Dear Families of Germantown:
When I decided to run for the 2012 school board election, I was inspired to do so because of the financial challenges that were affecting our state, but most particularly, our own school district. After living in Germantown for over eight years, I became dedicated to the schools and teachers who actually challenged my children in a way that would set them up for future success. In addition, with all of the actions in Madison over the last two years, I found it difficult to understand the split in the political atmosphere. As a conservative, I understood that Governor Scott Walker was trying to do what was best for the state, but as a mother, I had a difficult time understanding the punishing climate that seemed to be engulfing our communities. There were too many perspectives that became “black and white, right or wrong” – there was no middle ground. In my campaign I had hoped to bridge the gap between political climates. However, my message was not strong enough and that is ok.
The truth is our school board should not be a political battlefield; it should be a non-partisan board of intelligent people who believe in doing what is best for the kids. We need team players who will utilize the tools available to protect the things that are great about our district while making the necessary financial adjustments that will enable our schools to be lean but very successful.
Let’s face it, the easy out during this financial hardship is to punish the teachers who, by talk radio’s standards, are the ones who have taken advantage of the system. However, if you do the research, our Germantown teachers have NOT been taking advantage of the system at all. They are among the lowest paid school district employees in 45 southeastern Wisconsin school districts. None of our teachers called in sick during the rallies and none of them took advantage of the “fake doctor’s excuses” that were doled out for attendees at any rally. There are so many preconceived notions out there that punish our Germantown teachers, just by association. These are unfair and untrue for our district employees.
This upcoming school board election is critical in our district’s future; we need people to care about the election and the future of our schools. We are at a crossroads where a two million dollar deficit could impact the quality of education for our kids, along with the potential to “sock it to the teachers” by decreasing their already low pay and benefit package; if you don’t think this could inspire some of our fabulous teachers to look for jobs in other higher paying districts, think again. Teachers are not in it for the pay; they are in it for the passion. That passion serves each of our children very well. Germantown schools are considered top performers statewide and nationally – because of the dedication of our teachers and school board. While some may think that teachers are easily replaceable, I beg you to think about how specific teachers inspired you to be what you have become as an adult. The proper advisor understands their subject matter and has an interpersonal relationship that inspires each child to be their very best.
In attending the public forum on March 14th, I was able to hear what three candidates had to say about their potential terms on the school board. They were impressive, intelligent, fair, dedicated parents who want the very best for the district. They are invested in education for the biggest reason of all – our children. We need to continue the tradition of excellence in our schools.
I hope you will join me in supporting Lisa Laskowski, Greg Anderson and Tom Bowe for the April 3rd election. They are fabulous team players, are willing to think out of the box on issues that affect our children, will work towards what is best for our district, be fiscally responsible and will work WITH and FOR the community.
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