Tuesday, May 09, 2006

SF Chronicle: Education's sinking ship as teachers bail

From the SF Chronicle:
Deanna Hamilton-Meyer had an announcement for the fourth- and fifth-graders in her special-education class last Wednesday. She was leaving.

"Some of them started crying,'' she says. "They said, 'We can get together and loan you money.' ''

That would be nice, but won't work. In fact, like teachers in schools all over California and around the country, Hamilton-Meyer is leaving Cambridge Elementary in Concord at the end of the school year because she can't make it financially.

This isn't the story of a single teacher who needs some help. This is the beginning of a tsunami of a teacher crisis. With a huge chunk of teachers who went into the profession in the idealistic '60s about to retire, and the financial demands -- particularly the Bay Area's high cost of housing -- those in the business fear that Hamilton-Meyer is the face of the future.

It is a double whammy. The teacher shortage is coming, and schools are losing their top professionals.
The public needs to hear more stories like this.

Here's my little on the ground story. Currently I'm at odds with a parent in my child's class who tells me our teacher provides snacks and school supplies to the class out of the goodness of her heart. She insists that if we help the teacher out, it would be a huge insult to the teacher. And besides, teachers get paid too much money anyway. Hmmm. Wonder where the parent gets her (mis)information from. No wonder as each education bond and initiative gets voted down here in CA.