From all the bad economic news of the past week, I keep thinking about the Santa Rosa teachers camped out overnight in the rain – just so they could be first in line for a buy-out. The first 68 teachers, Staff Writer Kerry Benefield reported, were to be offered $45,000 each in return for agreeing to retire.

So, what does this say about our world?

One, the State of California and its school districts are broke, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better. Blame a bad economy and the accumulation of years of bad choices.

Two, without regard to whether experienced teachers or younger teachers are more effective in the classroom, we’ve decided to take the younger teachers because we don’t have to pay them as much. For all of our declarations about testing and raising education standards, it comes down to this.

Three, we’re not very good at figuring out a dignified way to allow veteran teachers to begin their retirements. There they are, people who have spent decades teaching our kids. They’re standing in the rain, eager for the opportunity to get the hell out.