Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:52 PM
rjlobo422 (29 posts)
From a teacher....
I am a legally blind teacher who has taught regular and special education students in California and Missouri for thirty four years. I have a masters and a doctorate and have taught for the University of Missouri. I have also run group homes and day programs for mentally challenged kids and adults.
Last July I was laid off from my teaching position with the Riverside County Office of Education. After a long career in teaching I was rewarded by being dumped on the curb like old trash My position was eliminated due to budget cuts but the real reason goes deeper than that. Because of my salary the county waged a five year war of harassment until they were finally able to kick me to the curb. Without going into great detail I will say that they acted very unprofessionally.
My union did almost nothing to help.They certainly did nothing to rock the boat or get in the faces of my abusers. They did the least they could do and still appear to be concerned. They did finally give me a little blue bag for my unemployment stuff.
At the hearing for my layoff the lawyers assured me that my name would be at the top of the rehire list due to seniority. They offered me a part time gig thirty miles from my home which they knew I could not get to since I do not drive. They might as well have assigned me to a position on Mars. I had to retire to keep my insurance. When I called about open positions I was told that they did not have to rehire me because I had retired.
I applied for unemployment in August. Because there are no walk offices due to budget cuts I have spent tens of hours on the phone and writing letters to appeal my case because the county is fighting my unemployment. If i do not get some help soon from unemployment or another job I could lose my family home.
Im writing all of this to DU because I need my progressive friends to understand some hard realities in our education system today. Our teachers are not honored or respected as professionals they are treated as throw away day to day labor. The NEA is a great source of political capital for Democratic candidates but they if you are a teacher looking for real help you are shit out of luck with them.
I am currently looking for work in special education advocacy or QMRP related work. If you have any ideas please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for letting me vent.
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Replies to this discussion thread
From a teacher.... (Original post)
Response to rjlobo422 (Original post)
Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:11 PM
senseandsensibility (12,131 posts)
1. If you retired, you are receiving a pension, correct?
I'm not saying it's enough for you to live on because I have no idea. But if you have contributed to the teachers' retirement system for thirty plus years it should be something. I believe that once you have retired in California, you can not work as a regular teacher in addition to receiving the pension. Many retired teachers I know substitute teach to supplement their incomes. Is that a possibility? Best wishes to you, and thank you for serving special needs students.