Thursday, April 08, 2010
No New Taxes
This morning I was in a staff meeting at work. We were discussing some of the many challenges we have faced recently. They are not small challenges. For example, some of our students are homeless, and finding housing options for them has been a huge hurdle. Some are vulnerable adults who don't know how to handle certain sticky situations. Some are prone to poor behaviors that we need to help them redirect, or to find other community resources to help them.
Here are my thoughts about it all:
1) I am so proud to be a part of the program where I work and the fabulous team we are. Everyone is so caring and works so hard.
2) We can't work miracles, much as we would love to. We don't have enough staff, and we don't even have enough space in our building. We don't have enough time to address all the needs sufficiently.
3) We are full of ideas for change, but none of them can happen because of the almighty dollar. When the governor of one's state promises "no new taxes" and he is the governor for way too many years, huge cuts are the result, and no positive changes can be made.
4) Our schools have suffered so many cuts already; staff cut when we couldn't spare them, teachers cut, programs cut. Programs are crammed into too-small or inefficient spaces. People have to make do with poor spaces and poor funding. Next year's numbers are worse, and more cuts everywhere will follow. I know how this makes staff feel. I wonder what this does to the morale of the students who see their services being cut and teachers going away, and spaces too cramped.
5) This is the result of "no new taxes." I put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the governor and his lack of foresight. He wants to run for president and brag about never raising taxes. He wants to forget to mention that schools and other public entities have suffered greatly.
6) I will retire in June, so I can leave the problems behind and enjoy my good memories, as well as enjoy free time. When I retire in June, I will feel sad walking away from the problems and the work I see that needs to be done, and I'll miss the collaboration that happens in my program. It's bittersweet.