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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Effects of the Economic Recession on Education

I recently respond to a post by a colleague who was very concern about recent economic events and the effect on our educators. Here is his post.

We all know that the current condition of our economy has seriously effected educators. Our own district is feeling the crunch. However, famed economic guru, William Buffet, stated that he feels the economy is on its way to a strong recovery and that everything will be better shortly. What does this "strong recovery" mean to an educator? Our salaries and everything we do in the district is funded by property tax dollars, so unless this strong recovery equates to a property tax increase, how is this going to help us? Unless this strong recovery means that our health care costs are going down (they won't) or the price of a gallon of gasoline goes down (it won't), we are still going to be in the same sad situation we are now. I know that I am probably missing something, so please chime in and tell me that there is hope. Thoughts?

My response was
Clay, hard times ignites great minds (survival mode kicks in). Do we stop teaching because there is no budget? At the present rate no matter what you do something is going to give.
When the price of gas goes out of reach we just put our feet to the pedal (ride a bike) or put our feet to the pavement (walk). When the price of food gets so high then we un-concrete our yards and plant our own seeds. I presented to a group of my Physical Education peers about operating with little or know budget. The title of the presentation was "So you have know budget". I brought to the table this idea, what games and activities did you participate in when you were a child that required no money? Does anyone remember stick ball? Does anyone remember kick the can? Does anyone remember how to play marbles? Does anyone remember how to play Skully? Does anyone remember Hop scotch? Do you remember how to put together a downhill racer using an discarded ironing board, baby carriage and milk crate? The more resourceful people thought of or remembered to add a breaking system before they got half way down the hill or your wore out your last pair of tennis shoes slowing down before jumping off. :) All low or no budget activities. Jump rope required a clothes line that lost its usefull-ness as a clothes line. Rising health care costs would force us to rethink what we ingest. Am I still on topic or am I meddling?

Our own district is feeling the crunch for many reasons a down economy, unwise or under the table spending ventures, leadership on several levels that has been under investigation for the last 10 - 15 years, oops did I say that?

Do we still teach? In light of what our economic condition, what do we teach? How do we teach?

Remember Y2K did anyone really believe that at the stroke of midnight all the bank vaults would open up and planes would fall out of the sky? I had faith in the basic greed I mean resourcefulness of mankind to think of or work through that problem.

If I seem a little cynical please forgive me. But I think we need to get around the no money excuse for not doing what we are passionate about. Yes the job would be a lot easier if there were no money problems but which one of us is in it for the money? So the way is hard and at times bleak, but this may mean a total rethink about our present system. Educators live on the border of genius or for the most part actually are geniuses (I hope I spelled that word right). Especially working through the system of testing, testing and more testing and actually seeing students learning in spite of that now how does that occur I wonder.

So Clay is it darkest before the dawn or darkest before the fall into oblivion? Real cheesy isn't it but it works for now.
Did I stick to the topic about economics? Would this be rated 1,2,3, 4 or 5 writing score? :/

How about you do you have any thoughts on the subject?

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