He first thanked me for emailing and said that he hears me and feels my frustration. Then came the encouraging news. First, he accepted my invitation to visit my school. His assistant will be calling me tomorrow to set a date for a visit. Exciting! (I should note that this senator does not represent my district. In fact, I have invited my district rep to my school three different times, and he is yet to accept my invitation. Interesting, huh?)
The second bit of encouragement is that he copied on the email some of his school board members and the Superintendent of the school district where he lives. He noted that even though I do not live in his county, he imagines there are similar problems all over the state. (He's right.) So, he wanted some input on starting a "small cross section group of interested stakeholders from 3 or 4 counties...to work on how to tackle teacher compensation in our state." Well, that's good news, don't you think?!
To close his email he said that when he is presented a problem, he wants to try to solve it. There are no promises, of course, but how can we make progress if we don't try? Those are his (paraphrased) words. What a nice change from the discouraging responses many of us receive when we email a member of the General Assembly.
After I processed his email, I sent him a thank you email in repsonse. He sent me this quotation back: "Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated
failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." -Calvin Coolidge
Let us all learn from that and keep being persistent.