I recently wrote a long letter to the Geneva school board concerning negotiations. Excerpts follow.
"I am worried about the potential for you to miss this last chance to show you understand the importance of strong schools with teachers who are compensated fairly for the important work they do.
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"Economic difficulties should not filter down to schools for the sake of saving money elsewhere. We need our schools to stay strong; our teachers have proved they are strong, leading to strong student performance … why make a decision that will weaken our schools?
"I now look forward to a more transparent presentation of what the school board is willing to do for our school district. Negotiations are difficult because the end result pleases no party 100 percent. However, doing what is best for students should not be that difficult.
"I have paid taxes to help fund the school district since before having children and will continue doing so when they are grown up and paying taxes of their own, wherever they end up living. I take great pride in being able to do that in a community that values education and values students. Yes, it's an expense, but it's an investment in our future."
I now direct the rest of my message those living within the Geneva school district.
Please speak up, whether you agree or disagree with my thoughts. The school board should know how you feel because its decision will affect our community. Teachers are super, but they're not supermen and superwomen. They need support, time, collaboration and compensation for the professional work they do. Our schools are the places in which the community's, the country's, and the world's future leaders, doctors, artists, inventors, and, yes, teachers, are developing.