Lindbergh administration disrespects teachers, 2016 graduate says

To the editor:

It is abundantly clear that there are many issues with the budget and management of finances conducted by the Lindbergh Board of Education.

At the June 14 meeting, board member Gary Ujka stated, “When I start looking one year down the road or two years down the road, I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to our budget or our finances.”

He also emphasized how teachers are our most important resources and the board members need to start acting quickly to make some decisions in order to promptly reach a solution.

I could go on and on about how unfair and uncompetitive the Lindbergh teachers’ salaries are and how they are nowhere near what our benchmark districts are making.

But what I really want people to recognize is the fact that this is not just an issue of money, but an issue of respect.

The administration has disrespected our teachers. By denying the teachers an increase of a step in their salaries it shows that the administration does not value experience and it hurts teachers’ future retirement.

By giving our teachers their contracts very late it does not give them enough time to look for work elsewhere if they are not happy because most other districts have completed their hiring processes by that point.

They have not negotiated with our teachers or the Lindbergh National Education Association in good faith and they have not proven that they value my teachers as much as I do.

Our board members need to actively communicate and work close with teachers to create a salary schedule and find common ground.

The administration has also disrespected the taxpayers and the students who they claim to care about the most.

The current situation is affecting Lindbergh’s golden reputation and people are taking notice.

All students deserve loving, caring, and talented teachers. When we lose our experienced teachers and new talent doesn’t want to come to our district, the students and the schools suffer and it creates the potential to lower property values.

The board has repeatedly said now is not the time to ask for a tax increase, but many community members don’t remember being asked their opinion.

At the sit-in organized by students, Superintendent Jim Simpson refused to take any questions from parents, and at the June 14 Board of Education meeting he had a smirk on his face when many students and community members were voicing their heartfelt concerns.

The attitude of Dr. Simpson and many of the board members is not one that will move us forward.

And in response to a previous letter that called my classmates and I entitled, disrespectful, and arrogant, think what you will, but we have done the research, communicated with board members, community members, and past and present teachers, and we will continue to do whatever we can to stand up for the people who have truly changed our lives.

Our teachers are worth it.