Interested in writing a letter to the editor or guest column to the Indiana Daily Student? Check out our guidelines and submission details here.
Strong schools make Bloomington a great community. The Monroe County Community School Corporation needs your help on Nov. 8 to support the school system that makes this such a nice place to live. We know excellent teachers and staff are vital to a quality education. At MCCSC, we want the best teachers and hourly staff to ensure the best learning experiences and outcomes for our students.
Great teachers, and our ability to attract and retain great teachers, matter now more than ever. Teacher shortages are affecting districts across Indiana and the entire country. While there’s no single reliable database to precisely track the shortage, the indicators are everywhere. Some states are lowering standards and prerequisites for classroom teachers. An Illinois report says that 88% of that state’s school districts are experiencing shortages. The executive director of the School Superintendents Association told the Washington Post: “I’ve never seen it this bad.”
Many factors contribute to the shortage. The COVID-19 pandemic added unprecedented demands and stress to teaching. In some communities, controversies centered on curriculum and content have added pressure and left many teachers feeling battered by political forces that simultaneously seem both misplaced and beyond their control. None of this has escaped the attention of college students, fewer of whom are choosing careers in education.
Amid these challenges, MCCSC is also focused on improving equity and diversity to provide the best learning environment for students. Our goals and priorities for 2021-2025 include recruiting, hiring, and retaining a diverse staff that reflects our student population. While adequate pay is only one element needed to attract and retain teachers, it is nonetheless an important component. If voters approve the Nov. 8 ballot question, MCCSC has committed to increase teacher pay by $4,500 and support staff salaries by $2.25 an hour. Please vote yes for MCCSC.
Erin Cooperman, MCCSC School Board Member District 5