Schools can't take more layoffs
As a classroom teacher, I must take exception to Thomas Elias' condemnation of the budget rider that protects public school teachers from further mass layoffs (California Focus, Aug. 2). I don't think he understands the effect these layoffs have had in recent years.
For example, I've seen the size of my elementary class rise from 20 to 34. My classroom was not built to warehouse so many students. Virtually every square foot of space is occupied with student desks. There is no table space for displays or projects. The students are squeezed together like sardines. I am challenged to maintain order, much less to teach to the new high standards.
My working conditions are student learning conditions. Further layoffs would mean even larger class sizes, and the public school emergency would become a disaster. Better to furlough me and cut my salary. Laying off more of my colleagues is not an option that should even be on the table.
If school districts go bankrupt in this state, let's put the blame where it belongs - on an ideologically extremist minority in the legislature that will not even consider a meaningful balance between cuts and new revenue sources.