To the News Enterprise:
Commenting on your Jan. 28 editorial regarding teacher compensation:
- Your editorial board evidently believes that teachers playing "important roles in our lives" necessarily means constructive roles. But because of Teacher Union influence, we likely have more mediocre (or worse) teachers in our classrooms than we should have.
- Moreover, teachers are people, not widgets stamped out uniformly all good or all bad. As people they are molded by their work environment, critical elements of which are a) tenure and b) contracts that virtually assure lifetime employment at increasing yearly compensation for good and bad alike.
- To argue that "teachers have made greater sacrifices" than others in our economy is mistaken. More helpful would be to alert voter-taxpayers that the painful economic stress felt throughout our nation at least has one useful effect. It creates pressure to reform which our public education system — notably Administrators/Board/ Teacher Unions — urgently needs.
- There is no point lamenting that the 2012-2013 budget could be difficult because “school districts are running low on fund balances ... used to get by in recent lean years.” Ask instead why school management and unions have failed to do the useful work of improving efficiency, getting rid of waste and low priority expenditures, consolidating certain services and activities with nearby schools, etc., instead of simply dipping into the taxpayers pocket (which paid for those fund balances).
- Without providing examples, your editorial speaks of “vilifying teachers.” Why? Is sound criticism “vilification?”
- Would News Enterprise editorial staff participate with JCS Citizens Budget Committee in a discussion forum on public school education, including their union's bitter fight against teacher performance measurement that could cost our schools millions of dollars in federal and state money.