Let's analyze the problem with the teachers' strike. It's not the fact that they are on strike for more pay. It's not the issue of lower class sizes. It's not the fact that our children are deprived of art, music and physical education at the primary level. It's not the fact that our schools are not technologically competitive with those in the suburbs. And it certainly can't be the fact that the teachers want the best resources for the children of Buffalo.
The real issue is that many parents don't have someone to watch their children during the day. Although I can sympathize with those parents, I find it a sad state of affairs when the overriding issue during the closure of schools during a strike is: Who can watch my children? What happened to: My child is losing out on his/her education?
I did not want to go on strike. Not because it's against the law or because I would lose a lot of money by doing so, but because I consider myself a professional, in the business of education. My job is to provide children with a top-of-the-line education, not a top-of-the-line baby-sitting service. I realize that by not being in school, the students are losing out on learning. Where was this outcry? Why didn't I hear that as a major concern?
Until the parents, board and especially the politicians realize that families move to an area based upon the quality of the educational system, we will have disagreements as to the importance of the issues stated above. When an entire community values the school system for its purpose of education rather than a place to have kids go while parents are at work, our society will truly be a lot richer.