Friday, April 29, 2011

What the Hell was She Thinking?

As I may have mentioned, the company I work for is British. Our home office in the UK got the day off and we had lunch brought in (the VP made homemade Shepherd's Pie) and watched a replay of the wedding.

I somehow managed to miss this...thing...on Princess Beatrice's head. And I was sort of of looking for crazy hats cause it's a Royal Wedding and all.

Not sure how cause damn it's a sight. Must have been the alcohol.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 6 - Possible escape tomorrow. Prayers, finger-crossing & other forms of barter appreciated.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 4 of latest hospital stay. Sucks as much as ever. Good news is we may have found right drug combo. Must remember it for the next time.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

We The People - Move to Amend

There is a national movement that I have just discovered called Move to Amend. As the name suggests, they are working towards a constitutional amendment. Specifically, an amendment that would overturn the Citizens United ruling.

In recent Wisconsin elections, Dane county and the city of Madison passed referendums supporting this effort. Communities in California and Minnesota have proposed or passed similar resolutions.

On the Move to Amend website, I was unsurprised to find that Texas has no chapters. My husband is not an overly political person but this is something he feels strongly about - the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling was a disaster with wide ranging negative impact -something we agree on.

Move to Amend states the following:
We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to:
* Firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.
* Guarantee the right to vote and to participate, and to have our vote and participation count.
* Protect local communities, their economies, and democracies against illegitimate "preemption" actions by global, national, and state governments.
The Supreme Court is misguided in principle, and wrong on the law. In a democracy, the people rule. We Move to Amend.

If this is something you agree with, I encourage you to check out their website and see if there are any local groups or chapters in your state. If there are none, think about starting one.

We are. Anyone want to join us?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Segway Jousting

This is every bit as awesome and silly as the title suggests. Not a bad way to spend your lottery winnings.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Teacher Layoffs Growing in Texas

Yesterday, Fort Bend ISD, near Houston, announced it was laying off 470 employees. 195 of those were certified teaching positions. The district says that some of these teachers will be reassigned to new schools but doesn't say how many.

May 25, Round Rock ISD, my home district, announced 280 employee layoffs, 234 of them probationary teachers. Those are generally new teachers in their first two years of employment. The district warned that the next round of layoffs will come from contracted employees - meaning those teachers and staff beyond their probationary period. They also announced that classroom ratios will be increased next year to 27:1 for middle and high school and 21:1 for elementary.

Austin ISD voted March 28 to eliminate 490 positions. Some are administration but most are teaching and support staff.

Dallas ISD is looking at eliminating almost 3,000 positions, of which 1,300 will be teaching positions.

To the individual who told me that teachers wouldn't be losing their jobs, that it would just be a shell game moving costs to another budget line, I say this:

Forcing early retirement may seem like a shell game, and some teachers will take early retirement, but the lion's share of these layoffs will come from those who can't do that - the probationary or new teachers. They're now stuck with student loans and no job. Their jobs will be gone. Not shuffled around to another school, not reassigned to a different place in the budget but simply gone. When all is said and done, after school districts have reassigned who they can, encouraged others to take early retirement or resign, there will be fewer teaching positions. More students in the classrooms for the teachers that remain. Fewer support services for those students and teachers. Ultimately, those who will suffer the most are the students.

This is a nightmare. And not one we as a state will soon wake from.