AEA wants school district to be ‘right sized’

In his April 18, 2014, editorial, “It has come down to the class size,” Mr. Speer boils down the difficult negotiations between the Alpena teachers and the school district to the issue of class size.

We agree with him on the importance of class size to maintain a quality education, but that’s the not the issue at stake. It goes to the very future of our district if we don’t “right size” the district and save ourselves from financial ruin.

The district wanted cuts; we proposed them. Little did we know, that all the district wanted was to fool people into thinking their definition of “shared sacrifice” was fair.

WE cannot support the district’s insistence on doing what they’ve always done and expecting a different outcome. If our student population has decreased, so must staff and programs. The district must adjust to a smaller student population to provide a quality education.

Mr. Speer quoted the Board as saying “The Board of Education has so far rejected large staff cuts, believing reducing staff greatly impacts students, and significantly harms those workers who are out of a job – and their families.”

Does the Board think a wage cut won’t impact students or the community? That workers out of a job will suddenly find work because school employees’ wages have been slashed?

It’s time to restructure Alpena Public Schools. We want a district that is “right sized” for the future. Why doesn’t the board?

Deb Larson

MEA representative

Alpena Education Association