Friday, March 13, 2009

pink, but no slip

I hope I see some people on campus wearing pink today in solidarity with public school teachers across the state. Today is Pink Friday, when 26,000 layoff notices are expected to be sent to teachers, due mainly to budget cuts.

Again and again the argument is made that everyone is hurting in this depression, so public employees shouldn't be immune. My response is that cuts to state budgets still represent political choices, and the choice being made is to cut education spending.

Granted, in some districts there are compound problems - Modesto's schools have lost enrollment because families with children are being forced out of town by the house price collapse and bad mortgage crisis, for instance. But overall, the state is basically reneging on agreements to fund education at a certain level, and with certain student-to-faculty ratios. It's not as though education stops being important when the economy tanks. Some might argue that it's most important precisely when the economy tanks.

So, I'm wearing pink high-tops and a pink vest today - more to express my sympathy than as an act of protest. However, I refuse to wear a slip.

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