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Bond issue/levy needed for future

4/25/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

I am writing this letter from three different perspectives: parent, teacher and union president.

My three children attended Coventry schools from prekindergarten through 12th grade. I am proud to say all three have been on the dean’s list in college! One is continuing her education to be an R.N., one is in psychology and the other is in the criminal justice field. During my oldest’s first year in college, she told me she was more prepared than most in her class. Thank you Coventry teachers for providing a well-rounded education that helped to mold my children into successful adults!

I have been an educator in Coventry schools for 26 years and this is the worst situation I have seen our district encounter. We have had to close buildings for safety and cost-cutting measures. But we continue to be on the forefront of education: for example, we are part of the Race to the Top initiative that brought in money to help us achieve what the state is requiring of all districts. We have STEM classes that offer the top-achieving students/gifted students to be challenged and enriched through community involvement and project-based learning. We have teachers writing grants to bring in funding for innovative projects that provide their students with creative, real-life experiences.

Many teachers apply for funding to buy document cameras, classroom sets of books, musical equipment, etc. ... to insure their classrooms are 21st century ready. Many teachers spend a lot of their own money too buying Christmas presents for struggling families, buying shoes for a child who can’t afford a new pair, buying books/paper/supplies, etc. Coventry teachers are always willing to go the extra mile, stay on top of the changes in education and adjust their curriculum to meet the state requirements.

On behalf of the Coventry Education Association, I would like to fully support the efforts of the community and school district to pass this bond issue. We have not taken a raise in over three years. We more than tripled the amounts we pay in insurance premiums; thus, our paychecks have decreased. We have increased class size. We have lost crucial planning time while taking on additional responsibilities. Additionally, we are required to take college credits to uphold our license, all at our own expense. My point being, that the teachers of Coventry have gone above and beyond to help the district succeed — now we need your help and support. We love our students and obviously are very committed and dedicated. I know everyone wants what is best for their children and grandchildren, and the legacy we want to leave for them. You are welcome to come spend a day in my classroom to observe, ask questions or get involved; you will see why this issue is imperative for our future.

Please find a way to make this happen for the Coventry students!

Joanne English, Coventry Education Association president

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