Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Here in the real world


Last night was the school board budget meeting for our district and I went along with C and a few of the other teachers. Times are hard everywhere. It wasn't a pretty sight, seeing the deep cuts in already minimal programs.

The librarian from the middle school was there, I have always liked her. I have often seen her in the community doing things with her daughter, often at the ski mountain and one time in Portland at a Crosby, Stills and Nash concert. When my youngest was at the middle school--not much of a reader but with a budding interest in climbing--she found him a book (which he actually read) about a 15 year old boy who climbed on Mt. Everest. I think that is what librarians are supposed to do--help people discover books as vehicles for the imagination or as tools for discovery. Her job was cut. Times must be very hard for a middle school, whose very population is at a crux where a good book could make all the difference, to cut a librarian.

Gas went up 13 cents a gallon while we were gone and a new property tax estimate increased our property tax by $600 a year--and still it hurts to lose a librarian at the middle school.

14 comments:

TheElementary said...

"where a good book could make all the difference, to cut a librarian."
That's heartbreaking.
I'm glad you wrote about this so we can all see what's happening slowly but surely. Your last line shows just what a thoughtful person you are, even though you have your own troubles. I'm sure she'd be glad to know she made a difference in someone's life.

Beth said...

what is happening is frightening, we are cutting off our nose to spite our face or so to say. I would rather my taxes went up another $100 per year than lose resources that would help our children.

Elizabeth said...

You and C must be feeling some whiplash today...suddenly snatched up from central Chile and plunked back into the quotidian life and troubles of rural Maine. I join others in thanking for you the interesting travelogue and photos, which John and I have followed with great interest. Glad to have you back safely! (Oh, and if you two go to Chile for a year, can we come for a visit?!)

Beth said...

Elizabeth, thank you and yes, the guest room in the hacienda will always be available for you all

Weather Boy said...

"I would rather my taxes went up another $100 per year than lose resources that would help our children."

Hear, hear! And I'm not just agreeing because I'm a teacher at that school. All these people who complain about the quality of services but aren't willing to pay for them really bother me.

Furthermore, if we don't pay for it on this end, we'll pay for it on the correctional facilities end.

Beth said...

I think a lot of people feel like we do, Weather Boy, but the school board doesn't seem to know it--maybe I'm wrong, but they didn't even want to entertain the notion of going to the public and asking.

Terra Hangen said...

This librarian thanks you for your kind words. Finding just the right book to tempt a reluctant reader can be life changing for them.
terragarden.blogspot.com

rach :) said...

Oh, the school board knows some people share our view of getting what you pay for, because I have said it many times before. They just don't believe there are enough of us to make a difference against those rallying for always lower taxes. Any ideas on how to get more than just those of us working (or married to someone) in education saying so publicly?

katie said...

The district I work for (right down the road) suggested we cut a librarian last year and we rallied. Teachers, students, and especially parents can make a difference and change the minds of board memebers. Of course in the end, our board still felt the need to cut money from the budget and we lost a number of Ed Techs. I agree, that these are sad times for public education.

SJ said...

I think that you have struck upon a whole new topic for an entirely separate blog. Schools are in a tough place right now, and it will only make the future more difficult when these students get out into the real world.

Jayne said...

We are going through the same things here Beth. Our school system was in the middle of building a new high school, but with the increase cost of everything, it's over budget and so now teaching positions will suffer next year. So sad.

Thomas F. Ryan said...

Beth, I used to live in the 'real world' before moving north. As you know, while in the real world, I published a journal about the comings and goings of Newburyport, particurly the political comings and goings.

Cuts to valued departments and of valued employees or positions always maddened me. But it is something everyone is going through.

After having a front row seat on these occurences on a daily basis for a dozen years it has been such a pleasure to get out of that world and into this dream world of trees and mountains and streams.

I feel your pain, I think we all do. And we also feel your frustration.

Larry said...

The average working people of the world are really hurting right now. It's a shame we have to deal with this kind of stuff.

Kathiesbirds said...

School budget cuts are happening here in Tucson also. When will we learn that our schoolls are our most precious resource and the future of our Nation. They should be the one place we are investing IN instead of cutting money from!