Education Leaders Ask: Were They Even Listening? - Always Free WV

Education Leaders Ask: Were They Even Listening?

Would it be OK if a special legislative session on education never happens at all?

“That would be fine, I think, for most people. Because what we’re skeptical about is: Were they really listening to us during these listening forums?” commented Fred Albert, American Federation of Teachers (AFT-WV) president, in a Charleston Gazette-Mail article.

“There’s starting to be a pattern of them (legislators) not listening to public employees, and specifically education employees,” commented Jay O’Neal. Jay is a Stonewall Jackson teacher who founded the Facebook group that helped organize two school strikes over the past two years.

O’Neal isn’t the only one wondering if lawmakers are really listening.

“I don’t know how you say it’s important to go listen to your constituents—and then have a preconceived notion before you get the report,” W.Va. Education Association leader Dale Lee. He was speaking of the renewed push for Charter Schools and Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) — even before the state board of education releases its report on their town hall meetings around the state.

House and Senate leaders didn’t listen to teachers and school administrators during the regular session, prompting the second state-wide school strike in as many years. It appears we’re in for “Deja Vu all over again” when this months special session convenes in Charleston.

Why are certain legislative leaders so determined to push an agenda of taking our public money and putting it into private and parochial schools when our public schools are in such dire need for qualified teachers and repairs on old school buildings?

Are they marching to the tune of those out-of-state interests which financed their campaigns?

Call your local delegates and senators before the special legislative session in May and urge them not to support charter schools and other schemes that take critically needed funds from our public schools.

The school you save may be the one your child attends.

Banter Snaps photo | unsplash.com