Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Nevada State Governor Wants to Cut County Teacher Salaries

I'm thinking of submitting a Letter to the Editor of my local paper. What follows is what I'm considering sending to the paper. Please let me know what you think.

I am an employee of a County School District, and am a certified, Highly Qualified teacher with over 32 credits above my Master's Degree. Many of my professional colleagues also have a Master's Degree; some more than one. We're mandated by the federal government's No Child Left Behind Act to complete a high level of educational attainment to meet and maintain our Highly Qualified status, yet are required to pay for this training out of our own pockets. We are required by our State and our County School District to complete continuing education courses to meet and maintain our licensing requirements, and to qualify for step increases, all also out of our own pockets. Yet, our Governor Jim Gibbons is calling for a freeze in step increases, as well as a 6% "temporary" (yeah, right) decrease in our salaries.

So, are the Federal, State or County governments going to reimburse us for our mandated educational expenses, now that we can no longer benefit from them? Are they going to pay off our school loans? What about teachers who are married to teachers? These couples will lose 6% of their entire family income, while still trying to pay off their school loans. Former President Bush and Congress never funded the No Child Left Behind Act. They created the current state of our economy through rampant deregulation and lack of oversight of banks and businesses. Our State Governor has relied on county and local governments to repair problems at the state level. Now, he expects teachers to pay for problems largely created by an incompetent government.

Most state employees, once they are hired, are not required by Nevada State to continue their education in order keep their jobs or to maintain a license. Teachers are not state employees, yet Governor Gibbons is erroneously considering teachers as state employees and is demanding that we pay a significant penalty for teaching in the State of Nevada. How teaching is funded in this state should not enable a State Governor to dictate the salaries of County School District employees. Now, not only are Nevada's children being left behind by their Federal and State governments, so are their teachers!

Check out these YouTube videos of Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Jim Rogers giving the State of the System address:

Part 1

Part 2

1 comment:

  1. Great letter! I think you should send it not only to the local paper but to everyone in the legislature. It's time they hear a well written account of what us teachers are really feeling.


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