From Pete Rost:
Mr. Craig and Mr. Cerveny,
My name is Pete Rost, I am a teacher in Harford County, and I wrote to you last week expressing my concerns about the situation with teacher raise/bonus funding. I find myself in need of writing to you both again to further express my growing concerns.
Mr Craig, in that letter I extended trust to you regarding your choices with teacher funding. I wanted to let you know that your veto dismissing funding for all board employees has been a huge violation of that trust. You are not making a strong point to the people that it was intended to make a point to. Instead you have turned support staff against the teachers and ultimately galvanized many members of the HCEA against yourself. You had a strong support base which you undermined with your decision. I am withdrawing my former statement of support for your campaign until I can reassess what your priorities as a politician will be, since that’s what you’ve decided to show yourselves to be. I will remain open to what you have to offer, but I will also be wary of what you have already demonstrated.
Mr. Cerveny, I would like to thank you for taking the time to speak with me today, but I must say that I cannot support the HCEA position any more that I did previously. As I told you, I feel that communication regarding the situation has been extremely poor and confusing in the message when received. The people that you represent should never be unclear on the message of their association and unclear is a polite way to describe what has trickled down to us.
I have now been shown by my own representative body and my county executive that I cannot trust either side, but rather must forge my own truth from the information I can verify from both. Again I say it is a sad state of affairs in this economic time when people are used as pawns for one man’s gain. When the people who are supposed to have their best interests in mind show nothing but disdain for the people who put them there in an unnecessary show of power or the desire to mitigate that power.
I think that all parties involved are being needlessly stubborn and closed minded about a situation that could come to a reasonable compromise, were all parties involved openly communicating and not posturing against each other. It is through open discourse and the willingness to meet somewhere in the middle of where you both stand that we, the teachers, will find resolution to this growing issue. We should all be working for the betterment of education.
Sometimes the people in charge seem to forget that this is ultimately for the kids. My students are my biggest concern and they should be yours too. Each and every student in our system depends on the both of you to resolve situations like this so that they do not become detractors to the school day. I certainly didn’t get into teaching for the money. My mom is a teacher, my aunt is a teacher, my sister is a teacher, and I have many cousins who are teachers. I knew what I was getting into when I signed up for this job and when I passed on a physics scholarship to go to school to be a teacher before that. This is my choice to be here and I shouldn’t be caught in the middle of a seemingly growing power struggle. I should be getting reinforcement and funding to help our students.
No matter what anyone’s motivation is, we all know better pay attracts and retains better teachers. Harford County is no longer competitive in the market for teachers and falls further behind everyday that these issues of pay are not resolved. Do not continue this without cause or to try to show up the other, but rather come together to make this work. Now it is a matter of compromise and who is willing to look for that compromise. Neither side will get everything that they want from this situation, but my question to you now is, who will be the one to step up and extend an offering of peace? Which of you wants to show you care about your represented constituents and the children they serve? Who is willing to put aside their differences and truly work for the greater good of all of us?