|By Elenor, Flickr CC|
The coming year will be bringing lots of uncertainty and I’m getting a bit nervous. The Texas legislature will be in session for it’s bi-annual 140 days and will be looking at a budget deficit that is mind numbing. The fact that they don’t meet every year is astounding. The way things change so rapidly can not be handled by such silliness and the people of this state will suffer in the end.
Since nothing, this year, will be sacred, education will be feeling the sting of the surgical blade as the state budget gets cut. Locally, the economy is not doing well enough to create needed revenue for school districts and now the state will be shutting off much of its money supply. This one, two punch will leave many school districts staggering and my school district will certainly be feeling some pain.
What does that mean for me? Most people feel that my school is immune to losing personnel. But I see the real possibility of one or two teachers leaving this year and no one being hired to take their place. Since I am a certified math teacher who is teaching engineering I can see myself teaching math next year should any of the math teachers leave. If none of the math teachers leave then I am concerned that the need for engineering classes will be reduced and I could see myself being told to go to another school – if I want to remain employed by the district. Suddenly I become an extra “electives” teacher whose job can not be justified in the face of a huge budget shortfall. The one thing I don’t see happening is that I get let-go by the district and have to look elsewhere for employment. Let’s hope that I’m not updating this in June with a sad tale of looming unemployment.
When I read about all of the craziness going on in California I am reminded that we will not be suffering like they are in that state. Still, I hope my fellow Texas teachers are ready for a roller coaster of a ride over the next two (at least) school years. My tray table is locked, my seat belt in secured, and I’ve got my head down in the crash position. May we have a safe landing.