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Cory Doctorow

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Friday, March 13, 2009

The protest outside my door today

Got back from taking my partner to the lab for blood work and saw this display in the neighborhood.

The pink sign on the back of the white SUV reads: 

60 balloons, 60 layoffs

On the far left of my photo is a public school in the neighborhood.  Sadly, 60 of its teachers are facing pink slips (thus, the pink sign and balloons) today due to the struggles of California's state budget.  While it was signed recently, all kinds of cuts were made to it.

At times like this, I wish I had the command of economics, government and budgeting to  find a way to avoid laying off public school teachers and other state employees while not hiking taxes on all of the state's residents.  I am a home health care worker who is paid by a combination of state and county funds.  At $9.00 per hour, my guess is teachers are a little better compensated than I (and, rightly so).  However, laying off people like me puts our clients (seniors and the disabled) into group homes and nursing homes as residents (we do household and para-medical work which helps people maintain their independence in their own homes) at a considerably higher cost.

I cannot even imagine what price we will pay if we do not have enough teachers to educate all of our state's children.

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