I have a dream that one day all of our brothers and sisters that are teachers at Tehachapi Unified School District will rise up and get that raise we deserve, so that our dedicated teachers will not have to seek extra work such as tutoring, selling products through catalogs or home shows, or work extra jobs during the summer and/or before or after school.

I have a dream that this year our district teacher of the year, or any teacher, won't seek employment at another district. I have a dream that Tehachapi teachers will get a well-earned raise, so that we won't lose any more teachers to neighboring, better-paying districts. Because you know what happens when great teachers go elsewhere? Everyone loses.

The students won't receive that wealth of knowledge that years of teaching brings to each student. The school loses a powerhouse, the rock, the stability that comes with years of fine tuning the teaching craft. I have a dream that the district will open its eyes to see that great teachers are seeking employment with higher-paying districts and realize that they can't risk losing more.

I have a dream that TUSD and TAT will come to an agreement to fill our teachers' buckets with a well-deserved raise, that teachers will stay here, rather than seek employment elsewhere, and our community will embrace all the good that TAT and TUSD can do together as a team. I'm in my 32nd year of teaching, 29 with TUSD.

Ann Chiarini, Cummings Valley teacher, Tehachapi