Compromise can be a tough issue for people in many walks of life, but the consequences from a failure to achieve it can prove far more difficult.
It would certainly help the Pointe Coupee Parish School System, which was set to reopen discussion during the executive committee meeting on Sept. 17.
The question of when to begin the pay raise for teachers in the school system put a wedge between the educators and the board members.
The board’s decision not to rescind a vote that holds off on the pay hike until January brought the two sides further apart and prompted educators from four of the five schools to stage a sickout on Sept. 4, just before the Labor Day weekend.
Teachers returned Tuesday, Sept. 8 for a professional development day, but educators and other school employees from five of the six schools did not show up for class the following day. Rougon Elementary was the only parish public school that did not participate.
The move got the attention of the Superintendent Kim Canezaro and School President Tom Nelson, the latter of whom convinced teachers that a compromise was possible.
So, now it’s back to the drawing board for board and the teachers. The divide between the board and teachers has drawn attention from news outlets across the state and has become a hot topic on social media.
Comments on social media have ranged from those who strongly support the teachers to those who say their walkouts have only made matters worse.
Either way, it managed to get the attention of the School Board. Hopefully, they will reach a compromise much sooner than later.
As with every other school system across the United States, the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board finds itself in unique situations during the pandemic. The administrators, teachers, students and parents are all trying to acclimate to the virtual learning format, which thus far has brought more than its share of bumps in the road for all parties involved.
Somewhere in the mix, they must also find a way to achieve accountability under the same standards that prevailed in the “normal” period before the pandemic.
The virtual learning and accountability issues are enough to keep any school system busy, and it’s not to say they did not have tough issues to tackle before the pandemic.
What does it all mean? The School Board and teachers need to reach a compromise. The teachers need the raise that voters approved, and the board needs to make that decision in a way that acts in the best interest of the educators.
We hope for a prompt decision and one that benefits the teachers, whose work keeps the engine running.
Pointe Coupee’s public school system has the best opportunity in years to move forward. A lack of compromise will only diminish those chances.