The time has come for us to stand up together and not allow our teachers, and their unions, to be blamed for all of society’s challenges. Those who question the dedication of our teachers or fear the positive impact of unions should come to Meriden. Our teachers, led by their union, enabled children to have an additional 100 minutes for such enrichment programs as fitness, multicultural arts, online literacy and numeracy, woodworking, technology and engineering, science and math, and academic intervention. Of the 9,100 students in our district, more than 70 percent receive free or reduced-price lunch, and 76 percent of our graduates pursue higher education. I am inspired by the work of our educators and proud of the work we are doing together to make a difference in the lives of every child.