Letter: Don’t be a bystander in Hinsdale District 86 negotiations

Having witnessed the Hinsdale High School District 86 teacher negotiations climax this summer, I can’t stand by any longer. I am not even sure what to write.

Do I discuss that only 18 percent of voters brought in this current board? Or the misleading four-page color brochure paid for by tax dollars and sent to hundreds of homes outside of District 86? Community voices diminished at board meetings and concerning emails withheld on the board website? Or the District 181 teacher negotiations which were seamless and timely, resulting in a fair contract for all stakeholders? Or the simple facts? Four people trying to hijack educational policy while hundreds of teachers, parents and students oppose. That’s simple math.

Stop trying to fix something that is not broken. District 86 is highly sought after by both families and educational professionals because of its solid national reputation. Teachers deserve the respect they have earned for decades. This includes the retention of a competitive salary schedule providing incentive for years of experience and advanced coursework. As a 1993 graduate of Central, I am grateful for the invaluable education which led to a rigorous undergraduate experience, master’s degree and very fulfilling 18-year career. But one of the most important concepts I learned along the way was democracy. This translates to not letting just a few people make decisions the majority of residents do not favor. Don’t be blinded by the merit pay myth. Don’t be a bystander any longer. That is what democracy looks like.

Lindsey LaForte DiTomasso

Clarendon Hills

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