What do ancient pharaohs, King George of England, and the Madera Unified school board have in common? Lots actually. The ancient pharaoh of the Old Testament enslaved the Jewish people. They groaned and complained about their long hours, no pay, cruel beatings, the killing of their first born, but Pharaoh said, “They are just slaves, who cares how they suffer. What is important is their suffering helps me keep a huge reserve of money which I will never use, but it makes me feel good to have it, so let them eat dust.”
This attitude not only was cold, callous and cruel, it was stupid. Because there is a God in heaven, a moral order in the universe, Pharaoh eventually lost his slaves, his army, and his first born.
King George of England didn’t enslave everyday Americans; he just treated us like peasants instead of people. He exacted high, harsh taxes without just representation. He took funds that should have been earmarked for the people and used them to further his own selfish pursuits. He forced Americans into military service, and let his soldiers house themselves in the homes of citizens without asking.
The people groaned and complained, but King George laughed and said, “They are just peasants, who cares if they suffer? The only important thing is that by unfairly taxing and working these peons to death I am building up a huge reserve I will never use, but it makes me feel good to have it. What are they going to do about it, rebel?” Like Pharaoh, King George was cold, callous, cruel, and even dumber. Because there is a God in heaven, a moral order to the universe, King George lost his colonies, their natural resources, and all the tax money.
The Madera School Board for years has taken money the state earmarks for cost of living increases for teachers and has used it to fill “their reserve.” Proposition 30 recently passed giving school districts money, lots of money, especially to school districts like Madera that are designated as low income area school districts. What are the intelligent members of the school board choosing to do with that money?
They are choosing to put it into “the almighty reserve” even though districts all around the valley and the state are giving teachers raises and not capping any benefits. They continue to scoff and treat teachers with contempt when they groan and complain about how long we have gone without a raise, how much more we pay in co-pays in our insurance, how the work day and work load keeps rising while the pay gets lower and lower.
Because the Madera School Board members are cold, callous and cruel, good potential teachers graduating from local colleges are looking for jobs elsewhere. Many veteran Madera teachers are opting to look elsewhere. Years ago the slogan was, “Clovis trains them, and then everybody wants to move to Madera.” Not any more. Clovis teachers are glad they are there, not in that Madera district. Everybody knows the Madera School Board worships the almighty reserve.
“What do we care how much those teachers suffer? They are only teachers,” The school board says. “Because of their suffering, their unjust treatment, we get to build up this huge reserve which we will probably never use. That is the only thing that matters.” “What are those teachers going to do — strike?” There is still a God in heaven, a moral order in the universe.
Teacher, Madera South High School