Now that the financial status of the school district seems to be positive and no longer the focus of newspaper headlines, it is crucial for district leaders to make student achievement their No. 1 priority.
The community holds the school board responsible for the success or failure of our schools.
District and school board leadership want you to believe that all is well in our schools. The reality is that there are serious issues directly impacting our teachers and their ability to do the important job of educating all children. These questions come to mind:
1. Do you know that teachers and school employees feel they are working in an environment of fear and intimidation, making it difficult for them to speak out over issues that affect them?
2. Do you know that elementary teachers are struggling to teach and to meet district directives without the necessary tools, information and support to do their jobs?
3. Do you know that a new reading series was purchased for elementary schools without providing these same materials to teachers of students with special needs?
4. Do you know that the district removed large numbers of computers from schools and have yet to appropriately replace them, thereby compromising schools' ability to meet the mandates placed on them?
5. Do you know that the very minimal extra pay earned by teachers working beyond the school day has been restricted or eliminated without prior warning? Yet the work still is required.
Despite these obstacles, teachers are working harder than ever for the children of Manatee County.
Voters in Manatee County, make students the first priority of the district. Vote for an educator who understands teachers and students and will work tirelessly to support them.
Vote for Mary Cantrell for School Board on Nov. 4.