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Teachers should not be the first be let go during lean times

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When California cuts the education budget, why are teachers the first to go? In a recent article (Loomis News, March 12, 2009) Mike Edwards, our school board president, was lamenting the layoff notices given to 19 teachers. As to the source of our woes, all eyes, including those of the teachers’ union, are focused on the state legislature. I am not in any way defending any of California’s fiscal policies, when I beg the question, why is the very top entity in our education hierarchy being blamed for the decision to lay off 19 teachers in Loomis and countless more in California? I may not understand the system, but doesn’t the superintendent of schools make those calls? He resides in the California Department of Education, and below C.D.E. are the county offices, then districts, and finally our beloved schools. From the county level down, C.D.E. statistics state that there are roughly 100 staffers per 1,000 students. That is an acceptable number but it doesn’t include C.D.E. As our education dollars decrease, shouldn’t we be staunchly protecting the level where all the educating is actually taking place, in our schools? Instead, when the cut backs come, it’s always pink slips for the teachers. My children can’t be educated without their teachers, but I don’t think they would notice if a few bureaucrats got the pink slip, or the assistant to the bureaucrat, or the assistant to the assistant. Please, someone help me understand why the teachers are the first to go? Sandy Eagen Loomis