Blue Collar Blogger

Dad, husband, baseball coach, writer, community activist and crappy guitar player...I tend to stand a little to the left on most issues. I don't get my news from Fox "News" - and neither should you.

An attack on teacher unions is an attack on public education itself

Every resident of the Village of Greendale is aware of the nationally-renown quality of our public education. Families move to the community for the sole purpose of sending their children to our public schools. Mothers and fathers commute to their jobs from great distances in order to stay in Greendale because of the quality of education their children receive here. Families from outside the community also go to great measures to grant their children the opportunity to attend our public schools.

Is this not a reflection of the value of our dedicated teachers? As has been stated numerous times in the media, the unions have conceited to the financial concessions demanded by the Governor. All that remains is their right to collectively bargain. What the greater public does not understand though is that what the teachers are trying to keep the right to bargain for are not wage increases and fringe benefits, but rather working conditions and the ability to help make decisions in the educational system. I think we all agree that good working conditions for teachers (small class sizes, school scheduling) have a direct impact on the learning conditions for our children.

And who better than the professionals trained in the educational field to make decisions that directly help to mold and set the curriculum and standards in our public schools. Governor Walker campaigned on issues like “small government,” and “balancing the budget” but how does a big government take-over of the public educational system qualify as small government and less interference? How does the right to have a voice in fair working conditions qualify as balancing the budget?

The teachers stand not only to lose up to 10% of their already meager salaries, but their voice in the educational system as a whole. Every resident in the village of Greendale who appreciates the high quality of our public education here should not “wait until the dust settles” to voice their opinion on the matter like Superintendent Hughes suggested recently, but rather they should write Representatives Jeff Stone and Senator Mary Lazich and let them know that we actually value our teachers in Greendale.

I also think it is fair to mention that Superintendent Hughes, along with numerous other Superintendents, has visited Madison to help present a letter of opposition to the Governor’s bill stating, “On behalf of the School Administrators Alliance (SAA), and the more than 3,000 public school administrators we represent throughout Wisconsin, I am writing today to express my opposition to 2011 Special Session Senate Bill 11 – the Governor’s Budget Adjustment Bill.” This doesn’t actually seem like “waiting until the dust settles” does it?

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