The following are my observations regarding the Feb. 10 Iron Mountain School Board meeting. It was well-attended by teachers, parents and interested community members who actively participated. After a brief presentation regarding completed bond projects by Gundlach Champion, public comment was opened. Several teachers (from Iron Mountain and other communities) asked "Do you know..?" questions about the volunteer work, fund-raising and number of years of experience Iron Mountain teachers do and have, and how they've saved the district money.
During this time, Superintendent Tom Jayne rarely had eye contact with the speakers. At the end of this time, he addressed some areas that staff had mentioned. His comments seemed like a rebuttal to a personal attack on him. Staff statements were meant for the entire board and all meeting attendees. These statements were informative, not combative.
Fact: teachers have worked 31 months without a contract. Yes, the school board needs to increase revenue and cut costs but not at the expense of these capable and experienced teachers. The board is considering a 7.5 percent pay-cut. This should not even be considered as one of the so-called "fixes." Keeping present families of students and attracting new ones is the most viable way to increase revenues.
Respect for teachers, parents and community members is a great way to start.