Monday, October 12, 2009

Doing our civic duty

Well, John and I have finally taken the big step and agreed to be GOP precinct chairmen here in our neighborhood precinct in Santa Fe. It was time for us to put our money where our mouths were and get involved at the next level.

First step - a training session October 24 at a restaurant in Santa Fe.

Also - we are having a tea party here in Santa Fe this coming Saturday Oct. 17 at the capitol building when the New Mexico legislature goes into special session to resolve budget issues. Our state is massively in debt, and still Gov. Richardson wants MORE spending and MORE taxes. The statewide teacher's union plans to be here in Santa Fe every day of the special session to lobby for more money -- MONEY THE STATE DOES NOT HAVE.

The greenies in the state have put so many restrictions on the gas and oil industry here (major source of taxes in the state) that oil rigs are moving right out of the state and to friendlier places like Texas and California. So -- while Richardson and the teachers want more money and more taxes raised, our major contributor to state taxes has shrunk 60% in two years.

I don't know where the governor thinks he is going to get the money from for his budget - 10% of New Mexicans pay 80% of the personal income taxes in the state already. Hence, the reason for a STATE tea party this time around, to focus on the enormous problems for the state of New Mexico.

However, John and I will not be here for this rally - we already have plans to meet our daughter and her family in Colorado for the weekend.

They are saying the special session may go on for up to 30 days -- so we will be back in plenty of time to take part in protesting as well as observation of the sessions in the coming weeks.

The Republican Party is growing in Santa Fe, and we are excited to be a part of this huge grassroots movement. These are exciting times for us...


Jenny said...

Great news! Good luck with all that!!

I don't know anything about the teachers wanting more money. But I do know that the public schools are being told that their budgets need to be cut up to 10%. The money would probably have to come by cutting athletics and other extra curricular activities, as well as possible layoffs or pay cuts. For my tiny school, any teacher layoffs wouldn't just mean combining classes, but since we only have one class per grade we would be combining grades. And while athletics may be something that doesn't look important in the grand scheme of things, it IS a way to keep kids busy and out of trouble. Especially those whose parents can't/won't take the time to ensure these kids have something to do after school.

Anyway, if you are interested there is some info that my school district posted on our website, including a spreadsheet of how much each school district needs to cut.

Towanda said...

Hi Jenny, Thanks for your comments ...

I think the main objection coming from people in the education field that I have spoken to -- is the amount of money being funneled into administration rather than into classroom needs. Almost everyone seems to think the teachers and students deserve the money they need, but there is a tremendous disconnect between what the kids/teachers get -- and what the administration gets. Is this something you are seeing?

I'll go take a look at your school's website -- I realize I need to learn a lot more about education in the state.

Jenny said...

I'm pretty sure this is the case in bigger school systems. I have heard of a corrupted and over paid admin in Clovis and Abq. I'm pretty sure it isn't in my district though. The reason I say that is we really don't have much administation. We have a superintendent whose office is right next to the principle's. He is there everyday, walking the halls, talking to the students and working literally next to the teachers. His secretary is also the secretary for the entire school. He does the running commentary over the PA at football games and sings the National Anthem at every sports game and school program. I also know that while he is well paid for his duties, that he isn't overpaid. My husband is on our school board and I know we don't have alot of wasted spending.

Bigger admins actually have a building for the admin completely seperate from the school with a full staff to run it. I can't say this is necessary or not, but I can say that our admin gets right in there with the kids and teachers. Every board member we have has kids or grandkids in the school. It's not just a title for them, but that they really want to help the school. Three of them, my husband included, graduated from our school, as did their parents before them. We are a tiny community, the entire school is 253 kids from PreK-12. We have a very small sports program that allows for one sport per gender per season, no band or music program (except for elementary kids), and an FFA (future farmers of america). It's a shame that our school is probably being overlooked because of larger schools with big admin.