Thursday, May 19, 2011

A laid-off CMS employee speaks out

We get lots of e-mail from readers on our stories. Some want more information, or want to offer it. Others want to take issue with something we've written. But often, people just want to express how they're feeling. With so much discussion and debate brewing over teacher layoffs and possible property tax increases, I thought I'd pass along this e-mail below, from one of the 739 CMS employees notified last week that their jobs are gone. The writer didn't want to be identified, but this seemed to give a glimpse of the emotions those folks are feeling:

"I just finished reading your article about teacher layoffs, in particular, media specialists, and I feel the need to inform you of my own current layoff within CMS. I am a licensed school psychologist as well as a provisionally licensed school counselor who has just recently been given my non-renewal packet for employment. In other words, I am out of a job.
What's even more devastating is I was informed last January that I would need to return to graduate school to complete the Master's in School Counseling in order to remain employed within CMS. Not only would I take a pay cut, I was expected to pay for graduate school on my own, which is currently up to $8,000. Since January 2010, I have completed 9 semester hours through Lenoir-Rhyne University with a 4.0 and somehow find myself unemployed starting the next school year. How can someone overly qualified for the position be out of a job? I would like to know. Not only are the budget cuts affecting teachers and media specialists but the main support staff for students, staff and parents the school provides. My list of responsibilities within the school are endless, from legal paperwork (504 plans, McKinney-Vento, Intervention Team and suicide risk protocols) to working with students both in whole classes, small groups and individuals. I regularly assist teachers with various academic and social/emotional needs of their students and provide a bridge for outside resources in the community for the entire school community. As mentioned earlier my roles and responsibilities are vast and to think they will be expected to be taken over by teachers is astounding. Teachers have enough on their plate between larger class sizes and the addition of these summative tests to be able to effectively meet all students' needs, especially the social-emotional needs that help to develop the whole child. Our district is in a crisis and all the necessary supports for our students to help develop the leaders of tomorrow are disappearing. The community needs to realize, this is much bigger than they know.
Thanks for your time!
A concerned professional

What do you think about CMS' budget dilemma, and what's happening with employees like this one?

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