Just a note, "often times" is one word ("oftentimes") and subject-verb agreement is a basic that many of us notice ("secret ingredient...are guts"). I am just another University High School English teacher lamenting quality standards at the Weekly. I am also a five-year Yelp Elite. Carry on!
The crushing economic and social poverty that is the result of Arizona's crusade to eliminate teachers will come back to haunt lawmakers. Teachers might find more gainful employment teaching at one of the mushrooming prison complexes that are rapidly replacing schools.
Let me apprise you of life on the front lines at TUSD. I teach at UHS, ranked by many as the #7 college prep school in the nation. My "classroom" is a mold-ridden, mosquito-infested FEMA trailer plagued with rats. We have no paper, ink, or books. My students purchase their own books. This is because Grijalva considers UHS to be an "elitist" school. I came from Cholla, where I worked in a lovely classroom with sunny windows and a bottomless book budget. I sacrificed a great deal to work with the best and the brightest here at UHS, and to see how the top students (most of whom are from poor families just like most in Tucson) are treated would sicken even the staunchest hard-line dems. The bloated admin budget will be the death of this district, and deservedly so.
I am a public school teacher in TUSD teaching at one of the top three public high schools in the state (that should narrow it down for you). Not only is my school overcrowded and underserved, but our resources have been so thoroughly slashed that we have no paper, ink, books, or tech to speak of. We must exit the campus to use the restrooms, as none exist near most “classrooms,” many of which are discarded (and possibly moldy) Katrina portables. Despite all of this, our students out-perform most and are generally unaware that they have been taken to the cleaners by the backwards-thinking legislature. Most of our faculty are seasoned veterans like myself, and each has fought fiercely and valiantly to remain in the classroom where we are most effective. I have in my possession a promissory note from the District that shows what I am owed in back pay even BEFORE the grand theft that occurred over the last decade. Short of a class-action lawsuit, our hands are tied because if we do leave, the back monies we are owed may never be paid. We used to call this indentured servitude, but now we call it teaching in the public school system.
I am a 16-year veteran teacher still in my TUSD classroom, and like many of my colleagues am exploring other careers. Veteran teachers are especially encouraged to leave, as they might actually be too effective in inspiring students to think for themselves. The District owes many of us thousands of dollars, and simply does not pay. Our Superintendent got a raise on the promise of supporting teachers in our quest to force the legislature to follow the mandate voters wanted, but it has gotten nowhere. Many of us received letters that we are owed thousands of dollars in back pay, and most of us haven't received a penny. Recruiting new teachers from the bottom of the barrel to fit the compensation package seems to be the current zeitgeist.
The media acts as if this call for funds is somehow nefarious or from a secret cult. The secret cult is the federal government, not a hard-working local sheriff. Taking the "liberal line" and attacking all who disagree with their position on open borders seems to be the tack here. Babeu is a voice of reason, and if you want to blindly support the scary corporate feds, do so. My money is on the first openly gay county sheriff in Arizona. Go, Sheriff Paul!
Happy birthday, mad genius, and I hope your van down by the river was a-rockin'.
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