I’m writing to ask that voters don’t let a union sabotage the Centralia School Board for their petty revenge.
Jami Lund is probably in the top five percent of qualified school directors in the state. He literally has a graduate degree in public policy, which equips him for making decisions about public affairs. But even better, he has served as an education policy analyst in the legislature specifically regarding education policy. This means he knows how the funding system works and what opportunities for excellence are possible.
His commitment to the community is also impeccable. He worked for years on the startup of the area’s free medical clinic, Health & Hope. He has been an active volunteer for the school district, county government, Rotary, and Boy Scouts.
Finally, Jami has demonstrated an active role on the school leadership team. His unwillingness to lazily coast along is probably why one interest group, the teachers’ union, is committed to replacing him with someone with less experience. The union that led teachers on strike to get a budget-breaking 24 percent raise has targeted him and they are spending more than $72,000 to unseat him.
What did he do? He warned us that a 24 percent raise to settle an illegal strike was a mistake that would hurt students. He said spending an average of $75,000 on teacher salary to when the state only provided $65,000 would break the district financially. It turns out Jami’s comprehension of the issues was much-needed and ignored. Now the district faces a deficit of about $2.7 million. Now the district will increase class sizes and cut staff and programs as Jami predicted.
The union who orchestrated the strike cannot allow a voice to challenge their domination of the school budget and policies, so they are spending tens of thousands of dollars to unseat a volunteer school board member who told the truth. Please don’t let all decisions of the future Centralia School Board be made by puppets of the teachers union. The board is much better served by a diversity of voices, especially one as caring and qualified as Jami Lund.
The school board already has two “moms” on it, so I think there is room for a thoughtful, qualified grandpa too.
Please return Jami Lund to the Centralia School Board.