I traded phone calls with the Boston Teacher's Union yesterday and they have decided to stay out of endorsing anyone for the Mayor's race.
This is clearly a blow for Menino, when a union that represents thousands of city employees decides to stay on the sidelines it says that they believe he has a chance to be toppled.
I'm happy about their decision and believe it will help to lead to an open discussion (maybe even a debate or three) about the schools.
To summarize the current positions: Menino is making 2/3's of the city budget cuts to the school system, I'm saying that I will replace any cuts that Menino makes to full time teachers. I haven't seen any definitive statements from the councilors.
I spoke to two teachers yesterday while I was collecting signatures. One teaches in Boston, one in Newton, they are close friends. The Boston teacher makes more than the Newton teacher, and she is not pleased with Menino's cuts to the school department although she acknowledged that Boston Public School teachers get paid well for the work that they do. She said that we are now down to 67 cuts in full time teaching jobs, which is less than one in every two schools in Boston.
A far cry from the Chicken Little proclamations of Menino back in December when the economy was in better shape than it is now. We need an honest government which presents honest numbers to the citizens so we can make an honest determination of where to spend our limited funds. I make education the top priority, Menino makes it the top cut.