Life at the Landfill (today) and a bit of a rant coda

prayingmantiseggsacMost weekdays (except for Friday, when the GG doesn’t usually work), I leave the Landfill in the morning and, when I get home in the afternoon, everything is pretty much like I left it, running the gamut from clean and de-cluttered to a pig sty and just about everything in between. You can guess which end of the gamut is the usual trend.

Today. I got home. Daisy was parked in the street. Some sort of grass-growing substance was sprinkled over all the bare spots on the “lawn”. One of the GG’s umpteen-gazillion briefcase-type bags was on the dining table. The place smelled like baking bread. The dryer was running. Someone was in the back yard. Oh, okay. Mouse was: 1) doing laundry, 2) baking bread, 3) digging around in her garden, 4) planting a praying mantis egg sac. Yes. See photo… Apparently praying mantises (plural, anyone?) eat bad bugs. I asked, “Do they eat moe-skee-toes?” Probably not…

So, the GG was home sometime during the day to meet some folks who measured our horribly ugly old doorwalls for replacement. It is time. (It is 30 years past time.) Will this relatively small prodject jumpstart me into the remodel that we need? I hope so. Oh, and he was outside sprinkling the grass-growing stuff last night. I knew he went outside but figgered he was ‘mokin’ a ‘gar or whatever. And didn’t notice anything on the grass this morning.

Rant coda! The Buena Vista school district, a small, struggling district in the god-forsaken Great Lake State closed its doors this week and fired all of the teachers — Teacher Appreciation Week? You are wondering something like, “It’s May! What about the rest of the school year?” Yes… The state does not (so far) seem willing to help, even though our state constitution supposedly mandates that the state will provide a K12 education for all students. Alas. Our wondrous gubner aka #onetermnerd (I can only hope!) is spouting the usual crap about how everyone needs to work together to find a solution. I don’t have a comprehensive working knowledge of the god-forsaken GLS’s budget and tax structure but this gubner has been hitting at public education left and right. The kids in this poor and largely *black* (yes, sorry) school district have no place to go to school. The seniors will not be able to graduate. How does this kind of situation contribute to the kind of thriving economy that we neeeeeeed in our state (or country)? We are keeping young children from getting an education and we are surely keeping their parents from going to their (most likely) marginal, low-paying jobs. Because they have to stay home and take care of their children! Who can’t go to school because there is no school… Yes, I know that the Buena Vista school district was mis-managing funds. That’s bad and that is why we all have to nominate and VOTE for people who know what they are doing. But right now? Why are we hurting these students and their teachers? These are people without power…

5 Responses to “Life at the Landfill (today) and a bit of a rant coda”

  1. Margaret Says:

    What a horrible situation about the school district and the students, teachers and parents caught in the mess! It seems like so many people don’t care unless it affects them directly; the sense of community is disappearing fast. 🙁

  2. Tonya Says:

    Oh, that just makes me ill. Physically ill. Like a kick to the gut. I’m so tired of all the rotten news under GOP state governors. People! Vote for the SMART ones! Elections have consequences.

  3. Kathy Farnell Says:

    Buena Vista has gone from aprox 1400 students to aprox 450 students in recent years. (I got my numbers from the T.V. News, so I don’t know how accurate the numbers are) How can the district pay for all of the schools to stay open and employ all of the teachers? It is unfortunate that the schools closed so suddenly, but something has to change. Also, the Seniors are going to graduate. (T.V. news story again) Surrounding districts are trying to absorb the current students for the rest of the year and maybe in the future. (Horrors, some of those surrounding districts are run by Republicans!) I believe (news report) that the District is looking into moving all 450 students into one building and closing the other schools to save money. Teachers may lose their jobs, but it is because of declining enrollment, I think.
    This did come as a shock to a lot of people. I Don’t know if there was any warning or not. I Don’t know that the teachers were actually fired or just laid off for the rest of the year. I can’t see how it is the gubner’s fault or the “GOP” that Buena Vista couldn’t hold it together. I agree that everyone has to work together to try and find a solution. I does not have anything to do with whether the gubner is a Republican or Democrat or an Alien. I think the same situation would exist either way, and until we find out what happened and why it happened, maybe we should hold off on pointing fingers. It takes more than a week to clean up the mess that has been created in Buena Vista by the possible mismanagement of funds. I am glad that someone is being cautious about how our tax dollars are spent.

  4. kayak woman Says:

    Kathy, you have said a lot of things that are likely true. I do know that the Buena Vista seniors will graduate and I know very well that many of our public schools have lost enrollment and are managed by incompetent and/or corrupt boards and administrations. I am the *first* to complain about the folks running my own district and I am personally *friendly* with some of them. But Governor Snyder, instead of finding constructive ways to *support* struggling school districts, has (among other things):

    1) Robbed the school aid fund to finance a huge business tax cut that may or may not contribute to economic gains in our state. I believe that’s a gamble and I think he should have explored other ways to finance this tax cut.

    2) Replaced many of the schools in the Detroit with an untested charter school-type entity (the EAA). The EAA is using many young, untrained teachers (Teach For America) and computer programs to teach students. Administrators quickly discovered that there wasn’t enough money to run the EAA and it has quietly borrowed millions of dollars from none other than the Detroit Public Schools.

    3) Has created (or allowed the creation of or whatever, it’s unclear) a secret “skunk works” committee to come up with a “value” school model involving a lot of internet instruction. Basically this is would “voucher” system, which taxpayers in Michigan have rejected. Only one actual *teacher* was included in this group and he quit early on because he did not agree with the direction the group was heading in.

    Our state government has not been transparent about any of these activities and is making people who make FOIA requests jump through hoops and spend thousands of dollars to get documents. One of Governor Snyder’s election “promises” was to increase transparency of state government activities.

    I would like to say that I am not anti-GOP but the politicians who are currently winning elections in that party have just about nothing in common with the folks my parents voted for. Dismantling public education and otherwise disenfranchising poor and middle-class people will *not* lead to overall economic recovery. Buena Vista *is* a small school district. But other districts are struggling too, even Ann Arbor. We can’t just close down all of the *many* struggling school districts and send the kids to neighboring districts (of course, A2 is nowhere near closing any time soon, but…). I am not optimistic that Snyder or the GOP are steering us in the right direction. If the GOP starts addressing some of my middle-class centrist concerns, I’ll consider voting for GOP candidates [again]. Not now.

    I do *not* (usually) watch the TV news. I get my information from a lot of sources, including a variety of newspapers and magazines, educational bloggers, and the radio (and yes, it’s usually NPR).

  5. Kathy Farnell Says:

    Unfortunately, watching TV News and listening to the radio usually gives us only half of the story. I rarely comment on political issues because I really don’t know all of the facts. I do know that many of the schools are in trouble because property taxes have gone down and so the Schools are not getting as much money from taxes as they used to get. If they don’t get the tax money, it makes sense that they have to cut programs somewhere. I still don’t think the Governor (or the Democrats or the Aliens) can be blamed for the situation in Buena Vista.
    I don’t know about the money taken from the school aid fund or the charter schools that have been set up in Detroit. I don’t agree with students being taught via Internet classes. Students need teachers.
    I guess at this point we have to wait and see what happens with this Governor A lot of people are not happy with what he is doing, but the story is not over yet. The voters will vote him out if things don’t improve.