Well, the spouse came home with an interesting “Certificate Of Recognition”.
From the “Everyone deserves an award” even if we have no money for basics department… Our California District Assemblyman has sent out, for “Teacher Appreciation Week”, an 11 inch x 14 inch high quality folio with gold embossed seal on the front, and a gold embossed with gold seal “Certificate Of Recognition” inside. Including a letter of “sincerest gratitude” for “your service to the community”. Addressed to “Dear School Staffer”. (The Certificates are all individually printed with the particular person’s name, which I’ve smudged out… but the letter is generic.) Yes, every single “staffer” got one of these.
Turns out that the topic of discussion among the staff as these were being “awarded” was how the State was supposedly so bankrupt that teachers were being given unpaid furlough days, and there was no money for supplies like copy paper; yet Our Dear Legislator could plop down a $Bundle to have these customized Certificates, letters, and high end folios made, assembled, and delivered / presented to each and every “Staffer” in their district. (One presumes it is being done in other districts too).
So lots of money for SWAG (Stuff We All Get – i.e. freebie handouts to curry favor) and try to assure teachers as a voting block are “in the pocket” and properly ego puffed (on the taxpayer dime); but not enough for materials, pencils, crayons, paper, etc. for the kids… (The spouse often buys her own paper and materials for the kids …)
Generally the staff were “not amused”.
It’s just so… so… so “out of touch” with the reality in the classroom. Lots of pressure to “teach to the test” in an environment of “beatings will continue until morale improves” (i.e. if your school doesn’t score high enough the principle gets spanked and the teachers get a reaming) and ever more mandates to teach crap like bananas and ‘little skinny balloons’ along with “diversity days” and “esteem building” all in prescribed forms; hardly any allowance for a professional teacher to be creative and deliver content of value (i.e. life skills) in a mode best suited to the kids. So teachers get beaten down all year long, constantly told “No, no supplies today… but if your kids don’t do well on the tests, punishment will follow…” (That one thanks to Baby Bush…) And yet they have plenty of money for gratuitous puff like this?
So much money wasted for nothing, or really, worse than nothing, since the teachers were generally NOT favorably disposed…
He’d have done better to send each one of them a box of copy paper and 40 pencils / crayons (depending on grade).