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Our View: Season of the pink slip upon us

March 08, 2011|Imperial Valley Press

Per state law, the season of the pink slip has begun in earnest. The numbers and variety of those being slated for layoff are dizzying, as they have been for the last few years.

But the fact remains that some of those pink slipped won’t lose their jobs. That’s the shell game in this process of fearing the worst and hoping for the best.

The best, however, isn’t much better than the worst in this state and won’t be for some years. For all the big talk in Sacramento of leaving education whole, the most felt cuts always seem to happen to the institutions of learning. It’s a hurtful proposition for our children and their education.

This begs the question — should something be done differently to make sure the hits are felt somewhere in the school besides the classroom?

The modern education system seems to be built around an awful lot of chiefs for a disproportionately small number of braves. You see it today like you didn’t 20 or 30 years ago.

The teachers are in the trenches, spending more time with our children on a daily basis than many of us parents do. It’s the nature of the need to educate a child and for us to provide for a family. Teachers should be among the last to face the meat grinder of doing more with less.

The number of administrators that now line the offices of California campuses feels top-heavy, as if the whole school will fall over on its sides.

That doesn’t mean you restore balance by laying off the chiefs. But if getting them back in the classroom and out from behind a stack of paperwork will reduce the classroom size, make more individualized attention for our children and a better education, that’s better for all involved.

There is a basic mission in public education — to prepare and, yes, educate, our children — that seems to get lost in all the talk about spending cuts, pink slips and the like.

Maybe it’s time to think about going backward rather than forward in some ways, when an entire student body needed only a principal and a couple of assistants, rather than a cadre of assistant V.P.s of this and that.

THE ISSUE:

Pink slips are coming fast and furiously.

WE SAY:

Maybe it’s time to think differently about who we move around or eliminate.

WHAT DO YOU SAY?

Send us your thoughts on this topic at www.ivpressonline.com/letterstotheeditor

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