Six months after the budget bill protests of 2011 summer is ending and students are finally returning back to school. Students, that is, but not their teachers. The loss of collective bargaining and pay cuts has driven droves of accomplished and able teachers into retirement at a rate 2-3 times the yearly average. Couple this with the reduction of sick leave accrual and we find our educational system becomes infected with ignorance. Kids get sick, that is a fact of life. Our teachers are to be forced to work under less than ideal conditions and will eventually succumb to the menagerie of viruses and colds that float around their workplace.
Education is the cornerstone of an advanced society. Without it, we could not enjoy the standard of living enjoyed by calling the United States home or provide a future for our children. Simply put, educational funding is of utmost importance for the continuation of our society, as we know it. Despite this, we have seen massive cuts to our educational system and the loss of bargaining rights for the very teachers that nurture and enlighten our children each and every day. Over $250 million was ripped away from the UW school system as well as another $70 million from our tech. schools. Our own National Dept. for Labor acknowledges the importance of education by comparing education levels with both salary and employment. As you can most likely surmise, the higher the level of education received the more likely one is to earn more and be employed.
Scott Walker, who himself was unable to graduate from college, appears to have absolutely no understanding of this basic principle. We are just now beginning to see the effects of Walker’s disastrous budget bill. Rather than garnering funds from the under-taxed super rich or mega-corporations, Walker instead decided to have veteran teachers leave the Wisconsin workforce. Areas like Beloit have already lost 10% of their experienced teachers to retirement and still have not filled the void. All this while the unemployment rate continues to climb and the 250,000 jobs promised during the Walker campaign continue to be as real as the Easter Bunny. Without any sort of bargaining rights, teachers have lost their voice in this matter and as a result everyone suffers. Teachers, children and even employers lose out because of educational loss.
But hey, what does it matter if we dismantle our decorated educational system? What does it matter if we take away our children’s futures? Scott Walker had no use for it. Though that should be noticeable by now…