70 teachers kaput

Impressive. Plus 13 teachers with reduced hours. Is there anybody left to reelect Frank Wanner President of the teacher’s union? Dr. Dixon will leave unmourned except for the mortar holding his new schools together.

Some rueful thoughts on:

The board voted to approve the layoffs 5-2 with members Gary Glass and Art Johnston opposing the measure. Glass and Johnston maintain that the district could put money saved from consolidating schools into classrooms, but the district has long budgeted that money to help buy down the debt of the long-range facilities plan.

Oh, So the Red Plan allowed us tremendous “savings” so that we could pay for the buildings not maintain decent student teacher ratios?

“This is a devastating blow,” Duluth Federation of Teachers President Frank Wanner told the News Tribune. “These are real people who can’t pay mortgages. Real people with families. Some of these teachers have been here for 14, 16 years. You work hard and you get the rug pulled out from under you.”

A little late to wake up to Dr. Dixon’s priorities Frank.

In a phone interview Wanner said teacher morale is “terrible” and that some are upset with lawmakers aiming to take money away from education. Class sizes are too big, he said. At Central High School this year, he said, there were classes with 40 or more students.

I’ve been waiting for years for a single teacher to speak up and describe the true state of teacher morale.

The board also approved its 2012 budget, which accounts for $6 million in reductions and allows for about a one-student increase in the student-to-teacher staffing ratio. Next year’s general fund is about $94.5 million

The student teacher ratio will continue to deteriorate.

Its going to get worse.

I’ve downplayed the role of state government in the Red Plan calamity for a year or two now but there is no question we picked a really crumby time to put all our eggs in the building basket. We can expect no favors from the state any time soon.

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