I was quite disappointed with The Forecaster’s coverage of the Regional School Unit 5 education forum. Your reporter focused nearly all of his attention on the keynote speaker, Commissioner Stephen Bowen, reserving only a single sentence for the loudest issue raised at this “community discussion”: the dozens of teachers trying to raise the public’s awareness that they continue to work without a consolidated contract. In fact, when Bowen began his presentation, if one did not include the teachers and administrators, there may have been only a dozen community members in attendance.
It has been three years since school consolidation took effect. In RSU 5, we remain without a contract and that has maintained some significant inequities in working conditions, policies, and compensation. Despite the lack of a contract, educators continue to volunteer their time, effort and energies to best meet the needs of their students and to make sure that they are not negatively impacted by these issues.
If you are an RSU 5 community member and have questions about what is going on in your schools, go for a visit, talk to students, or ask questions of teachers. Write an e-mail to the School Board if you feel that your educators are deserving of a contract. Attend a School Board meeting and speak out if you feel that your teachers deserve to be treated with respect. The district leaders have ignored our voices. The Forecaster brushed our voices aside. If you have concerns, make sure your voice is heard.