Education is a human right. Our educators are incredibly valuable. At the primary debate between the Democratic candidates in House District 24, Darin Mann stood out because he recognizes the value of educators and their right to collectively bargain for a livable wage. Furthermore, he understands the importance of reducing class size. The only way we can adequately reduce class size is by attracting and keeping talented educators.
I am an assistant professor at Salt Lake Community College and I know several K-12 teachers across the state. My colleagues and friends are skilled and dedicated, and their importance to society is paramount. It is an atrocity that we barely have a livable wage. Many teachers survive on less than the median household in Utah despite their degrees and years of experience. Inadequate income causes undue stress and distraction from our work. Also, though we may care deeply for each of our students, we are overwhelmed by our class sizes, and too many students fall through the cracks.
As individuals, we have no power to change our situation. However, as a group, we can fight together as others have done across the nation.
Darin Mann is the progressive candidate who will work to empower and fight alongside us.
Nancy Barrickman, Salt Lake City