Great loss from Parkland layoffs

http://www.news-gazette.com/opinion/letters-editor/2016-11-10/great-loss-parkland-layoffs.html

You may have read that Parkland College isn’t renewing our nontenured faculty members in response to state budget constraints.

And maybe you work for, say, Caterpillar, or some other company that has furloughed workers or cut pensions in the last decade and you think, “That’s fine — it’s about time bloated educators cut back.”

We have made huge cuts because we understand our responsibility as state workers.

But, here’s what you just lost: a recently minted Ph.D. from the University of Illinois who was committed to innovative research in first-year education. What does that mean? You lost a teaching genius dedicated to helping all students successfully transition to college.

You lost several other brilliant teachers whose enthusiasm and training brought new ideas to our reading, writing, music and math courses.

Will Parkland, an institution with 50 years of commitment to this community, bounce back? Yes. We work tirelessly to help students achieve their college and career goals — we care deeply about the success of every student who walks through our doors.

And we will overcome these painful losses.

But make no mistake about it. When Parkland loses high-quality faculty and staff because higher education is a political pawn, our district — our kids — lose out on the talent we would have nurtured for years to come.

Parkland College will bounce back and it will thrive. But you need to know what you lost because of Springfield’s commitment to holding our state budget, and your kids’ futures, hostage.

AMY PENNE

Professor of English

Parkland College

Tuscola

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Great loss from Parkland layoffs

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