During spring f 003 Oregon endured the worst school budget crisis in the nation. To understand teacher experiences during this period, 90 teachers across the state were interviewed. Questions focused on teacher attitudes, personal/financial issues, working conditions, and changes in teaching, analyzed with simple statistics and qualitative descriptive methods. Teacher satisfaction declined; teachers were pessimistic about schools, angry about salary freezes, and wanted to retire immediately. Most expressed frustration with politics and dissatisfaction with working conditions. Almost all experienced salary loss, even when days were not cut. Teachers made many personal sacrifices and most experienced health problems. Working condition changes included class size increases, loss of specialists, longer working hours, and more special needs students with less help. Teaching changed to "no frills. "Loss of materials, supplies, time with students, and morale problems were common. Stable and adequate funding and teacher working conditions have not been addressed in policy.



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