Posted In: Educator Voices, Moving in Congress, Uncategorized

Share Your Story To Help Save Educators’ Jobs

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Tell us how budget cuts are affecting YOUR STUDENTS

Congress is considering a bill that would provide $23 billion to save hundreds of thousands of educators’ jobs. While some members of Congress hesitate to support it because of

the budget deficit, failure to act now and save those jobs would actually worsen the economic situation over the long run.

To win their support, we need your help. We need stories that breathe life into the statistics and illustrate the immediate impact of educators’ lost jobs on America’s children:

  • Tell us about summer programs that won’t be offered about kids who had planned to go to summer school and what they will be doing instead.
  • Tell us about larger classes come fall about classes too big for effective teaching and learning, as well as classes and programs that are being eliminated entirely.
  • Tell us about three of your own students about how cuts in school personnel, programs and services are affecting them and their families.

To read fellow educators’ stories, please click here.

To tell your story, please fill out the form below.

Submission of your entry constitutes permission for NEA to use your name, story, and other submitted information in connection with NEA’s campaign to save educators’ jobs. We may, for example, provide compilations of your comments to national leaders and other individuals participating in our efforts, without disclosing email addresses. We may also make comments along with your city and state available to the press and public online. In addition, by clicking submit, you are expressing your consent for your comments or stories to be used in any future NEA publications.

Reader Comments

  1. Marie

    Thank you so much for publishing this list! My colleagues and I have experienced not only layoffs (am calling it what it is) but have also have had a hard time just breaking into or re-entering the field.

    I came back to teaching after several years outside of the field. I asked for and got an extension so I could finish my certification requirements. I jumped through all the hoops and when I was about half-way through my MA, I started to see the excessing. Each year after that, it has only gotten worse. There is no way I would recommend anyone go into teaching these days, except maybe to be a physics teacher (or some other area where there truly is a shortage.) I just couldn’t bear to see another on the sub list for 3, 5, 7 years with a false hope that they will be noticed.

    I get all kinds of recommendations to look for work out-of-state, but it seems that wherever you go, there are just no jobs. I cannot begin to tell you how sad and how angry this makes me . . . especially since I know it’s mostly about politics and class sizes are very large.

    Teachers are very resourceful, so I have hope that we, as individuals, will find something fulfilling to do with our lives. Maybe there is a new calling in all of this mess. I do see teachers re-inventing themselves by starting enrichment and tutoring businesses, so maybe the face of teaching and learning is changing.

    Reply
  2. Kris

    Hoping somebody come across this. When is a part-time teacher able to qualify for tenure in Mass, three years or fte years?

    Reply
  3. Lisa

    It really saddens me that in this day and time that people have not read their Union books and know what a Union does for them.
    If a child accussed you of a crime that you did not commit you can not be fired.
    Now, the gentleman who talked about his daughter. If a student accussed his daughter of a criminal act the Union would step in with a lawyer and provide counsel, lawyer, and etc. plus pay on leave until resolved.
    Now without a union fired on the spot with no pay. You would spend your own 50,000 to save your name and profession. how ignorant to be an educator with no knowledge of your union rights.
    Your Union states how many hours you can work without being paid. Your Union gives you breaks and lunchtime.
    Just plain stupidity not to join a Union and make it work for you.
    Performance pay will destroy the teaching profession and the students will suffer because good teachers will not tolerate this treatment.
    New teachers out of college that are in the profession will last a few years on perfomance pay and turnovers will increase.
    the stupidity of the world to mistreat teachers with tenure is laughed at by foreign countries. You only become an expert at what you do when you continue doing it and continue to seek new skills.
    Education without common sense is a dangerous thing.

    Reply
    • Hero Not Zero

      Absolutely!!!

      Reply
  4. Midwest Instructor

    Dave H. assumes it is the senior teachers who have cost his daughter her job. It’s not the more experienced educators who cost your daughter her job. Without seniority and tenure for performing teachers, the districts will begin to “non-renew” (fire without cause) experienced teachers because they cost more. You daughter should move on to another teaching position like many thousands of good teachers have in the past. Being RIFed and laid off in the Spring is an all too often reality for many of our colleagues.
    But if the union bashers have their way and seniority and tenure are eliminated, then after five or ten years of “outstanding” teaching, Dave’s daughter will probably be “non-renewed” because there’s surely someone better (and cheaper) just around the corner.
    If there are any poor teachers in seniority ahead of his daughter then are administrators not doing their jobs in evaluating them. I suspect the vast majority, if not all, of those teachers are doing a good job too.
    Dave needs to call his Member of Congress and State Legislators and demand better funding for education and better training for principals so we can keep his daughter in the classroom.

    Reply
  5. Pamela

    I hear everything each of you stated! It is outrageous that excellent, dedicated, well-educated professionals are daily losing their jobs as educators due to the unfair and unwarranted practice of “professional status” (formerly tenure). When is the Union and the country going to wake up and do something about this travesty? It’s unbelievable that we are required to pay dues to a Union that can’t even protect us until we have professional status. What a waste of my money! Nonrenewing teachers and other educators before their three year “probation” ends is a nationwide dilemma affecting thousands of teachers and educational staff every year. And how insulting is it that despite our qualifications, education, dedication, etc. we are on “probation.” As if we were criminals and not educators. Do you know any other profession that has a three-year probationary period – more like three months! It is time for this harmful practice to stop! Please tell everyone you know about this so they will be just as outraged as those of us in the profession!

    Reply
  6. Dave Hosmer

    My daughter is an excellent elementary level teacher. She has been teaching for 2 years in the Wallingford Public School system following the 2 years of full time school based sub teaching she performed while also working toward her Masters Degree in Education at Quinipiac University. She graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA and was hired immediately by the local BOE. Her students have performed at a 97% proficentcy rate for both years she has been under contract. She had recieved Performance appraisals that lay witness to both her dediciation to the education of all childern in her care but also that she is using up to date state of the art teaching techniques which recognizies the diveristy of the studuent body in the classrooms. She works a tremendous numbers of hours per week and on weekends and is very dedicated to producing results. Yet, in spite of this committment, and the accomplishments, she is about to be layed off from teaching due to union rules. Not one spec of consideration is given to MERIT and PERFORMANCE is the Public School system employment contracts. How pathetic. When she, and other recent entrances into the Public Teaching system lose there jobs, they will migrate into the private sector and we will loose them forever. So, two things must happen in the short term. Save their jobs and then fight to change a system that breeds mediocraty in our school system. When both occur, please pardon the over used expression, it will be a WIN WIN for America’s children. Dave Hosmer

    Reply
    • Nancy

      This is also my story. The difference is I just hit year 3 where I would get tenure next year. Here is Colorado this is a bad thing and many teachers are “nonrenewed” based on nothing. The district has done this to over 100 teachers. With this “nonrenew” you also cannot use the district as a reference as they will report you are not eligible for rehire. The reason given all these teachers was “We think we can find someone better”. That is a lot of teachers and a great loss for the students. So much for “Not one spec of consideration is given to MERIT and PERFORMANCE is the Public School system employment contracts”. “How pathetic”.

      Reply
      • Jenn

        Thank you Dave and Nancy for sharing those stories. I was a probationary teacher in California 3 years ago. I am so relieved to learn that I am not alone. My students’ test scores either met (or in most cases exceeded) those required by the district, but I was let go for no real reason and had no legal recourse of right to due process. I am still trying to recover from the arbitrary and capricious action of one administrator. Worse yet two other probationary teachers were let go that year.

        Reply
      • TK

        You have no rights as a non-tenured teacher, I’m sad to say it. Tenure is an investment in you where you have the right to leave, but the district cannot arbitrarily fire you without a massive investigation. However, if you change districts, you often face a pay cut and will definitely have to prove yourself again. Therefore as a tenured staff member, you make an investment in the district as it behooves you to stay.

        You will be protected when you get tenure. Until then, you are in-training and will have to understand that not having job security as a non-tenured teacher is part of the process. Work hard to get tenure in your next position.

        Being non-tenured means they can fire you for many reasons, i.e. to save money or if your principal doesn’t like your personality. If someone didn’t want you as a non-tenured staff member, they can get rid of you citing anything that legally seems fair. If one parent with a big mouth complains about you, the district might think the better battle to chose is to fire you over not succumbing to this parent and they can state any reason for doing so if you are non-tenured.

        They usually try to appear like they are not renewing your contract for the right reasons, but what you were told was nonsense. Apparently, there was some sort of “shake-up” in your district that could have been politically motivated. With tenure, you would have been protected, but who wants to teach in a district that fires 100 of their non-tenured teachers in the hopes of “finding someone better?” You are lucky you aren’t stuck there. Be happy you are free to pursue other options. I know that may seem like hardly a consolation now, but believe me, there are better places for you.

        I was the victim of not one, but two injustices as a non-tenured teacher. I missed out on one permanent job and a full-time permanent job due to being non-tenured and the victim of circumstance.

        After those two experiences happened to me, and granted they were many years apart as I had lost faith in the system several times in my career, I had a bad attitude about the public school system. I nearly quit teaching completely before finding a place where I was valued enough to be granted tenure. And there is no guarantee of happiness getting tenure either, but you can remain as a teacher and make an honest living without worrying about politics causing you to lose your job.

        There is no perfect job in teaching, but tenure allows for the experienced to stay in the workforce. Yes, we all know about the handful of “dead wood” teachers among tenured staff, but it has been my experience that these folks are few and far between, just like in every profession.

        Tenure keeps mentor teachers teaching which is a good thing for education. Someday, you will be one of those mentors, and you will understand how important it is to keep the experienced teachers in the profession. Good luck finding that “good investment.”

        Reply
    • Lisa

      I think you are really confused about tenure and new teachers. I think that people who are against unions have used this too destroy the unions. First of all, if your daughter ia a good teacher and if she was not a member of a union a principal could walk in her room at any time and fire her on the spot. Now you state she is a good teacher and a high GPA thats grand but what if she gets a principal who does not like her taching method then it would have been a different year. With a union they would not be able to do this aND SHE WOULD HAVE REPRESENTAIVE TO FIGHT FOR HER THROUGH A PROCESS.
      Now, with performance pay which you so proudly speak of if your daughter is assigned a group who do not engage in work or fail to meet the standards should have pay be decreased vs, a teacher who has the top group. i think people are assumng they will get the higher level students. Believe it or not their are kids in America who are forced to attend school by the court, they are students who attend with little or no desire to learn. If your teacher should be assigned these kids should she be pentalized? Should teachers who volunteer to work in low income schools that motivate their students be pentalized for small steps but not the steps the state requires. Think before you personalize your daughter success.
      as for tenure would you want your profession to let you go after putting in 20 years for the new college employee. Most schools with good principals will give new teachers the easier students to retain a new teacher. Maybe the next year your daughter would have advanced to a more difficult group. it really takes five years to say I am a good teacher and work in many different economic levels.
      i sincerely hope your daughter stays in the profession but please think about the entire profession before you degrade the system. performance pay is for education because teachers will compete for students and what happens to the average students or lower they will become your burden.

      Reply
    • Marieanne Schmidt

      Did you ever think that if people bought American cars and other American products none of this would have happened. American auto workers pay school taxes.

      Reply
    • Karen La Du

      Unfortunately misery loves company! Thanks for sharing your daughter’s story. All I have to offer is that I hope she is very young and better able to weather this storm than me, a 54 year old, over qualified, over educated (I am assuming that this is why I am not being hired), Art Teacher. I hope that she succeeds in her plight. Sounds like she is the kind of teacher any district should be clammoring to have with them. Unfortunately it is my opinion that having a master’s degree is a hindrance these days. I was just beat out for positions in the district where I was working part time, to stellar performance reviews, by teachers without master’s degrees with about 2 years experience to my 17. Go figure. The United States really on the whole just doesn’t support education. Around here, sports, fancy cars, Coach handbags and trips to Disney World surpass visits to museums and academic achievement.
      Peace.
      The ancient Incan calendar says that come 2012, the world will be very changed. Let us hope that they are right!
      All my best to you and your daughter.
      Sincerely,
      Karen La Du

      Reply

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