Jennifer Bado-Aleman, MD
As a child of immigrants, I recognize the important role that public education plays in affording equal social and economic opportunities to all students, regardless of their background. That’s why I’ve dedicated my career to preparing students to make the most of these opportunities and rise to their full potential both in and out of the classroom. I am currently the English Department Resource Teacher at Gaithersburg High School and help students develop the literacy and writing skills they need to be successful in college and their careers.
Unions are so important to teachers because they provide us with resources similar to what I seek to provide to my students: a forum in which voices can be heard and individuals can work together to achieve greater benefits for themselves and their families. Wealthy special interests are attempting to silence those voices in the Supreme Court case Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association and make it harder for working Americans to speak up and get ahead.
Throughout my career, I’ve made a concerted effort to reduce the achievement gap by supporting students from underrepresented groups on the path toward academic success. Unions do similar work for their members, by advocating for smaller class sizes, negotiating for trainings and improvements on the job to improve effectiveness, and providing employees with a unified voice.
Attacks from wealthy special interests won’t only impact teachers, but also the students we serve. Our ability as teachers to come together and speak in one voice through our union has helped Montgomery County become home to some of the best schools in the country.
The administrators of the Montgomery County Public School system – which employs over 22,000 people to educate more than 150,000 students – came to the conclusion that their schools work best for students when they listen to their employees. They recognize that our students matter. They recognize that no one knows our students better than their teachers and school staff. And they recognize that when they listen to their employees, students are much better served.
When this court case threatens our ability to best serve our students, it threatens the future of our nation. I hope the Supreme Court will see the value in public unions so my fellow teachers and I can continue to have the resources to prepare our students to be successful.