Cesar is an active parent from Tucson who serves on his school’s site council. During the recession, he was involved in making the very difficult decisions about which positions needed to be eliminated due to huge funding cuts at the state level. The council started with the aides and then the instructional specialists that support teachers. Additional funding losses meant the school counselors needed to go as well as the music and extracurricular classes. Over the next few years, not only did the school lose the people they had to cut, they also lost some of their best teachers because the teachers had lost all of their support staff. Classroom sizes went from around 20 kids to near 30 kids.
Cesar’s youngest daughter—now a 4th grader—has had five years of public school but only two years with a full-time teacher from beginning to end. Cesar understands that teachers are not earning a good living, not receiving the support they need, and being expected to perform miracles even as the cuts remain. As a parent, he’s pissed off, knowing that some people believe that just because a kid was born into a different family or a few miles away from where he lives that those kids deserve more than other kids.