Teachers support Fix It First

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To the editor:

The Fix It First Proposal was unveiled this week, an alternative to the Board of Education capital improvements plan. Both of the plans now under discussion attempt to address the challenges of overcrowding and deterioration. The Board’s plan prioritizes new classroom spaces with infrastructure and existing classroom improvements to follow, and the Fix It First plan prioritizes infrastructure and existing classroom improvements, and then school construction to follow. We in the Norwalk Federation of Teachers have felt dismay as the district’s plan ran into difficulties when the educational programs were selected, announced and not embraced. Both plans will need adjustment, but we need to move forward.

Norwalk students deserve safe, welcoming, healthy environments without the distractions of mold, leaks, crumbling asbestos floor tiles, boilers on the fritz, or over-sized classes. We could serve the students more effectively by attention to these issues.

Good public schools are community hubs. Public education is one of the best outcomes of organized civil societies. But when the community itself perceives that they are left out, there is a significant loss that is hard to re-establish.

The Mayor, Council, Board of Education, Superintendent of Schools, and our state delegation have worked effectively in the past to address school issues. They all have the best interests of our students at heart. We are confident that, working together, they will arrive at a good solution.

– Norwalk Federation of Teachers


Dedicated NPS Teacher February 15, 2017 at 10:23 pm

Let’s make th is VERY clear……I am a teacher in Norwalk and I DO NOT support “fix it first”. Teachers were NOT consulted about what our opinions are, so therefore, it is the UNION President and possibly all it’s members that support it, NOT all of the teachers.

Lisa Henderson February 15, 2017 at 10:47 pm

Dedicated NPS Teacher – thank you for your honesty. It would have been hard for me to believe, even without your comment, that the union leaders took the time and effort to actually gather the majority of the teachers’ opinions. I would hope that the union leaders at least reached out to the BOE members prior to this public announcement.

Kelli Hibbard February 16, 2017 at 8:25 am

I have been a teacher in Norwalk for over 18 years. I want to make it very clear that I do not support the NFTs position on “fix it first.” The union has not had a legitimate election for president and officers and does not speak for me. All teachers were not asked about this stance and we did not vote on this. In my opinion Mary Yordon and the union are motivated politically and are not acting in the best interest of the students or the teachers.

Patrick Cooper February 17, 2017 at 2:47 pm

@Nancy Chapman – I’ve long been a fan of this site and your work, perhaps more so after @John Levin banned a comment. Made me feel better. So, here’s the rub: Isn’t this a huge story? The NFT’s Mary Yordon puts out a statement that purportedly represents the membership without that being remotely true. Confirmed twice here – more elsewhere. Apparently, no time for democracy – and I wonder when her term is up for a vote? Then you have the Mayor connecting the dots, via statements that the NFT is involved in these BOE related capital budget discussions (How are they involved? Why?), who despite the flip flop (thank you for that) signaled he’s already campaigning, and his campaign chair is…. Mr. Yordon?

A BIG and relevant story to chase here – not the daily noise – is this: are the unions amenable to changes to their health insurance that would save the city millions? Where are the on the record questions, and on the record answers from the responsible parties? Most important – what’s the pragmatic deadline for an answer? Aside from the ECS formula for which we have no influence or control (and apparently neither does Bob), this is a huge budget item that if known would alter the conversation substantially. Because the savings would be ongoing. A win for the kids, and maybe even the taxpayers. Wouldn’t you agree Mr. Barron?

As for the comment that only politics are at play with the NFT, one has to wonder if Mary see herself as a mini-version of the AFT’s Randi Weingarten (the status quo by chaos tactics are spot on). The Parents and Taxpayers alike should be very informed of the activities of their largest (by far) employee, who seems to be calling the shots – even in places they simply don’t belong. It’s is long overdue that our elected officials lose the Unions induced Stockholm syndrome

Editor’s note: Nate Yordon is Mayor Rilling’s campaign treasurer, not the campaign chairman

Dedicated NPS Teacher February 17, 2017 at 9:01 pm

@patrick, actually teachers don’t get to vote. We are supposed to, but we don’t. They don’t even let us vote for school union reps. The union board votes for who they want in their circle. And Mary was never voted in. Trying to get this changed, but getting the correct information on how unions should run and getting them to follow rules/constitution is extremely hard.

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