Wednesday, February 17, 2010

(Not) My Man Mitch

Dear Governor Daniels,
The following was posted in my local newspaper today:
"Average Indiana teachers make more money each year than average Indiana workers, Daniels said.

The governor is not opposed to that disparity, he said, but used it to frame a question he posed to those who would increase school funding through taxes.

“Why is it fair to raise taxes on lower-income people to pay for people who are better compensated?” Daniels asked.

The crowd at the convention center seemed to pause after the question.

“As you can see,” Daniels said, “I came prepared.” "

How dare you compare the salary of a degree-toting teacher with the average Indiana worker? I believe, sir, you are also a government employee. Where is your pay-cut to save education? You think I make too much? I make the same amount as my local garbage collector with a high school diploma. I hardly consider raising the taxes of everyone for the benefit of everyone to be forcing the poor to pay people who are better compensated. People are paying for a service when they pay taxes.
I voted for you this past year, believing what you claimed you could do for us in the state of Indiana. I have voted the Republican ticket my whole life. I was even a member of the Republican Student Government at Purdue University. Whoever is running against you in our next election will have my vote.
I blindly followed what you claimed you would be able to do and didn’t dig to find your hidden agenda. You may have kept the state in the black, but considering it is against the Indiana constitution to borrow money or go into debt, I don’t believe that is such an accomplishment. You merely stole from Peter (teacher retirement funds) to pay Paul.
I am assuming since you were able to send your children to private school, you cannot fathom why all people cannot do the same. Most people do not make as much money as you; especially, now that you are removing us all from our jobs. You have completely destroyed the teaching union (not that we had anything to bargain with before) and now you seek (and are nearly finished) to destroy public education.
You say that you would like the educational cuts to occur at the administrative level. Well, genius, the administrators are in charge of allocating the funding and making the cuts. Why would they cut their own jobs or salary? Instead teaching jobs are being cut, programs for children are being cut, arts programs are being removed from schools, and libraries are being closed to students. How on earth is any of this going to help our state in the long run? If literacy is so important, why are we making class sizes too large for teachers to meet the needs of all learners while reducing funding for materials and supplies? The only schools who can afford to teach their students are the ones who are not meeting AYP and being taken over by the government. Is that your plan? Reward the horrible schools by providing them money and services while you watch the four star schools fail?
You are forcing the families who care about education to seek private intuitions while public schools become a place to harbor the poor. Considering that the majority of the poor individuals are people of color, how is this agenda not a form of segregation? You are separating the wealthy elite from the poor families, creating an opportunity wedge which will result in the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Who do you think will be accepted to the best colleges, the private school students or those graduating from the monstrosity that you are making public education?
And you think I make too much. Look in the mirror, Mr. Governor, and ask yourself what you are really doing to the state of Indiana.

1 comment:

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