Guest Editorial: Board of Education is part of the district’s ‘dysfunction’

By Toni Coral
President, Hamtramck Teachers Federation
The Hamtramck Federation of Teachers (HFT) was dismayed, but not surprised that the Hamtramck Public School Board of Education canceled both its regular and committee of the whole (COW) meetings for the month of November.
We urge voters to remember that this is the school board:
• with a current president who was absent for 15 meetings for all of 2022 while attending only three meetings.
• with a current vice-president who told staff that if you don’t want to be here — go ahead and leave.
• that held its first meeting of the year while the district was still on break, thus ensuring that the meeting would not be live-streamed.
• that held a meeting in the middle of an ice storm, when school was canceled, thus ensuring that the meeting would not be live-streamed — again.
• that gave itself a raise of more than 700 percent in March, 2023
• that continues to cover-up the results of an investigation into sexual harassment

The board’s dysfunction is reflected in how the district has been functioning:
• a revolving door at central office
• inconsistent communication with staff
• no collaboration with HFT
• a still steady stream of staff resignations
• a bond that did not pass because district leadership did not create a team to garner public support in a timely and consistent manner.

The HFT wants to encourage residents and voters in Hamtramck to get involved in the democratic institution that is public education. Attend school board meetings, talk to the staff, run for office.
Most importantly, remember this board’s failure on Election Day 2024 when both the current school board president, Jihan Aiyash, and current vice-president, Salah Hadwan, are up for re-election. Neither of them deserve the job.
Posted Nov. 17, 2023

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