To the Editor:
I support the Geneva teachers’ determination to convince the school board to develop a stronger contract that will make the most of our community’s investment in our children, our future – that will retain and attract strong, phenomenal teachers and that will allow teachers to feel respected and supported.
If we peruse the websites of the Geneva Education Association and the Geneva school board or speak to individuals from each group, we will see that the GEA has valid arguments for what it’s requesting in its contract. We also see a school board attempting to show fiscal responsibility. What I personally have seen missing is respect for – and support of – teachers from some in the community. Even the board’s press releases have carried a tone of offense and disappointment at the union’s actions. I believe this tone is simply a result of a process that has been difficult and upsetting for all parties. I trust that individual board members do have a great deal of respect for teachers, and I hope remembering this helps them come to an agreement in the near future.
Going back to the community’s investment in our future – the children of our community and our nation will be those we turn to in the future to teach other generations, to make decisions about laws and roads and safety, to repair our cars, to help us when our technology fails us, to create new technology, to save our green spaces, to sell us our groceries, our clothes and our medicine, and to take care of us, each other and our grandchildren.
Teachers happen to be our link to those future leaders. I want teachers to receive support, respect and a fair contract. It’s worth it, to me, to team up with other residents and make that investment.
I hope for the parties to come to agreement soon. However, I am most hopeful that the support and respect our schools deserve is given by the whole community, no matter how we feel about how our tax dollars should be spent or how high we believe they should be. No matter the outcome, no matter how hard the fight, our future is directly connected to teachers. I support their hard work. I respect their dedication today and always.