Saturday, February 13, 2010

Budget Woes and Eczema

Budget woes...our school system is in trouble. We're needing to cut several million dollars MORE from our budget. That means a possibility of the following occuring for next year:
  • 37 positions being eliminated from the school system. This didn't strike a cord with me until it was brought to my attention that, with the hiring freeze in effect, the school system only hired 37 people last year to replace necessary positions that were vacated. Scary thought for those who were most recently hired. But keep in mind, this may not necessarily mean firing people. The positions could be eliminated by those retiring or leaving for another reason, i.e., moving out of the area, going back to school, etc. I told a co-worker of mine who was stressing that she should not panic until we knew how many people would settle for the early retirement incentives.
  • And that brings us to the next point - early retirement incentives. If we're really struggling with money, how can we offer incentives to those who are 'close enough' to retirement?
  • A 1% salary reduction for all employees. I think it was listed for all employees. I would hope one group would not be singled out over any others. But still...yuck.
  • Furloughs. Yuck, again. I'll be completely honest...I didn't know what this meant until I asked Steve. For anyone else out there who hasn't dealt with this yet, this is when you get unpaid time off. "You don't have to come in next week, but you won't get paid for it, either."
  • These next two really baffle me...forcing the coaches to become volunteers. As a 'retired' coach of, at one time, two sports, there is absolutely no way I would agree to coaching for free. It is exhausting, time consuming, thought consuming work. It is great. I loved it, and I already miss it (resigned last year for several reasons, but that's for another blog...). You build unbelievable relationships with your athletes. But to commit yourself to all that coaching calls for with no compensation, especially when it is not your career, is unfathomable. Most coaches are teachers. That means that they are already swamped with planning lessons, grading, etc. Add the responsibilities of coaching, attending meets, matches, games (whatever your sport is), driving, dinner, babysitting...ugh.
  • And last, elimination of middle and high school sports. Holy. Cow. Aren't we supposed to be producing students who are mens sana in corpore sano? What are the majority of students supposed to do in their free time? How are we to encourage them to make GOOD use of their time and not resort to drugs, violence, sex? What about the nation's increase in childhood obesity? What are we supposed to tell our students to put on their college applications? "Sorry, Harvard...I couldn't play sports because our school couldn't afford it..."

Horrifying to consider. I'll let all this soak in for now.

And, eczema. Or rather, baby eczema. Sydney's face is looking so much better. His beautiful cheeks are smoothing out, again, and the cradle cap is beginning to loosen. However, the rash is now spreading to his tummy, back, and legs. Poor thing. He's teething, he's itchy, and he's now coming down with a cold on top of everything. One step forward, and two steps back...

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