School Days: A Journal

School Days: A Journal

September 14. The children are especially studious the first week. It’s even true of us teachers. We look more professional in September. We imagine every fall that this time we’re going to get it right. We start off with fresh notebooks divided into well-organized sections. Of course, it’s not a perfect beginning. We’re starting with four fewer staff positions (out of thirty-five) because of budget cuts. Will it matter? We cut back on support
staff, so we’re bound to have gripes. But maybe it’s like closets—the more you have the more you put into them. On the other hand, for the first time it’s an experienced CPESS-style staff. Also, we calculated our cuts early, relied on attrition (and support from foundations), and didn’t let anyone go, no matter how low their seniority. We gambled that given city-wide attrition there wouldn’t be a massive bumping game. We were right. When budgets are set is often as critical as how much. (Within limits!)

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