by David Safier
- Today's editorial in the Star, GOP hacking of state budget is destructive, is excellent from top to bottom. It says the GOP budget should be titled, "Let's dismantle our government." Farley is quoted as saying, "This is a triumph of ideology over the future of our kids, all because they (the Republican leadership) want to make the point that they think government is too big, and they want to dismantle what they call 'government schools,,' " It ends with a bullet list of sensible suggestions.
- It sounds like TUSD blew it big time with its purchasing procedures and got a slap down from the Attorney General. The article makes the bidding process sound illegal, and more than one employee was involved. Things like this make it harder to argue for higher school budgets (though it's not hard at all to scream about the current round of cuts). This all happened before current TUSD Supe's tenure, and apparently the new Board Chair Judy Burns was one of the few people worried about this when it was going on. Let's hope the new broom sweeps clean.
- AP has a story about states not getting rid of bad teachers, especially in their first few years before they get tenure when teachers are in a sense on a three year trial period. It's true to a point, no question about it. But if someone wants to use this for teacher union bashing, don't. The protections unions give to untenured teachers are things like a right to a hearing, a trail of evidence showing weakness and attempts to correct the problems. These are to stop schools from firing teachers arbitrarily. It makes the bar for firings higher and the process more complex, but it should be high and complex. Getting rid of bad teachers needs a balanced approach, not a thumbs up/thumbs down from principals like they're Roman emperors.
- Take 30 seconds to call Gov. Brewer's office -- 1-800-253-0883 -- and simply say you oppose the cuts to education. As I said in the previous post, they're taking a tally, and we don't want Brewer to say Arizonans favor the cuts. (Note: A Phoenix Republican left a comment saying I had put up the wrong number, then commented again giving me the number you use in Phoenix. I guess the 800 number only works out side of the area code. The number is (602) 542-4331. Thanks, Barry.)