Monday, May 17, 2010

Mentally-Drained Monday

With this school year coming to a close, I reflect on what has been a pretty harsh (educationally) year and what lies ahead.

So, most of us are affected negatively by the economy. Here in AZ it is really bad - and twice as bad if you are in education. Anything that happens in education hits us twice as hard as my wife and I are both teachers in the same district.

Well, we are going into our 3rd and 5th years respectively as teachers in this district...and we are facing yet another pay cut. We've been in a pay freeze for the past 2 years and now this. Added to this is an increase to our health insurance that we have to cover. Not happy - at all!

So, the question is: Do we stay here and wait it out or do we move on to states with better economies and better educational systems?

I've looked at other states - states like Florida (most counties pay FULL benefits) and North Carolina and Tennessee (min of 75% of benefits are payed by employer) Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Georgia - just wondering what the best thing to do would be. For me personally, I have NO problem entire family lives back in MI and I already only see them once a year (if I'm lucky) - so moving back east is tantalizing because of proximity. Not so with the wife - hers is now all here. She's not against moving, but it would be much harder on her.

Alas, nothing will happen this year - it's much too late for that now. There is an election on Tuesday that will once again determine if we need to cut more out of our already depleted budget - that could factor in our decision to move or stay as well. Overall, it saddens me to see my "new contract" and realize that I make less now than I did in my 2nd year of teaching with a BA (I have a MA and 6 years in AZ).

Perhaps some advice from the "faces in the crowd" who visit my blog will give us comfort and ideas to ponder...


Darcie said...

I am sorry! That has got to be so tough. Can I just say I admire teachers so much...those that give everything they got. It's so bad that you have to worry about all that when all you want to do is teach. Hope all works out for both you and Stacey!

TheRixonFive said...

Well, I'm sorry to hear that. It's hard to be a teacher, period, but times like these make it especially difficult. Speaking as a former teacher here in FL, I do have to give them some props and say the benefits are decent. You won't pay a dime for your health insurance. But it's not a platinum plan. Not bad if your family is good and healthy. The unions down here are powerful, and that's not necessarily a good thing. But I'm pretty conservative, politically, so OF COURSE I would say that. =) FL also has no State Income Tax, and our taxes, in general, are average to low. We have some beautiful beaches! and tons to do for the family! And ... now my ad campaign is over. =)

The Bug said...

I don't have any advice for you - but I'm from NC & I think it's a pretty cool place to live, & I live in Ohio now & we like it. My husband is a university professor - & makes less than I do. It's really sad how little we value education!

Tiffany said...

Ugh - as another former teacher this frustrates me beyond reason. Be wary of moving far away from family, though. My sis & bro-in-love (music teacher) moved to FL from CO to follow the $$$ and have been miserable ever since. Money can't replace family. Just my thoughts!

McCrakensx4 said...

Not sure what to say...but you know that I will follow you anywhere! blah :P
I like the way that you wrote about it though...

Bridget said...

Last year I lost my job at the school as the secretary for the music program due to budget cuts. We're not in a position to move, but I sure hope it all works out for you guys! I know it can be stressful.

Jen said...

Tough times for sure. Hopefully things will get better for all of us soon.
Your wife is a doll! I just love her I thought I'd just start following yours too. Looks great so far!
Have a great week.
:) Jen

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