As concerned Runkle parents, we would like to alert you to a challenge facing our teachers and the entire Brookline public school system. PLEASE WRITE TO THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEMBERS LISTED BELOW IN SUPPORT OF OUR TEACHERS!
For the past year and a half, our valued teachers and paraprofessionals have been laboring without a [long-term] contract. The nine elected members of the Brookline School Committee, are tasked with negotiating the terms of their contract. Despite having received detailed proposals a year and a half ago from the teachers, the Committee has, in our view, failed to negotiate in good faith and remains uncommunicative with regard to its own aims.
Brookline teachers have raised a number of concerns that we as parents share: the impact of worsening student-educator ratios; the loss of personal attention to students as teachers are forced to spend time on paperwork and administrative duties associated with the push for management metrics; the need to do more to ensure the safety of students and staff; and the top-down management requirements that stifle teacher initiative and a diversity of viewpoints.
At a School Committee meeting on February 4, teachers and parents were given a forum to articulate their concerns. But the response with which they were met was so cursory and, seemingly, contemptuous that the teachers walked out. Our children deserve better than this.
Our teachers are telling us that the situation is reaching a crisis point. We encourage you to educate yourselves about the situation, seek to understand all points of view, and most importantly, contact the School Committee with your feedback.
We believe that there is an opportunity to act, and to act in a way that will ensure that Brookline’s public schools keep their reputation as among the best in the state. The Brookline community has demonstrated its willingness to fund the schools with the recent vote in support of the override. And federal and state authorities have relaxed some of the controls that they were previously trying to impose. But in order to make the best of this situation, all parties will need to engage in constructive dialogue leading to action. And that won’t happen without community involvement – and in particular, pressure from parents.
Below, we are including a list of all School Board members and their contact information. We are also including a link to the Brookline Teachers Union, which outlines teachers’ concerns.
School Committee Members:
Susan Wolf Ditkoff
P.H. Benjamin Chang
Beth Jackson Stram