The biggest struggle I’ve found in my job as a teacher in LA has been the pervasive lack of job security. It starts up sometime in the summer when the state budget finds its way into the daily media conversation. How much will be cut this year? Will a ballot measure pass and offset the deficits? Does our government have the political will to prioritize education or will we face pink slips next year? If jobs will be cut in public education, how many of the initial notices that go out next spring will be rescinded by the start of the following school year?
You actually find yourself stepping into the classroom on that first day in August knowing that you might need to start looking for a new job soon because yours won’t be there in nine months. This kills your ability to focus because each day is filled with that continual sense of dread.
This has to change. Teachers have to navigate through too many inherent challenges within their students’ minds to allow this issue of job insecurity to distract them from their life’s work: crafting the leaders of tomorrow.
We need a mayor and a city council that has the political will to create ways to better support LAUSD. We have the second largest school district in the country and our local government has not stepped up in a manner that instills the kind of confidence in our teachers that allows them to focus on their jobs.
Our next local election is in March 2013. Let’s demand our local leaders to do 1 thing: be the advocate for kids by demanding job security for teachers. If there isn't a way to do that already, get innovative and start collaborating with LAUSD. In this time of uncertainty, our entire community depends on this.