My Turn: Teachers and district deserve respect | SierraSun.com
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My Turn: Teachers and district deserve respect

Donald F. Smith Sr.

I am a parent of five children that graduated from the Tahoe Truckee Unified School district, and at this time I have many grandchildren going through the same system. I cannot count or remember the times that I have heard or read statements and comments from sympathizers similar to the article, “Teachers deserve respect.”

I for one am not ashamed of the board’s action. It is obvious that the board must consider what is best for all the children primarily, and not surrender to the teachers’ union demands, or their sympathizers. Every penny that has to be allocated for raises in teachers salaries is a penny that is taken primarily from the children. There is one superintendent, but there are many teachers. Let’s be realistic, there is only so much money in the school district to go around. Face it: The teachers have chosen to be represented by their powerful union, who are masters at negotiating and keeping the school district union contract out of the public’s view. The teachers union has more financial resources than the district. In the end the teachers will get a fair raise.

I wonder if the writer or readers of the article “Teachers deserve respect” knows exactly what one teacher costs the school district and the children, regarding salary, pensions, other benefits.

Other than school teachers and some other school employees, how many of the taxpayers within the school district have to work all year-round? Do you get months of paid vacation? Why couldn’t school teachers work the normal 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. like most people do? Some of you would say, “Well, the students leave earlier and who would they teach?” Well wouldn’t that provide them time to correct papers, and they would be getting paid for it? What will the teachers and their union ask for in the next contract negotiations? It goes on and on. Our children receive school grades based on their academic achievements. Why not base the teacher’s salary on their classroom achievements and not what the union demands? Yes, our children are, as should be, the most important people in this equation.

Teachers are not the only ones that work countless extra hours in their jobs. What about the real estate salesperson, who often spends countless hours with a prospective client, and many times is not able to make the sale, and receives no monetary compensation at all? What about the building contractor who studies plans and prepares estimates at night and on weekends?

Again many times not receiving one penny for the effort. What about the newspaper editor, lawyers, and judge?

There are countless examples of the many people to compare with school teachers as far as working extra hours without extra pay. Don’t these people deserve respect? Then of course, shouldn’t respect be earned, as opposed to demanded?

Fifteen more minutes of class time would definitely improve the achievement gap.

As for the teachers having to find the extra energy to fight the affronting actions of the school board, this is somewhat a ploy to get the sympathy of the parents and to make the board act on this ploy, not on the real issues. The teachers need not fight the board, they have chosen one of the most powerful and able unions to fight for them. Let the powerful union and the board do their jobs.


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