I Support Our Lakeville Teachers

On Tuesday night, I attended the Lakeville teachers rally, listening session, and meeting. Our union brothers and sisters were out in force with a Teamsters semi, speakers from Education Minnesota, Education Minnesota Lakeville, the AFL-CIO and many community members supporting the teachers.

The Lakeville School Administration is about to enter a world of hurt. Teachers are fed up with the lack of support they are getting from Superintendent Douglas Van Zyl and the school board.

A sea of red-wearing teachers at the Lakeville School Board meeting.

Superintendent Van Zyl faced the sea of red teachers and parents that filled the meeting room yet he ignored all that and proceeded to talk about the nice weather and the accomplishments of students. There was absolutely no acknowledgement of the pain the teachers are feeling or the outrage that had been voiced during the listening session that preceded the meeting.

Carrie Popp, Education Minnesota, Lakeville

Teachers are demanding a fair wage that matches those of surrounding district teachers. They rightfully reject the district’s contract language that would force a teacher to relocate mid-year if the district chose to move them. The superintendent claims the district lacks the funds to meet the teacher’s demands despite the state’s recent increased investment in education. This begs the question, why does this administration manage their funds so poorly that there is no money budgeted to support educators with a salary that is comparable to neighboring districts?

With Erin Preese and others at the rally.

The teachers are prepared to strike on May 10, unless teachers, the administration, board, and the teacher’s union can come to an agreement.

No one wants to strike. Teachers just want to be respected and appreciated. Already short staffed, gifted ISD194 teachers will continue to leave to accept offers in other districts where they can make $10-15,000 more/year. And who can blame them?

For you, dear teachers, who have nurtured and cared for my children, I will continue to show up, speak up, and support you, any way that I can.

In solidarity,

Veda Kanitz
ISD 196 educator
Candidate for the Minnesota House in district 57A.