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Hello, my LM_NET friends!
        Last Wednesday I was told that the school committee had found
the money and my position will continue next year.  I spent an
exhausting couple of months mourning the loss of the collection I'd
built, the relationships, etc, and opening my eyes to all the
difficult and impossible parts of the job (and I'm not talking about
those that naturally go with being a school librarian in
Massachusetts, here I mean ways I've been treated by administration
this year and the way issues of racism, classism and homophobia are
routinely ignored there).  I had some exciting possibilities for new
jobs.  I was ready to change.  Now everyone expects me to cheer and
be very happy my job is secure for one more year (no promises beyond
that).   I will be quietly exploring the new possibilities, which may
be subject to hiring freeze.  And knowing that in any case, I have a
job in the fall.  But I'm still exhausted.
        I am told there are schools where the teachers are not
notified of cuts every year and then told there won't be any.  BTW,
the school committee dealt with the budget cuts by planning to not
hire replacements for four teachers who are retiring and by using all
the money in the reserve account.  A cliff hanger for sure.  I am
told that this has been the standard operating procedure for as long
as any of our teachers have been there.   I also heard of a principal
who refused to put her teachers through that kind of circus until the
final budget was known.  If I stay in Southwick, I'm sure this will
happen again.  Is this the way things go in small school districts?
People have said it is this way because we are so small with no
industry tax base, so budget cuts hit us hard.  Anyone else get this
kind of treatment?
        Thanks for all your support,
Johanna Halbeisen, Library Media Teacher
Woodland Elementary School (preK-4)
80 Powder Mill Rd,  Southwick, MA 01077

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