Lindbergh teachers make the difference, according to educator

To the editor:

Recent letters regarding contract conflicts within Lindbergh Schools trouble me.

I am a district taxpayer, have a recent graduate, and am an educator — previously in Lindbergh but now an administrator in another district. One letter stated, “It’s time to be grateful to this district …” Yes, for top-performing teachers and strong, articulate students, yet recent letters devalue both.

Lindbergh has many accolades, but this starts with great teaching.

Beautiful facilities and strong programs mean little if instruction is weak. Lindbergh teachers are passionate, giving, and hard working. They inspire, hold multiple degrees and certifications, have years of experience, and are experts in their fields. Many are National Board Certified. Lindbergh is a top district and this is why.

They also create educated citizens, like the students voicing their concerns. Isn’t this the goal of public education? Growing informed citizens who act on their democratic rights? This is “bullying”?

I applaud the students for their passion and thoughtful responses to opposition. They are right: teachers deserve respect and the opportunity to dialogue about their contracts and their pay.

Previous letters about pay miss the mark. The conflict is not whether teachers should be paid better or worse than other occupations — a trite argument downplaying educators’ value.

Compare apples to apples: When comparing Lindbergh teachers’ pay to that of area districts, Lindbergh teachers are undervalued. Teachers can leave for better pay elsewhere — and they will.

New teachers can be hired, but if the quality lessens, the product suffers. And top-tier college graduates seek well-paying districts.

Living in Lindbergh means a strong education for children and high property values — but you get what you pay for. Our tax rate is lower than most in St. Louis County. If the district cannot cover the costs, maybe we need to revisit a tax increase.

I support whatever it takes to give students a top education.