The following is a letter I sent to our state representatives
regarding the situation with our local teachers.
I am writing to you from my family’s home in Burbank, which is
also where my wife and I work.
The pending state budget cuts have forced the city’s school board
to give more than 250 pink slips to our community’s teachers. This
decision is a tragic one and potentially damaging not only for my
family, but also the entire community.
My wife is one of the Burbank teachers who is marked for
termination. She is a second-grade teacher who holds a master’s
degree in education, and is highly regarded by her principal,
colleagues, parents and students.
Not only will my wife be affected adversely by this decision, but
so will my daughter, who will soon enter kindergarten. Clearly you
understand that education is the bedrock for any strong community. It
not only serves its obvious purpose of educating the future of
America, but quality education, like that in Burbank, has many
residual effects that benefit everyone, even families without
children. Crime reduction, increased property values and strong
community values are just a few of the obvious benefits.
These are undoubtedly tough times for our country and local
communities, but this is also the time when we call on our elected
officials to be thoughtful decision makers.
The people who elected you are depending on you to fight for what
is unquestionably right, even if it means raising taxes to do so. As
long as your purpose is clear, your priorities in focus and your
intent sincere, you will have continued support.
The time to act is now, before needless unemployment payments and
legal expenses add to California’s financial crisis. While some cuts
our government is faced with might be unavoidable, please make the
wise decision and save our schools first.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Since this letter was received, the school district
has rescinded many of the preliminary termination notices, leaving 92
teachers on the list to be notified of their employment status by May