Letters to the Editor

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SCHOOLS: Blame the state, not teachers

Letter by Kevin D. Milliren, Orting on Aug. 22, 2011 at 9:48 am with 7 Comments »
August 22, 2011 2:21 pm

Re: “Contract reflects greed of teachers” (letter, 8-21).

Why is it that we expect teachers to provide a quality education for the future workers and leaders of our country, but it angers us when they asked to be paid for doing this important job?

Maybe instead of judging teachers when they ask to be paid, we should take a closer look at our legislators and the state funding model. I have watched as my wife, a National Board Certified teacher, and her peers put hours of their personal time and money back into the education system in order to provide the quality education they feel their students deserve. In return they receive pay cuts and criticism.

Teacher pay has been cut several times over the past five years. First cost-of-living increases, then paid training days and now a 1.9 percent cut. The total is well over 3 percent – all of this with no reduction in days or responsibilities as other state workers received.

Class sizes are increasing across the state because the class-size funding was also cut during the last legislative session.

Why should teachers and school districts bear the burden when the state cuts into the “children’s fund” and refuses to adequately fund education for Washington students? It’s time to get informed and involved with helping our children and their teachers.

Leave a comment Comments → 7
  1. firemannotfirefighter says:

    Wow, a WHOLE 3%? I have taken a total of a 6% pay cut AND work more hours. Welcome to reality. According to teacher salary info the average school teacher in Orting (You may work somewhere else, but I am using Orting as the example because that’s where you listed) is approximately $51,000/year. Now, let’s make a logical assumption that you work 9 months out of the year (I know the number is probably lower but hang with me here for a second). That means you average about $5,666 dollars per month. If you worked a full year you would be making int he neighborhood of $68,000 per year A roughly 33% increase in pay)

    Look, I think that teachers should make $100,000/year, but for that money I expect them to work ALL year. I don’t expect to pay for their time off to do professional development. I don’t expect to pay them for “Training days” and I DAMN sure don’t expect them to go on illegal strikes (Illegal in the state of Washington).

    I also expect that teachers who are ineffective and who are unable to adequately educate our kids to be dismissed after being evaluated by a system that includes performance based evals.

    Tell you what, get your union to quit calling for illegal strikes, lobby (Successfully) for a year round or at least 10 full months of school, abide by Binding Arbitration (what Public Sector Unions typically use in this state) AND put in place a review system that takes into account student performance and I will support you getting your 3% back plus more!!!

  2. BigSwingingRichard says:

    Oh my god, a three percent reduction in pay! Oh the humanity!

    How about you complain to the 9.3% of pierce county residents who have experienced a 100% cut in pay how it is you are able to survive a 3% pay cut, a**hole.

    Sorry if this is harsh, but your complaints lack merit or compassion and have once again proven to me the vast and pervasive ability public school employees have to distance themselves from reality.

    Go get a real job.

  3. Not a lot to add to the 2 responses you already got. Kevin, I hope you are ashamed of yourself for even writing this letter.

  4. Fireman: 9 months (probably lower), closer to 10 months, last day June 21, first day this year Sept 1. Also, just so you know, my wife been in her room getting ready pretty much every day of August, soooooooo, closer to one month off. AN UNPAID MONTH OFF
    BigSwing: a ‘real job’. Really??? thats your comeback. You must be one of the ignorant people of society that have no idea how much work a teacher does. I saw a sign once, Swearing is what people do when they are not smart enough to think up another word. hmmmmmmmmmmm, could be referring to you???

  5. What district does your wife work. If we know this we can find out exactly what she makes. I am real curious now. You have sparked something now.

  6. firemannotfirefighter says:

    Jrdndd, your wife receives an ANNUAL salary, so she is “PAID” for that time frame whether she is in her classroom or not. And according the Washington State RCW, schools have a minimum of 180 school days which is roughly 9 months. You wife also gets paid days off for teacher development, and even though there is NO evidence (Legitimate evidence that is) that teachers who have their Masters Degree make better teachers, she is eligible for a pay raise based on having a masters. Your wife’s UNION participates in ILLEGAL strikes AND has blocked meaningful education reform in this state for YEARS!

    Read President Obama’s Race to The Top initiative on the Dept of Education website. Then realize that as a result of the WEA (You wife’s union) the state of Washington is NOT eligible for Race to The Top money because we don’t meet ANY of the criteria.

    Teachers should make more, ABSOLUTELY!!! I stated it above and am continuing to state it here. But if they want an INCREASE in pay, then INCREASE their HOURS AND PRODUCTIVITY! Otherwise, get the hell outta the job and make way for those that are willing to do both!

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