Saturday, May 30, 2009

Wish List for Moving

These are things we could use/need during and after our move. If you have any used that you would like to sell or donate, please let me know! Thanks, as always, to our ever-supportive group of family and friends!

- twin bed (for Olivia) & mattress set.
- hedge clippers/tree trimmers and other yard tools (rakes, pitchfork, shovel, weedeater, etc.)
- salvage materials to build compost setup (lumber, wood pallets, chicken wire, etc.)
- area rugs
- shelf paper/contact paper
- faucet water filter (such a s Pur or something)
- outdoor furniture
- outdoor playset/swingset (or something like that)
- shelving/ bookshelves
- extra table (like a folding card table or craft table, or even a decent wood table)
- extra chairs (a couple of folding chairs, that kind of thing)
- (this is definitely a want and not a need): one of those trailers for a bicycle where it adds a kids bike on the back so they can help pedal. Can't remember what they're called. Schwinn makes them.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Note to Jan Brewer which I sent this morning:

As a riffed teacher, I will become a burden to our systems of state and federal aid tomorrow as I apply for unemployment as well as other programs such as Kidcare and DES child care aid.

Next year, my son will begin first grade, and in a couple of years, my daughter will begin school.

It is imperative that you work to fully fund education now. I understand you are pushing for a temporary sales tax increase. I suppose I would support this, but I think that it is time Republicans give up the idea the the individual taxpayers can possibly carry this burden alone. It is time for businesses to step up and be willing to give up some of the tax breaks they have enjoyed in Arizona at the cost of our state's ability to educate its children. Please consider some of the measures proposed in the past such as the bill Rep. Steve Farley told me about that rewards companies that produce green energy while taxing companies that don't. According to his analysis, much of that tax burden would not even be paid by Arizonans because we ship out so much of our energy.

At any rate, there are creative solutions out there that don't put the entire burden of this budget crisis on the backs of families who are already struggling. My husband is also unemployed (with a Masters degree and additional certifications) XXXXXXXXXX[to protect the innocent] And yet you suggest we shoulder an extra 1% sales tax. I will do it to fund education, but shouldn't businesses be sharing the load? They will reap the benefits of a generation of skilled, reflective and creative adults who come out of a healthy educational system. I shudder to think about the consequences for our communities and for my own children if we do not uphold this responsibility.

Amethyst Hinton Sainz

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Wastefulness of the AZ Budget Battle

I'm not sure I have time for as thoughtful a post as I would like, but it's looking like if I waited for that, I'd never post anything.

Lately, I've started relaxing a tiny bit about the fact that I've been RIF'ed from my district (or "riffed"). Not because I'm confident about being called back, but because my Linkedin profile is somewhat complete, my resume is updated and tuned, I have several versions of it and cover letters, and I have some pretty wonderful letters of recommendation which humble me and boost me with the confidence I will need to get through this. So I'm poised to apply for jobs, and now I have begun to seriously think: of the seven jobs for which I have applied, which would I really accept without knowing whether I will be called back to Tucson High? Only one or two really make the cut. Before I would consider becoming a pharmaceutical rep or a technical writer, I would want to know whether I would be offered my old job back. I am starting to be choosy about what I apply for, although I am not at all sure that I can afford the luxury.

I estimate that I have spent at least 20-25 hours on job searching activities so far. Some of these were hours when my children talked to me about their day and then slowly climbed me like a wall of impenetrability while I typed at the computer and asked them to go play on the patio. Some of these were hours I should have spent giving feedback to my students on their research papers and planning a more engaging Huck Finn unit for the end of the year, or calling parents of students who were struggling. These were important hours I was giving up in a fog of panic and heartache.

So, how many others in Arizona are in my exact position? How many resumes and careerbuilder applications are they sending out?

How many of those jobs are they serious about?

How much time are the HR folks at those companies spending on e-mail and with manila folders trying to keep all of this straight? How many little white postcards are being sent out informing these applicants that, due to the extreme volume of applications, they will be contacted if their experience and qualifications meet the needs of the employer? How many needless interviews will be held while the clients, customers and students of those interviewers wait their turn?

Come May 22, how many of us will be in line (or online) to apply for unemployment? Food stamps? WIC? AHCCCS? How many of us will end up being double-dippers for a time, living off of our summer paychecks and collecting unemployment all summer, only to find ourselves employed in August? But we can't exactly not apply, because what will happen if we are not employed come August? How many of us will end up in foreclosure or in a short sale, and who absorbs the impact of that lost debt? Who is paying for all of this? The Republicans as much as the Democrats, I can tell you.

There is an entire, frightening economy developing out of Arizona's budget crisis alone. On top of the already frightening economy. And yet it is all sold to us as something unavoidable, inevitable, part of the process, the result of a bad economy. But there are solutions; it's just that those in power want to write the script of these last few months of the fiscal year so that in the grand finale, they can seem to be flexible, compassionate, problem solvers. It makes me sick.