Dear Editor, The purpose of the Fontana Teachers Association is to represent the interests of teachers and the students they serve. Thousands trust the FTA leadership to negotiate fair and equitable wages and working conditions. In Fontana, more than two thousand teachers contribute 1% of their wages annually towards this mission. These funds support many activities at both the state and local level, but the bottom line is that every penny should be devoted to responding to the issues and concerns of teachers.
Teachers are on the front lines with our students daily, and FTA must ensure that their hard earned dollars are used to improve teaching and learning. FTA should be their voice!
There are numerous concerns of teachers that remain to be addressed if we are to achieve the promise of educating every child. First, we must ensure that teachers possess all of the resources and training needed to deliver high quality instruction that is differentiated for each student’s specific needs.
According to one of the current board’s goals, we must also make sure that every resource is strategically allocated. The current board and superintendent would have us believe that the state is entirely responsible for the need to layoff teachers and slash their salaries. Yet, there is observable waste, inequity, and greed that can and must be addressed at the local level.
There are closets, rooms and even rented bins full of unused material while some teachers’ requests for even the most basic resources are denied! The superintendent generously reduced her own salary by the same five days as every other employee, but her salary is ten times or more the salary of the lowest paid person serving our children. Perhaps it is time to reevaluate the salary of the top level administrators, and redistribute some of their largesse back into the classrooms.
Sadly, FTA has endorsed the three incumbents in the current school board election. The very people who have tolerated unfairness and inequity, who have chosen to support fiscal decisions that have lead us into the current dangerous financial situation. Visit any school and ask teachers how often they have actually seen a board member at their site other than to attend a social event. Question teachers about whether they believe working conditions and resources are fair and equitable.
There are serious issues to be addressed in the areas of equitable distribution of resources, fair treatment of employees and class size.
Until the wide disparities between and within our local schools are adequately addressed, our children’s dreams cannot truly be achieved. Education is at a critical crossroads in Fontana, and it is time for this community to take bold action in choosing our school leaders. A close look at the results achieved by the current board mandates that we take action for change this November. None of the incumbents has demonstrated the leadership demanded. Hopefully, the United Steelworkers will make wiser decisions when choosing candidates to endorse. Make your vote count. Vote for leadership with integrity on the Fontana School Board!!!
Sophia Green, Candidate for the Fontana Unified School Board.