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Thanks to budget cuts, Lansing, Michigan, is laying off all of the art, music and gym teachers in its elementary schools. Let that one sink in.

Oh, Lansing elementary school students won't go without instruction in art, music, and gym. They just won't have teachers who specialize in those subjects. Rather, the remaining teachers will have to figure out how to teach art, music and gym in addition to reading and math and everything else.

Here’s an extra challenge: teachers also gave up their planning time in this round of negotiations. When it comes to lesson planning or grading, some middle school teachers are now down to just a 24-minute lunch break, says Seidl.

Plus, between paying more for health care premiums and salary concessions, Lansing teachers are now making what they did back in 2005.  

So, no, Lansing students won't go without art, music or gym. But to make sure that happens, their teachers will have to add new subjects at the same time they have to take all of their lesson planning and grading home with them. For the money they made eight years ago.

While in theory, teachers are making all the sacrifices here—and that is a long list of major sacrifices—can anyone reasonably argue that Lansing students are going to be getting the same level of education with overworked, underpaid teachers trying to teach subjects they're not trained in that they would get with teachers with planning time, with art and music and gym teachers, with teachers paid enough to be competitive? No, these cuts hurt teachers—the ones being laid off and the ones trying to the work of the ones laid off—and students and communities suffering from mass layoffs. Meanwhile, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder participated in an NBC education summit last week, saying that Michigan needs a "P-20 system: prenatal through life-long learning." Just apparently without teacher planning time or specialized art, music or gym teachers.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 09:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  MI voters get what they voted for (7+ / 0-)

    This is democracy in action, this is what they wanted.  The people voted for anti-government teabaggers who promissed to tear government down.  And the people will now have to decide if they approve or disapprove of the results, and will have to adjust their future votes accordingly.

    Actions have consequences and maybe now the people, and especially those who are too lazy to vote, will realize the consequence of their actions, or inactions as the case may be.

    •  More likely (8+ / 0-)

      they'll buy the propaganda that more public school "failure" justifies Charter and private schools. Because the union.

      Mindfulness is the first necessity of sanity and survival and the first casualty of Consumer Culture.

      by Words In Action on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 09:25:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You nailed it ... a manufactured crisis (4+ / 0-)

        They're such soulless monsters, they're willing to harm kids to push their charter agenda.

        For money.

        And there are still morons in Michigan who call themselves Democrats and think Gov. Helium is sort of an OK guy.

        The rest are just bewildered idiots who haven't the first foggy clue how to deal with him or his core supporters.

        Why is the Koch-ALEC core crowd winning big-time? Because the supposed opposition couldn't find their collective asses with flashlights, a GPS and three days of food.

    •  Many of them Dems, Norm ... n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  NOT (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Norm in Chicago

      There are a whole lot of us in Michigan that didn't vote for him, myself among them. His refusal to debate his Democratic opponent only made me more afraid of him.
       Now, he has Detroit under an emergency finance manager and though I pray it works, I have my deepest doubts.
       Any time his lips are moving, he's lying.
       He said "right to work" wasn't on his agenda, now it is, MI voters voted for medical marijuana, but his attorney general, Bill Shuette (make that Sh*tty) is going after the compassion centers and he is doing all he can to prevent gay marriage. Of course, there is no REAL crime around here, just gays and potheads-easy targets.
       There are times, in fact most of the time, when I feel as if the world has gone nuts and I just want to crawl into bed and stay there.  

      I will never forget, as long as I live, the day the entire world had hope... 01/20/09

      by jilikins on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 01:09:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Snyder did debate Virg in public, though (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jilikins

        And he won, because Virg came off as an ass on TV.  Virg attacked Snyder at the expense of presenting his own plans.  It didn't help that some of Virg's plans were crap -- teamed up with Moroun and house Republicans against the bridge.

  •  Actually they will give up music, art and p.e. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    megisi, leaf63

    instruction. Those subjects being taught by someone not trained in them is not the same as being taught by people who have spent their lives specializing in those content areas and the specialized pedagogy those content areas require.  When I grew up in the 60's, my classroom teachers taught those subjects.  For art, we'd draw.  For p.e. we'd go outside and play kick ball.  For music, we would just sing songs and strum autoharps.  This is vastly different from what specialists in these content areas teach.  As an elementary music teacher, I can tell you that my first graders begin reading notation, sight singing, simple music composition, part singing, identifying different musical styles and historical periods, analyzing musical form, learning the physiology of good singing as well as proper breath support etc.  The list goes on.  Art and p.e. teachers also provide in depth studies in their areas as well.  Without music, art and p.e. teachers students will engage in music, art and p.e. activities but they certainly will not receive what is considered an education in those subjects.

    “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

    by musiclady on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 10:53:45 AM PDT

  •  No wonder school has such a bad reputation. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jilikins

    How can a child be considered educated if they have not been taught about their physical and spiritual side?

    Want to make a child hate school? Take away professionals that help develop humans. I guess you get what you pay for. The myopic fools that are willing to cut our investment in our future will makes us all reap as they sow.

  •  Ah the strains of austerity... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jilikins

    Sweet music to the pea-picking Teathuglican heart.

  •  Eclectablog's been all over this (0+ / 0-)

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    In addition, the disturbingly EFM-like EAA bill was crammed through the Michigan state House last week as well:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

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