc.) on top of everything else we do well that no one has a clue about. It's like they just don't think we have any grey matter.
Back to the Calif situation....it is my understanding that the state has basically renigged on their state aid for this current year. Is that accurate? With Prop 13 in place, the schools are especially dependant on this aid. I realize every state is in a dire straits when it comes to $, but this seems especially harrowing. My sympathy to those of you holding your breath over being pinked. I went through that many years ago and remember the heartache it involved. My thoughts & prayers are with each of you.
So Bunki, Ken, Kathy, or anyone out there, comments, please....