Nicole Barr, Simi Valley Teacher

From the Acorn:

I am writing as an English teacher at Royal High School in the Simi Valley Unified School District.

I think I bring a unique approach to the current crisis facing our schools, state and nation.

I am a product of all California public schools for all levels of my education. I have also taught abroad in the Netherlands. There, I saw the rigor in curriculum and expectations that are so lacking in California schools.

This is mostly because the Netherlands practices what it says it believes in. The Netherlands realizes free education is not free. We do not.

What I did not enjoy about the Netherlands was the lack of job security and benefits. It is ironic that as I write this letter today I have received an initial pink slip after having gained tenure in my district.

As a young teacher, I work tirelessly to develop as an educator and to improve the quality of learning for my students. Now, I worry for the students whose education will be seriously underfunded.

And I worry for myself, since this is what I am meant to do and may not be able to next year. I am also a new homeowner, who might now add to our state’s problems by going on unemployment and possibly losing my home.

In this current situation, it depresses me to my core to see all my students anxious about their education, their school and even my job.

I feel that as a society we have failed them and will continue to fail them until it is too late, while they are voiceless in the background hoping we make the right choices for them. This voiceless group deserves one, which is obviously not being heard by those supposed to act on it.

However, on the May 19 election we, the voters of California, have an opportunity in passing Propositions 1A-1F to show these students where our priorities lie: in their education over a little extra money in our pockets.

I send this letter to inform you how we, the people affected by budget cuts, feel. I send this letter to urge you to do what is right for California. I send this letter not to be political, but to remind you to support schools.
Nicole Barr
Simi Valley

http://www.simivalleyacorn.com/news/2009/0410/Letters/007.html

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