Published 1:46 pm Thursday, June 4, 2020

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Dear Editor:

Covid-19 has validated the importance of teachers to our children and to our economy.

President Trump and Governor Northam should make the moral decision to declare teachers frontline, essential workers. They join healthcare professionals and first-responders in being essential to the American way of life.

I was privileged to work with a cadre of exceptional teachers at Central High School in tandem with an exceptional leadership and support team. Forty years later I am 100% confident that excellent K-12 education is happening for children of Lunenburg County with full support of the school board, Superintendent Charles Berkley, and parents.

Why are teachers essential?

(1) Teachers bring academic expertise, patience, caring, and kindness to children that only teachers can deliver.

(2) Parents and families are overstressed with the impact of COVID-19 and they do not need the additional teacher stress role.

(3) The economy cannot open fully until children have trusted childcare.

Teachers must be valued as professionals and pay must be dramatically improved to keep teachers in the classroom. COVID-19 is driving teachers out of the profession en masse.

Leaders and legislators have used teachers and public education as the political scapegoat for too many years. Stop the rhetoric and value teachers now.

The time is now to classify teachers as frontline, essential workers and to pay them their real value. You cannot afford not to in these times of comeback.

Please continue to keep priority 1 your health and your family’s health and wellbeing. Stay safe and healthy. My heart goes out to everyone affected by COVID-19.

Sidney L. Faucette, EdD

Wayland, Mich.