The AEU is currently collect a paper vote to determine if a strike is feasible. Here are my thoughts.
The vote and potential action are stressful. My jaws are sore from clenching my teeth from carrying this stress.
I woke up early thinking about what I do as a public educator in my community. I serve my community because this is my home. I teach and empower the children of my peers, instill in them a work ethic, confidence based on accomplishment, and thoughtful reflection that will serve them well in life.
In no way do I wish to harm my community, to the contrary, I have devoted myself to their service.
Yet, I feel, the actions of our state government, in direct defiance of the will of voters, have exacted a heavy toll that unintentionally serves to undermine my the integrity of my community.
With or without intent, I believe the move to “privatize” education is the end game of the state government. It will come at the expense of further financial burden to rural and poor to middle class communities as money is taken from public education. While Ducey is not raising taxes himself, districts must have bonds, which are local taxes, in order to pay for what the state should be paying to do.
This privatization is done through public subsidy and without financial or end-product responsibility by those running these private schools. It is the government using tax money to build private companies, from which they personally profit.
Ducey’s proposal, seen through the most positive lense, does not make public education a priority, but a luxury, if the state has the money. This proposal is not a change of heart, but am empty promise from a source of past empty promises.
It is because I serve my community and because I believe our governor has no interest in prioritizing much less stabilizing public education that I will stand #REDforED, even if that means we strike today.
We have the initiative and are strong together. My vote of yes today will say that I am #REDforED, and we serve our communities, not ourselves.
I am a teacher that has advocated against striking now, quite loudly. I have not had a change of heart, but do have the resolve to stand with those like minded and do what is needed to exact change.
The 5 demands of the AEU prioritize and stabilize public education. They are worth this fight.