Wednesday, April 7, 2021

A Seventh Open Letter to the School District

Dear folks in charge of the decision making down at the School District,

On March 13, 2020 you sent our kids home from school and told us we were all going to quarantine for two weeks to “flatten the curve.”

Yesterday, 389 calendar days after we began our 14-day curve flattening, our kids finally attended classes on campus for a full school day.

Since you are in charge of the schools, I assume you can do the math on how lame that is, but then again, maybe not.

There isn’t anything you can do to make it up to the high school seniors who graduated from home in their pajamas last year, and not much more you can do for the current students, other than to make sure you never do this again.

And before you start getting all defensive and telling me that it wasn’t your fault and there was nothing you could do, and you did your best, blah, blah, I have to ask you - Whose job is it to keep the schools open and running? And be careful with your answer, because if it’s not you, then we don’t need you…

Now that you’ve come to terms with how poorly you’ve done your job over the last 389 days, there is one group of people that you can definitely make it up to. Your inability or unwillingness to do the one thing you’re actually supposed to be doing has caused our teachers more grief than they ever should have had to deal with. They already have to deal with teenagers, for goodness sake!

Between all-virtual, back on campus, and some mix of the two, my boys’ teachers have had to completely change the way they taught their classes a minimum of four times this year. I realize that doesn’t affect you over at your offices, but rest assured, it greatly affected the folks you’re charged with shepherding – the students and their teachers. Not to mention, you turned me into a very unwilling homeschool teacher, which wasn’t good for anyone. Trust me!

Here’s what I propose you do for our teachers: Take a good hard look at your staffing levels over at the district office. Make a list of the absolutely essential personnel, and really drill it down to just the bare minimum amount of folks required to run your operations.

When you have that list in hand, fire all the people on the list and keep all the people you regarded as non-essential. Maybe they’ll keep the schools open next time. No doubt they’ll do a much better job than you did.

They can choose to stick around and run things at 50% of their current salaries, and we’ll take the other 50% along with the massive salaries freed up from all you “essential” personnel and give it all to the teachers – this year and going forward.

That’s the best solution. The teachers are, as evidenced, the only ones working for these kids.

Full disclosure: My wife is a teacher, so this is all very self-serving on a number of levels, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

Yours in educational excellence through continued partnership,



Copyright © 2021 Marc Schmatjen


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