As I read the news here I can always find someone shouting about their local schools. Teachers in communities like ours and nearby suburban districts shout about how good they are. Taxpayers in these same communities shout back about how costly they are.
The teachers elect unions to shout for them, while the taxpayers elect boards of education to shout for them. The students — especially those recently graduated — are somewhere in the middle, but odds are they’re mostly concerned about whether they got a good start in life. As it turns out, most graduates in our Top 50 districts are pretty sure they did.
But now back to the shouters. I’ve been on both sides of this teacher-taxpayer fence for 40 years, and I can say this for a fact: No school I know ever got better by getting cheaper….!
To The Taxpayers >> Sure there are a few more bucks that can be “saved” by cutting janitorial services, secretaries, and music classes. Also by “holding the line” by freezing teacher salary hikes. But my question to the taxpayer shouters is this: Isn’t your tax money for your schools supposed to be an investment-with-returns? If so, how do you expect good returns by electing number-crunchers to your Board like GM did to its Quality Control Staffs?
To The Teachers >> Sure you have dedicated your career to giving the best you have in order to reach what’s best inside those kids. But in the final measure, you are far more than an assembly-line union; you’re a professional union. Your fulfillment-quotient depends on far more than just a few more bucks. Remember, neither the school nor the community dare go anywhere else for their return. You’re their best bet, and in the final measure they know it.
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