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Wednesday, October 5, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: Smart move on substitutes

Editor’s Notebook: Smart move on substitutes

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On very rare occasions, we the newspaper and I the individual might be just a smidge critical of the running of local school districts. Not sure if anyone has noticed, but it sometimes veiled references to my discontent surface in blogs or on the editorial page.

[I did that last paragraph with a straight face. I should be a poker player. Yes, even cursory readers know the truth: We are about as heavyhanded in our criticism of local school systems as the Biden Justice Department is in handling its political opponents …]

However, fair is fair, when school systems do something smart and dare one say innovative, it is worth praising. And so I will praise the Arlington school system, which seems to be doing the right thing in deciding that, for the coming year, it will position two substitute teachers permanently at every school.

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That way, the teachers will get to know the school and the students, rather than being shuffled around the county as whims dictate. And it certainly would seem like there are enough teacher absences spread across an entire school to keep those substitutes busy.

So there you go: The Sun Gazette, or at least its adorably cherubic editor, has praise for a local school system.

MAYBE IT’LL BE MY RETIREMENT JOB: Now that bill that was dubbed an inflation-beater even when everybody knew it was going to exacerbate inflation is moving toward the desk of our COVID-free-and-lovin’-it president, it looks like there are going to be thousands and thousands of new jobs at the IRS.

(Of course, it doesn’t sound like the people being hired are going to be dispatched to solve the ever-ever-ever-growing backlog of responses to filings, or even to just answer the phones. Nope, they’re going to be sent out across the fruited plain to catch tax cheats. I’m not against that, but maybe in the short term the understaffed agency should focus on getting its own act together.)

As regular readers know, my parents back in the day met, wooed, married and [shudder] procreated when in the employ of the IRS’s national headquarters down on Constitution Ave. I was their very first little deduction. So maybe I should apply for one of those new openings – I could wrap up my working days the way my parents began theirs.

I’ve used this line before, but it also seems to apply: Back in the 1960s a reporter asked Pope John XIII, “Your Holiness, how many people work in the Vatican?”

“Oh, about half,” he jovially responded.

Don’t think the rank-and-file ever forgave him for that zinger.

– Scott McCaffrey

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