What it does mean is that the week we had before school to prepare for the new year is gone. No one is sure exactly how it's going to pan out, but either I'll be expected to show up on the same first day as the students, prepared to start the new school year, or I'll be losing most of the time I used to get for grading at the end of each term.
Quite a few of the teachers were up in arms about these cuts, fearing that we were going to bear the brunt of these cuts and that administrators and district personnel wouldn't be made to feel the pinch at all. Not that I trust the powers that be at all, but I figure I'll just wait and see before I go burning things down. The principal, someone who I have worked with for 7 years now and trust completely, is pretty sure that administrators, custodians and office personnel will also lose those 5 1/2 days.
In both his acceptance and inauguration speeches President Obama said things were going to get worse before they get better, and that we'd all feel the pinch. I just got pinched. I don't like it, but I know people who have gotten smacked by the economy. Every other department in the state got hit with 9% budget cuts. People are losing their jobs. I'll remember that on those days I'm not getting paid to set up my class and prepare for the new year.