BEA to Burlington School Board: We Mean It When We Say Time for Students to Learn Matters

Teachers have sought to institute 21st Century education for years so students are prepared to pursue their dreams

BURLINGTON – Despite the board’s insistence that they want to work collaboratively with Burlington’s teachers, their last offer at the bargaining table says otherwise.

Continuing a trend they started last year, the board ignored a years-old plan developed with teachers that would make it easier to give students individual attention, according to Fran Brock, a Burlington High School history teacher who serves as the Burlington Education Association president.

“For the past six years, we have been partners with administrators to develop 21st Century learning,” Brock said. “That was, is, and will be our intent. Sadly, the board’s last offer on the issue makes it clear they aren’t interested in working with the women and men who actually teach the city’s children.”

Burlington teachers are in the second day of a strike that started Thursday. Teachers voted overwhelmingly to strike after the board imposed employment terms minutes after the previous contract expired. The parties were making progress on salary and benefits even before the board voted to impose.

Brock said the board clearly isn’t listening to teachers. “We must build our schools to meet 21st Century needs of our students,” Brock said. “We are not going to stand by while the board accepts school policies adopted a century ago.”

Brock added, “Chairman Porter can say what he wants, but BEA cares deeply about our students, which is why it is so important to have time to prepare for and then work with each child. We do our best when we prepare, and that pays dividends for all of our students.”

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