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Berkley Education Association President Urges 'Yes' Vote on Proposal 2

"Collective bargaining is one way all stakeholders can come together and work collaboratively to find innovative ways to improve quality, save costs and give our children the education they need to compete in today’s global economy," Mary Lou

As a longtime educator in the Berkley School District, I support Proposal 2 because it is critical to the future of our schools.

Passing Proposal 2 benefits all of us, strengthening the middle class in the Berkley School District and across Michigan. I’m especially heartened and encouraged that so many people from diverse backgrounds in our community have also voiced their support for Proposal 2, including the PTA, first responders, firefighters and many others.

Proposal 2 will help us keep our schools strong, despite the scare tactics that corporate special interests and wealthy CEOs have spread in their desperate attempt to mislead Michigan voters. Teachers, educators and others are on the front lines of the effort to help our children get the education they need to compete for jobs. We know firsthand what we must do together to strengthen our classrooms – and that’s fighting on behalf of students so they get what they need to learn and succeed.

By passing Proposal 2, we can fight for things such as smaller class sizes and more resources and supplies for students. They can better stand up to politicians in Lansing who cut school funds so large corporations and wealthy CEOs can get unfair tax breaks.

Here in the Berkley School District, Proposal 2 would allow our schools, parents and teachers to maintain true local control over decisions that directly impact us, our economy and our future, instead of leaving it up to state politicians. We have a proud tradition of cooperation in the Berkley School District. Collective bargaining is one way all stakeholders can come together and work collaboratively to find innovative ways to improve quality, save costs and give our children the education they need to compete in today’s global economy.

We must also remember that states with higher levels of collective bargaining have lower poverty levels, higher average incomes, lower workplace deaths, higher educational outcomes, and higher pension and health insurance coverage for all workers, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

In the past two years, Lansing politicians have gone to extreme measures to undermine local control on educational issues, including taking money out of our classrooms and leaving our students with fewer resources, fewer tools and fewer opportunities.

As a community that cares very deeply about our schools and the future of our children, we must come together, do the right thing and vote YES on Proposal 2.

Mary Lou Gleason is president of the Berkley Education Association.

Send letters to the editor to Leslie Ellis at leslie.ellis@patch.com. Letters may be edited for clarity. Please include a phone number with your submission for verification purposes.

marla jansen November 03, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Well said Mary Lou! The Michigan PTA officially supports the Proposal 2 and I am optimistic that the Norup PTA will get a message out to our members. On a personal level we love our Berkley teachers and a collaborative parent/Admin/teacher dynamic. I believe the union gives the teachers their own voice so the cooperative triad remains intact.

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