School Meetings and My Education-al Rant

Okay, I know, I know…I disappeared again. It was only one day though and I bet only a few people noticed. I was gone for a good reason though! I was working than spending money.
After getting off work yesterday, I went to the school and picked up the kids. Rushed home for homework x4 than feeding six. By five o’clock, it was out the door again. Last night was SAC (school advisory council) and PTA night. Both meetings were great.
In SAC we reviewed some recently posted stats and were able to see that our school has been consistently trending upwards in our required outcomes. The number of our kids meeting provincial “benchmarks” each year is growing. This means that, as a school, what we’re doing is working.
Our school is about to hit the one year anniversary of being officially named a green school. We have activities planned to celebrate this and big plans for our second year. We will soon be out digging in the dirt to get our new gardens put in and other beautification processes started.
In the PTA, we spent lots of money (you thought I meant I was shopping at first, didn’t you? Who has time for that?). We put forward the money needed to support our breakfast for learning program until the end of the school year, agreed that our school’s administrative assistant deserves a great appreciation gift, are putting up some memorial plaques for past school employees, and have approved funds for an assistive technology site license (pending deeper product research…any teachers out there who have used Word Q and/or Speak Q, let me know your thoughts on the product). We also have the biggest fundraiser of the year coming up, and though a few of us have been working on this for months, there is still TONS to do. We have arranged a day to get even more help with this.
Pretty productive day, and big things coming. As you can tell, I am pretty excited by everything going on. I was at work today, tired but still excited by all that’s happening, and was telling someone who works in the same building some of what is happening. His first comment was along the lines of “you’d think the school board would be working on something like that” (re: assistive technology). I explained to him that they simply don’t have the money. Having to explain this got me thinking. And now the rant.
Provincial and federal budgets do not come close to financially supporting the education of our children. Teachers allowance for books or classroom supplies is ridiculously low. The PTA at our school provides additional funds for these necessities (which we have been repeatedly, enthusiastically thanked for) and teachers at our school don’t have to spend two months of paychecks to get their classrooms set up. A lot of teachers elsewhere do.
Assistive technology is “loaned” to a school or specific teacher after months of paperwork and waiting lines. These loans are generally in terms of weeks or months, not entire school years. The whole board has a limited technology budget that cannot allow a single school to “hog” a program that others also need. And, let’s face it, the world is turning tech, our kids need the technology to keep up.
This year’s budget has more cuts to education. The kids are losing the opportunity to succeed with every dollar cut. Books, programs, and operating costs for schools are getting higher and our teachers end up paying, a lot of time financially and even more in “free” time where they volunteer to do things with our kids that the kids would not usually get to participate in (extra help, sports, classroom rewards, field trip planning, special school-based programs—teachers don’t get paid for that stuff…it would kill the budget!).
Next time you see your child’s (or even just a random) teacher, say thanks. Your child(ren), the people who are the future, would/will not be anywhere without these people who spend their money and time making sure our kids are ready to face the growing world.
Thank you to each and every teacher I had, my children have had, my children will have. Thank you everyone who is, was or will be a teacher. Thank you to any teachers reading this.

If I ever win the lottery (that I never buy tickets for…), the money will be learned from!

No matter how dark the day, the sun is always shining somewhere!

Jules

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