Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Displaced Special Educator Speaks Up

The feeling of telling someone you lost your job is difficult task to undertake. I didn't really lose my job though; I had it taken from me by New York Governor Cuomo with his budget cuts to education and by NYSUT, the union I belong to, whose support of an inane "Last in, First out" rule has prevented me from continuing my work with my high school students.
I have been on a nine-year journey through two graduate schools, three one-year teaching positions between New York and Florida and countless days of substitute teaching in the hopes that I would be more marketable to a district in the process. The 'Last in, First out' rule cost me and thousands of others around the state this year and it is destroying the institution of teaching.
As a nation, we do not give support to teachers and educators: instead, politicians and parents alike condemn teachers when students do not succeed and decide to make drastic budget cuts that make educating the next generation less appealing as a career. Where are the priorities of this once great nation? Governor Cuomo says that districts should have better fiscal management: "Manage the school system. Reduce the waste. Reduce the fraud. Reduce the abuse."
Well, which one am I Governor Cuomo? A waste? A fraud? An abuse of the system? Was my hiring a poor choice for a resource room for students with Asperger's Syndrome despite my expertise with students with Autism Spectrum Disorders? Are you really in a position to make a call like that?

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