It's starting to look as though it might be time to pull up the stakes here. Yesterday, our governor proposed cutting teachers' salaries by 6%. Combined with the 4% cost-of-living increase that won't be coming this year, that's an effective 10% salary cut next year. Hell, they're even talking about cutting salaries for THIS year. As in, the one we're having now. The one we signed a contract for in August.
Because, God forbid, we make it more costly for businesses to relocate to Nevada, or institute even a fraction of a percent state income tax, or require user fees to participate in competitive sports. Not to mention rewriting overtime rules for school district and other public employees.
I signed up for the GRE in two weeks. I'm applying for admission to the Masters of Library and Information Sciences program online at University of Alabama,where I can learn to say "shhhhhhhh" for only $275 a credit hour. Some of the programs I looked at, like Rutgers, cost for a semester what I'll pay for the whole degree, or just about the same amount as I'm paying on my student loans right now. It will be so exciting to pay cash for a semester of school! I don't think I have ever done that before.
I've been poking around shopping for jobs and houses. Barring amazing and astounding developments at Tyson's job (possibly involving a move to Florida for a few years--in which case I can be a Gator for $200 a credit hour), we basically have narrowed things down to:
- Missoula, Montana. We have several friends, including a family with teenage kids (and horses!), that have moved there in the last year. U of Montana campus. Mountains.
- Idaho Falls, Idaho. IF reminds me a little bit of home, if Lubbock were Mormon instead of Baptist and three hours from Yellowstone. Bonus=affordable houses made of brick and U of Idaho down the road in Pocatello.
- Spokane, Washington. Forty-five minutes and $100,000 away from Coeurd'Alane. Cheap houses. Snow. According to the salary schedule I found at the school district website, I'd be making about $5000 more there, plus a $1400 stipend each November to employees with a Master's.
So my work is cut out for me the next few weeks: cramming for the test, tracking down transcripts, asking for letters of recommendation. In addition to regular work, coordinating and implementing a new program for next year (which I'll do regardless of my being here or no) and managing my seratonin levels like a diabetic watches his insulin. I can't very well get any of this done if it's hard getting out of bed in the morning.