Letters to the Editor
August 28, 2019

To the Editor,
As a special educator for over 15 years in several school districts throughout Ventura County, serving some of our most challenging students, I have learned that students do well when they are in good systems. Systems that involve boundaries, expectations, respect, and support for a variety of needs. The same can be said for adults. Adults thrive in successful systems where their skillsets are valued and their contributions to student growth, learning, and support are respected as an integral part of the educational process. Both teachers and students thrive when district leadership is able to come together with all of its parts equally valued as an alliance working for the common good of education.
It is disappointing to see FUSD leadership and our school board failing so many quality educators, and ultimately Fillmore students because our system is broken and teachers are not valued the same as other employees in FUSD. From the 2016/2017 school year, through last school year, our Superintendent has received an accumulated 17% salary increase, while during that same time, Fillmore’s teachers have only received a total 1.5% increase. The difference is quite staggering and alarming, but tragically reflective of our broken system. A system of leadership and a school board that fails to recognize the value of Fillmore teachers as the heart of the Fillmore Unified School District and seek to cultivate a coalition of teachers working in coordination with leadership for the ultimate benefit of students, rather than consistently being cast aside. Enough is enough.
Kelley Hess
Fillmore Middle School Teacher, FUTA member