Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Prop 123 Revisited

I ranted and I raved and I was right.  Voting for this Proposition will be giving in to bullies.  The voters demanded funds for education; the governor denied those funds and presented this in its place. There are triggers and there are caveats and there's the whole thing about the State Land Trust and mortgaging the future for today.

But.....

I spent the morning at Prince Elementary School.  I watched the teacher struggle to maintain order with 27 wily 5 and 6 year olds doing their best to thwart her.  I saw her name on the books in her Library.... her name, not the classroom number or the school's identifier.  She paid for The Little White Duck and The Sense of Smell and several other well loved paperbacks in the bucket on our table.  The District didn't pay for those books.  She did, and she will take them with her when she moves out of Kindergarten and up to a 4th grade class next Fall.  They'll stay stored away, in case she decides to return to teaching the littlest ones; she'll invest in grown up books for next year.

She'll invest.  She will take the time and the dollars from her own stash.  The State of Arizona won't help her.  The Amphi School District can't help her.  The students need her.  What else can she do?

I asked her about my vote, and she begged for my YES at the ballot box.  Her health care premiums are rising next year; without the passage of Prop 123 she'll take a pay cut to meet her share.  She hasn't gotten a raise in years, but she loves the kids and her work and really, what else would I do?  But her meager pay check must cover not only her own costs, but those of her classroom as well.

I spoke to the Principal about my vote, too.  Her husband is in my corner - this is a raid on the principal of the land trust, there is no guarantee for the future, the bill is too flawed to approve.  Yet, this principal spent last night trying to convince her mate that he needed to swallow all of his valid objections - her teachers need a boost.

If Prop 123 passes, the Amphi District staff will receive bonus checks in the mail this summer.  It won't be a lot, but it will be something.  "And who doesn't need a little bit extra in the summer," asked the principal.... and I couldn't disagree.

So, I am stuck.  Do I stick to my principles, my clear understanding that voting for this proposition will be giving in to the bullies who've said Take It or Get Nothing, or do I bend and give the people in the trenches a little bit of whipped cream on an otherwise empty dessert tray?  When all the educators in town are urging me to vote for the proposition, do I stay on my high horse, stick to my guns, do what I know is right or do I help the humans I care about get just a little bit of something wonderful, right now?

It's a dilemma, denizens.

9 comments:

  1. To me, who does not get to vote in Arizona, the land is gone forever. The salary bump is not going to help for long. It takes the pressure off a real answer-- raise taxes. And if they raise the property taxes, I do pay for that. If they raise the sales tax, I pay for it when I am there. Income tax, I don't as my income gets taxed in Oregon. I would not vote to lose the state lands if I was there. The teachers are also in the same boat most middle class Americans are. Income isn't rising. Some say with gasoline so low, it's not needed to rise. Housing is cheaper too and some say we're on our way to another drop in property values. Time will tell on that one. But when that land is gone, it's gone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I take heart in the fact that the sale of the land will require a Constitutional Amendment and that, perhaps, all of us who are adrift and furious now will have another chance to stop it. There is also a law suit ready to go to stop the land sale. But you are right, they are not making any more land and once it's gone, it's gone. THAT is why this Yes vote would be so hard.
      a/b

      Delete
  2. Gosh, I don't know 'cause it feels like the tax-payers are being blackmailed and the teachers are caught in the middle of it. Having a sister-in-law who teaches, I can tell you that no matter what district a teacher is in, they end-up spending their own money. Really irks me too. That's why I do my best to help the teachers with purchasing books and other odds and ends they may need. I made it a point to let my daughter's teacher know that she is to let me know if she needs anything for her room. I'm the room mom and I've done my best to make sure that the teacher does not have to spend her own money.

    This whole thing really upsets me. It's not fair to put the teachers in the middle of this fight. They should be looked after; no matter what.

    I don't envy you.


    Megan xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The attack on public education in Arizona is part of an overall attack on the most vulnerable among us. We have a new health care administrating agency - a For Profit vs the Not For Profit it replaced - which is denying payment in quite a few, some absolutely terrifying, instances. There's a post on that in the works.

      For now, I agree with Linda (see my Ashleigh Burroughs comment below)
      a/b

      Delete
  3. linda from phoenixMay 11, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    I just sent in my early ballot - voted FOR 123. I was exactly where you are and have been going back and forth for days. I absolutely hate having given in to the bullies. And seeing how well financed the pro 123 campaign is only confirms my distaste. But then there are the knowledgeable child advocates I know and the organizations I respect, all saying take the deal. I did. I have no illusions that our legislators will do anything good, but I came to the conclusion that making a point, letting them know that their behavior is unacceptable won't change their behavior either - they don't care and haven't yet been embarrassed into stepping up. At least the teachers and schools will get something now, and maybe, just maybe our lovely electorate will realize that there needs to be a change in how they've been voting (though again, no illusions).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly.
      No illusions, indeed.
      You say it very well; I quote you below :-)
      a/b

      Delete
  4. Here's an article on the situation in this country. The teachers there are not the only ones. The oligarchs want the public lands and they are going after them. Jobs haven't risen in salaries. https://next.ft.com/content/695bfa18-1797-11e6-b197-a4af20d5575e The rich get richer and the middle are taking the hit. Most though keep voting for those who put us in this situation on the right and the left.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As my niece, Princess Myrtle, explained when she wrote for the Financial Times, "If you can come up with a better way than a pay portal to produce the news and pay me a salary, let me know. Otherwise, subscribe."

      Couldn't open it, but will finagle something.... I am intrigued.
      a/b

      Delete
  5. What Linda said, above: I have no illusions that our legislators will do anything good, but I came to the conclusion that making a point, letting them know that their behavior is unacceptable won't change their behavior either - they don't care and haven't yet been embarrassed into stepping up.
    a/b

    ReplyDelete

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