School district should pay educators more

Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2007

After listening to the Juneau School District board meeting recently, I sat in total disbelief as to why the members of the board do nothing to promote the betterment of the education of the youth of Juneau. They sat and listened to presentations from the great educational staff that we have in this city. But they refuse to look at the real issues confronting the district, which are substance abuse, poorly paid teachers and para-educators, and substitutes that are paid the lowest in the state with no benefits.

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I have already spoken about problem one in a previous letter. Let's address the other two at this time. Teachers in this district put their lives on hold doing the school year. Many work 60-70 hours a week to give the children of Juneau a good education. They come in over their winter breaks, take work home and they are given little or no compensating for their efforts except for their love for children.

The para-educators in the class room spend more time with some students than do the teachers, and the teachers rely on the paras for input. Is the public reward that these dedicated people are not paid during winter and spring break unless they use their well earned vacation days?

Lastly, the substitute teach is paid $10 an hour to teach your children when a teacher is absent. These dedicated people get no benefits and are not paid when school is in session, but there are no students, and they are the lowest paid in the state.

Let's go, School Board. Let's do the work that we elected you to do. Let's not pass judgment on the work that others are doing for you. Let's also stop spending money on the dead issue of "Bong Hits For Jesus."

Bill Burk


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