Education Committee Report
Isn’t it great when well laid plans come to fruition? Such was the case on September 21, 2019 at the Crowne Plaza in Indialantic. The Hot Topic program “How Teachers’ Salaries Impact Brevard County” was a joint effort of the Melbourne Branch of the American Association of University Women and the Education Committee of the League of Women Voters of the Space Coast.
The panel of knowledgeable people educated those present on such topics as housing values, teacher morale, teacher retention and, from a student, the enduring positive effect of a teacher on a child’s life. The discussion was moderated by Anselmo Baldonado, the host of “On the Latin Side” on WFIT.
Some sad statistics were presented. Math and Science teachers are leaving, there are currently many teacher vacancies, the School Board and the Brevard Federation of Teachers do not seem to be able to reach agreement, teachers are having to work extra jobs to make ends meet, etc.
Questions were raised. Is the School Board working sufficiently with the legislature, can the community make more “noise” to influence Tallahassee, can the Board and BFT lobby the local legislative delegation together, what does the community want – STEM, sports, vocational programs, more bussing, would an increased millage be acceptable?
The impact of good schools on the housing market is huge. Prospective buyers will either pay more for a house or settle for a smaller house, if need be, so that their children can be enrolled in a highly rated school. Even those who do not have children in school realize the increased property value of a good school district.
It was obvious from the discussion that there is much that community members can do to help. Keep attuned to education legislative activity, let School Board members know that voting is a way to express disappointment in the Board’s actions, encourage young people to speak up, demand financial transparency, attend School Board meetings, form community partnerships, work with business and other organizations and always advocate for teachers, children and education.
Each of the non-partisan sponsoring organizations, AAUW and LWVSC, believes that our teachers, our children and Brevard County will benefit from such community support.