Okay. Maybe not ME specifically, or really TEACHERS either, but STUDENTS. At least it's a significant stakeholder in education making noise, and not more people who haven't ever walked the walk (but feel FREE to talk the talk).
Did y'all hear about the students who walked out of their high schools in New Jersey today to protest the proposed school budget cuts and potential teacher lay offs? Gov. Christie has proposed massive school budget cuts which would result in the loss of many music, after school, and arts programs or WORSE in some towns. I heard the buzz about the walkout a few days ago. And I'd have to be in a coma to avoid hearing about all this drama on the news. I even heard a commercial this morning (while I was cutting my grapefruit, so wasn't paying super close attention) which mentioned the idea of a "voluntary pay freeze."
WE have to VOLUNTEER for a PAY FREEZE?!? Um, I'm fairly certain that there are SEVERAL government employees in NJ who are making slightly more money than your typical teacher. I'm also fairly certain that these individuals will not be volunteering for a pay freeze, pay cut or pay anything. (Once a d-bag, always a ....)
Friends, we now need to add to our To Do List balancing federal, state and local budgets. Try to squeeze it in somewhere between solving childhood obesity and overcoming the wide reaching effects of poverty. Need to borrow a pen?
Evidently an 18 year old college student, and former New Jersey public school graduate, motivated the movement with a page on Facebook which spread like wildfire via other social media like Twitter and texting.
Gotta love the power of cell phones.
Now I'm not condoning kids walking out of school. Kids belong in school. With their teachers. However, they must have gotten sick of all the finger pointing too. And maybe someone will listen to THEM. (And again, don't want to get into a big debate about unions and all, but at least the kids can speak out for themselves...)
Here's a snip it of Christie's response:
"First, students belong in the classroom, and we hope all efforts were made to curtail student walkouts. It is also our firm hope that the students were motivated by youthful rebellion or spring fever – and not by encouragement from any one-sided view of the current budget crisis in New Jersey. Students would be better served if they were given a full, impartial understanding of the problems that got us here in the first place and why dramatic action was needed."
Do you love his implication that kids were using this as a way to get out of school for the day? Way to demean what appears to be a motivated and peaceful group of young people getting involved! Passive aggressive much?
I also loved his not so subtle implication that teachers are responsible for students "one-sided views of the current budget crisis." Seriously, do we have a collective Kick Me sign on our backs? If you check mine, I'll check yours. And where, pray tell, are children going to get this "full, impartial understanding"? From Governor Christie himself? He sounds all kinds of impartial. * eye roll *
We'll see what the fall out is from this student protest. Even though it was organized by a student, led by students and made up of solely students, I can smell the blame from here.