Board candidate Steven Blair and his supporters claim the new conservative majority on the Francis Howell School Board is driving away teachers. Mr. Blair posted his own survey (which only received a handful of responses when compared with the 1200 or so teachers working in the district), and then used anecdotes from that to claim that increasing numbers of teachers are leaving the district because of the board:

However, he never provides any evidence to support his claim – just anecdotes and quotes from his supporters, as well as a misleading chart presented to the “Citizens in Our Schools” program. Unfortunately for his narrative, exit interview numbers from the district don’t support the story he’s spinning. To make matters worse, Mr. Blair had the actual numbers about why teachers have been leaving the district and never shared them. Let’s repeat that for emphasis – Steven Blair knows his story has no basis in fact and yet he still persists in telling it.

Every year, teachers leaving the district are given an exit interview survey asking why they left the district. And every year, the top reasons remain the same (with slight variations):

Even assuming “FHSD leadership” referred to the board and not the superintendent or building principals, and even if we added up other less common options that could also be considered the board’s fault (like “Policies” and some of the “Other” reasons), we still had fewer than 1% of teachers leave because of those reasons this past year. And that was pretty consistent with the previous years. Steven Blair has no evidence that the new board majority is driving away teachers, and he knew this even while making his claims above.

However, teacher concerns need to be addressed – last year, pay was the most common reason for leaving (after retirement). Our district had not been able to provide significant raises for the past 8 years because previous boards slacked off on their oversight roles while the teacher’s union leadership spent their efforts trying to bring back the taxpayer paid release time position for their president. But this year, thanks to a board that is now focused on fiscal responsibility, the administration was able to negotiate 9% average raises over the next two years, as well as restoring some lost salary step for teachers. That’s a great start in getting teacher pay back on track. The conservative majority is working to create a professional work environment where employees are compensated fairly, and the results of those efforts are now starting to show.

To continue that work, we must reject the false narratives of Steven Blair and the leftist PACs supporting him, and keep electing conservatives like Adriana Kuhn and Sam Young to the board.

Here’s how you can help to elect a school board that represents YOU, and not the NEA: