Part of the Bay Area News Group

Layoffs hit schools hard

By Theresa Harrington
Wednesday, June 9th, 2010 at 12:47 am in Concord, Education, Mt. Diablo school district, Theresa Harrington, Walnut Creek.

Jessica Beerbaum, fifth-grade teacher at Silverwood Elementary.

Jessica Beerbaum, fifth-grade teacher at Silverwood Elementary.

By Theresa Harrington
When I visited Silverwood Elementary in Concord to write a story about teachers being laid-off, I was impressed by the dedication of educators I interviewed and touched by the relationships they have built with their students.
I interviewed fifth-grade teacher Jessica Beerbaum and special education teacher Robin Evans. Both of them also spoke on camera about how they feel to be leaving the school, after receiving pink slips.
Here is Beerbaum, talking about her time at the school.
And here is Evans explaining why she loves to teach special education students.
Across the Mt. Diablo school district, students and teachers are facing the difficult reality that campuses are losing some valued staff members. Northgate High School Sentinel reporter Antonio Lau wrote about how layoffs are affecting his Walnut Creek school in this story.
Here’s an excerpt:
“One of the teachers who received a pink slip was chemistry teacher and swim coach Kevin Taylor. Taylor, who has only been at Northgate for a couple of years, is a well liked teacher among his students. One of his students even made a Facebook group dedicated to asking people to help save Taylor’s job.
“I am very happy to have students who care about my well being. I hope they can show the same care for the whole system and work to make their voices heard in a productive manner,” Taylor said.
With the budget cuts, schools are losing more than just their teachers. All 5th grade music in the Mount Diablo Unified School District will be cut as well causing students to lose a crucial year in music.
“It’s really bad that they would cut music class in 5th grade. It causes all the students to be a year behind which is going to affect them in the long run,” said sophmore Fabien Vaucheret, a member of orchestra at Northgate.
Northgate’s own music teacher Mr. Brown also received a pink slip by the district, which had many students worried. Thankfully during the Northgate Jazz Band’s performance at Yoshi’s, Brown proudly announced that he was not going to be fired.
With this country at its current economic state, it is only safe to assume that the California budget crisis is going to continue getting worse. However firing well-liked teachers and cutting good classes is not going to help with our education. It will only turn good schools into mediocre schools and deprive students of knowledge they will need in the future.”
Do you believe that budget cuts and layoffs are making good schools mediocre and depriving students of important knowledge?

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