Friday, January 22, 2010

This Long Time Illinoisan Has Had It

Two things are certain. You will die, and you will pay taxes. And if you don't pay taxes, then you will spend much of this life in prison.
Ahhhh taxes. They give us new roads, clean roads during inclement weather, they support those who cannot always support themselves, they provide schools, and many other services that benefit the taxpayer themselves. That is, unless you live in Illinois.
No, it seems in Illinois, after many years of corrupt government officials, we don't support school districts or our children. No, we support lavish meals and weekends away for the officials themselves. We short school districts millions of dollars leaving the school district short changed and stuck with the responsibility of 'figuring out' how to manage what could be yet a longer period of time with no funds. In many cases that means cutting jobs and programs.
It's happening all over Southern Illinois.
I saw it happening in Marion on the news the other night.
It has littered the front page of our newspaper several times.
And the effect that it could have on a small town, fatal.
Seriously. Let's cut MORE jobs in a county that already has a painstakingly high unemployment rate. And I'm not just talking some minimum wage positions, but middle class families in southern Illinois are getting ready to see their income literally cut in half. So, the effect on the family is monumental. The effect on the children is even larger.
Now, mom and dad have half the income by which to live, and little Susie and Johnie are in large classrooms, getting very little personal attention from the teacher, are not being benefited with the extras like music and art, and athletics... well... they suffer as well.
As a parent, I'm outraged. As an employed adult, I'm outraged. As an individual, I'm outraged.
Just tonight I saw on the news the campaign money for each of our candidates for governor. It ranges in the millions of dollars. Wow... millions of dollars in southern Illinois towards schools would save many much needed jobs and would bring up many children whose education and skills learned from it will boost our economy in later years. But are they worried about that? Apparently not.
I apologize. I don't usually get on a soap-box, and personally, I'm a substitute. My job, though much more competitive with less teachers, is safe. But the opportunities for my children are not. The lively-hood of many friends and co-workers are not. And personally, I'm slightly irate that in a short month I will be going to file my taxes, to make sure, mind you, that the government gets every penny that is theirs, but I've lost faith that the money that you and I will pay in taxes will be soon seen serving our community.
My heart hurts for the children who will reap the effects of ignorant and irresponsible decisions made by people who were trusted and elected to be their role-models.
It's a shame.


  1. and that same government tells me that my job should depend on how my students score on a standardized test - not just my job but my salary, too. it's a shame that people who have never taught can have so much control over my classroom.