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So it passed….

August 11, 2010

…and there were tweets and pressers and everything associated with it. I got two emails from Dennis Van Roekel, and I got one proclaiming “Victory” from the AFT. Not one mention within those union-produced communiques of exactly where the funding came from.

I still cannot believe that this bill was allowed to be funded the way it was. There had to be some other kind of offset availible in order to fund it, right? I am something of a hawk when it comes to national security, and I haven’t been paying enough attention to our future occupation plans, but aren’t we leaving soon, or transferring roles or something? Won’t that cost less money, money that could have been better spent on teachers?

I will never advocate for leaving our soldiers undersupplied, undertrained or underpaid. If the President (regardless of who is in office or what party they belong to) makes the decision to send our troops somewhere, even though I may not agree with it, those troops deserve every piece of equipment, every tactical advantage that allows them to do their job and come home.

Teachers deserve the same thing too. We are undersupplied, undertrained and underpaid. We are in a battle to win the hearts and minds of our students and their families. We have to convince them that these tests they have to take do not determine their worth as an individual, does not say that they are smart or stupid, but is merely one of many ridiculous tests that they will have to encounter in their lifetime. Sometimes they come in bubble or essay form; other times they are tests of the soul, or of the body.

Ironic, then, isn’t it, that Napoleon said “An army marches on its stomach.” And it was the French that invented the technology of metal cans to store and preserve food (despite using lead and a few other toxic chemicals to seal them shut).  The US Government would cut back on the amount of food its soldiers are fed; in fact, a warm meal back at the base is one of the few things troops can look forward too, even if it’s SOS (veterans, you know what I’m talking about).

My school offers free breakfast and lunch to students who qualify. It may be the only two complete meals they eat in a day. How many of them go home to limited offerings at home, supplemented in part (small or large) by food stamps? What will be the effect of the rollback on the food stamp program? $80 can but some serious food for a family, large or small, if it is spent right. But it will soon be gone, rolled back.

An argument I heard for it was “Well, there’s been deflation, prices of food have gone down, so….”. Yes, yes, there has been deflation. But, energy prices are on the rise again. This means there will be a spillover effect into the other sectors of the economy. Prices will rise again, soon enough. To soon for my students and their families.

So now, I will be in front of students this fall that may be hungry because Congress, pushed by the AFT and the NEA passed a bill whose STATED GOAL was a positive one; bring back laid-off teachers and prevent further layoffs, but whose METHOD OF FUNDING was wrong.

How am I going to explain this one?

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