The teachers running for Pinellas school board this year are miffed they didn’t win backing from what would seem a natural ally: the teachers union.
The union’s political action committee chose incumbent Linda Lerner over middle school teacher Brian Hawley and retired principal Terry Krassner over math/science coach Fonda Huff. The union’s PAC also endorsed incumbent Peggy O’Shea over Greg Hunsinger, who retired as a teacher last year.
“Very frustrated” is how Hawley, a teachers union representative at Largo Middle School, described his reaction to The Gradebook. “I understand politically why they made the choice,” he said. “But to back incumbents in a time like this, and to back former administrators, seems a step away from their principles.”
“During the past School Board elections the ‘teacher’ union has always endorsed an administrator over a teacher,” Huff said in an e-mail to The Gradebook. “That is why so many teachers refuse to join the union … They feel that the ‘teacher’ union is really an administrator union, and once again the union has proved that very point.”