Letters to the Editor

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STRIKE: Why Tacoma teachers are on strike

Letter by Andrew J. Borgstadt, Tacoma on Sep. 14, 2011 at 9:13 am | 3 Comments »
September 14, 2011 10:16 am

Why are teachers striking? It’s not the money. Despite being a legitimate concern that indirectly affects most everyone, it’s not the class size. It’s administrative power.

The district seeks carte blanche authority, meaning it could move, remove, transfer or suspend any teacher, at any school, for any reason. The district has used the legislative mandate of a 1.9 percent teacher pay cut as an opportunity to push its own agenda.

Teachers agree the system needs to be fixed. The difference however is in the belief that giving administration unchallenged autonomy, or uprooting teachers with a plug and play strategy, is not only unfair but it fails to address the problem at hand – education.

Principals do have authority in their schools. These existing processes need to be utilized and pursued vigorously by administration when a case warrants such.

Despite there being a myriad of problems facing education, not the least of which is funding, freedom to move teachers without reprieve is not a solution. The strike issue isn’t about money. It’s not about classroom size. It’s about fair assessment of one of the most difficult and demanding jobs in existence.

Teachers are dedicated to students. It’s understood that there must be sacrifice amidst economic shortfalls. Relinquishing the right to defend oneself and stay committed to a school is not a sacrifice teachers should be forced to make because times are tough.

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