by guest writer Dave Arnold
I’ve been around long enough to know that when management starts talking about saving money – it is past time to start organizing. All too often school boards and superintendents start looking at services they can shave / job out / subcontract.
That means they start looking at us – the school support staff – and the work we do to keep the schools operating.
Yes – the nation’s schools are in a pickle. Funding is tight most everywhere. We should and must be good stewards of resources. But speaking broadly from a custodian’s perspective – when you have 50 plus million students to clean up after in the nation’s schools on a daily basis, and a few million more in higher ed institutions, well, you shouldn’t slack off on the personnel who keep the buildings and classrooms clean, safe, and healthy. You should not replace experienced, professional, certificated and credentialed staff with unknowns.
As I follow the news, the issue of subcontracting, aka privatization, of support services in the schools has picked up. Those services – instructional, cafeteria, custodial, facilities maintenance, transportation, technology, security – are looked at by private business owners as ripe for the plucking.
Dave Arnold, former Illinois Education Association Educational Support Professional of the Year, is a published poet. He Works in Brownstown Community School District #201. To read more of Dave’s pieces, visit Dave’s View at NEA.org.