Saturday, January 16, 2010

An Open Letter to Govenor Perdue

Dear Governor Sonny Perdue,
I am writing to you today, because I am a third grade teacher in T. County Georgia.

I am extremely upset by the recent cuts in education funding, to include the teacher furlough days that the state of Georgia has had this year, and the proposed by you additional 4 to 5 days of furlough days for the coming months.

As a teacher I average $200 a month that I personally spend on my students, and put back into my classroom. The proposed furlough days will cost me over $600. If this happens my family and I will have to do without this money, which in turn means that my students will have to do without the supplies that I usually fund out of my own paycheck.

As I know you are aware our community and several surrounding communities are low income, rural districts, we have between 80 and 100% free and reduced lunch participation. If I don't buy these supplies for my students, who will? Certainly not their parents who are out of work and struggling to put food on the table at home.

I believe that you have forgotten how hard Mrs. Perdue worked as an employee of the public school system, or you would have never proposed these cuts! Most of us are at school 10 to 15 minutes before our contracted time and leave an hour after our contracted time. Most of us work on school work for an average of 30 minutes nightly at home, with an additional 2 to 3 hours over the weekends. Even on your "furlough" days we still are working, we are doing lesson plans, grading papers, and trying to find new and better ways to reach the children of this great state. In our school we do not even have a duty free lunch, because of your cuts in education funding, if we do not eat with the children, there will be no supervision of them.

I would like to personally extend an invitation to you to come and shadow me for a week while I do my job, educating the children of this great state. I would welcome the opportunity to show you how the money that you are planning on cutting from the education system is spent in my classroom. I would welcome to opportunity to introduce you to the people that you are planning on hurting the most with these cuts, my own children, and the children I love like my own, my students. I would welcome the opportunity to show you how hard my fellow educators work on a daily basis, as well as all of our support staff. Please contact me about coming and walking a day in my shoes, where none of the children are prepped that the Governor is coming and to be on their best behavior for the day, or where you are only shown the best of the best, the brightest of the brightest, but where you are shown a real classroom in a real district, with the real children.

You have said how important education is to the future of this great state, and nation, educators helped put you into office, and now you are stabbing us in the back!

I ask that you stop the cuts funding Georgia's education system.

Governor Perdue, what you are doing to our great state by cutting into the education of our children is despicable. There are better ways to make cuts in the state budget than by taking it out on our educators and our students. What is being proposed by you is going to drive the great teachers out of education, because we can not afford to teach any longer.

I promise that anyone that votes for these cuts in education will not have my vote in any coming election, and I will do my best to get the word out to all of my fellow voters as well to not vote for anyone that voted for cuts in education. I will vote for all non-incumbents, in an effort to vote out any incumbent that voted for budget cuts in education. I know that you can not run for office again, however, your party has many other incumbents and also will have someone running for your position and I will help vote them all out of office if I can.

Please, help the children and educators of your state, and put a stop to these proposed cuts!
Patricia L. Cleveland
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