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Tuesday, January 3, 2023

If Diana Greene won't stand up for her veteran teachers, what makes you think she will stand up for anybody? (draft)

 As somebody who has written thousands of blogs and been published hundreds of times, I have a smidge of a voice, just a smidge; nothing I have said or written could possibly have the impact of a sitting school board member or current superintendent, nothing. I get it. What I don’t get, however, is why they don’t use their voices. I don’t understand why they are content with DeSantis and his fascist administration dismantle public education and the teaching profession; I don’t get it, not one bit. As example number one, let’s look at teacher salaries, especially veteran teacher salaries. 

Before I start, let me say I am glad that new teachers have seen their salaries go up quite dramatically over the last few years. Heck, I am elated. That being said, everybody should understand that, at least initially, those salaries went up only because mostly veteran teachers saw their salaries slashed.       

When DeSantis made his initial proposal to raise starting salaries, he took the money from two admittedly flawed programs, Best and Brightest, and school recognition funds and dumped it all into starting salaries. As flawed as these programs were, they put real money into many veteran teachers' pockets, real money they would no longer see. 

DeSantis could have said, we are going to give every teacher from year 1 to year 30 and beyond a 2,300 dollar raise, but instead of doing that, and just so he could get a sound bite on the evening news, he said, let's raise starting salaries to 47,500 and veterans, well %@$# em. I blogged about this. I wrote letters about this, and I told everyone I could about this monumental disservice; this would do, as well. But you know who didn’t say a GD word? Superintendent Greene. Not one word. 

She shrugged her shoulders as veteran teachers, people who proved they could do the job, people who made a career out of helping other people’s children, teachers with double-digit years of experience were now making just a few more dollars than the new teacher in the building, a teacher I might add who would most likely have to depend on those disrespected veterans for their success.          

Aren’t leaders supposed to lead? Aren’t they supposed to stand up for their people? Aren’t they supposed to fight to make sure they are respected and fairly treated? Or, you know, the exact opposite of what Greene routinely does.  

Greene could have used her position to educate people bout how unfair the proposal was. She could have used her pulpit to let people know, and I have always believed once people know what is happening, they would want, no, they would demand better.   

The super has a tough job made tougher by a state that seems bound and determined to destroy public education, but it’s a tough job she chose, and it’s a tough job that includes taking care of her teachers because the better things are for teachers, the better they will be for students, and Greene doesn’t seem to know that. 

She could have spoken up. She could have informed people what DeSantis's proposals actually met. SHE decided not to and whether that makes her a coward wallowing in silence or she doesn’t care about her staff it doesn’t really matter because in the end the results are the same. 

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