We publish, exactly as received, this press release from the Manchester Education Association regarding Mayor Ted Gatsas’ veto of their contract with the city.  ~Publis

August 11, 2015

Press Release

Manchester Education Association

MEA is utterly disappointed in the man who touts himself as the “Education Mayor”. The Mayor’s blatant disregard of the unanimous support of the Board of School Committee and his veto of the teachers’ contract undermine the educational foundation of all children and families in Manchester.  The school board and the superintendent’s office, whose charge is to manage the school district, clearly stated that the fiscal responsibility of the contract was manageable.  As an education mayor, his responsibility is to listen to the elected officials who represent their constituents and to rely on the expertise of the educational and financial professionals. His course of action is harmful to students, education and the City of Manchester.

While there are rumors about what the teachers will or will not do, let’s be clear: we will be professionals and we will educate our students from entry bell to exit bell. On September 2nd we will be at our posts, ready for our students.

Manchester is the largest district in the state, needing to attract and retain the best teachers for the challenges facing this city. Roughly eight percent of the students in public education in New Hampshire attend school in Manchester, speaking more than 80 world languages. The district’s student body has been growing more diverse annually. Class sizes are increasing at lower grades. As a result of these factors and more, Bedford left, Auburn left, Hooksett and Candia are leaving. None of them are leaving because we don’t have highly qualified educators in front of students. They have left or are leaving because the schools in Manchester continue to be underfunded.

So what happens next? It is imperative that we all dedicate ourselves to improving the public understanding of the challenges facing Manchester’s children and we should demand that this be a priority for the city’s leaders.

What do the Manchester schools need? What do our students deserve? What our schools need and our students deserve are passionate educators who will come to Manchester and stay. Students deserve teachers who are not demoralized and feel disconnected, but are understood to be professionals who have pride in their work. They are a key piece to building Manchester’s schools and the city’s future. Ultimately, the answers to these questions will come from the citizens at the polls.