Gambling on a three-day furlough for teachers

You have to wonder if Gov. Sonny Perdue, on behalf of six Republicans in the 2010 race for governor, just placed a large bet on the table — with a three-day furlough of more than 100,000 teachers statewide.

At $33 million per day, the furloughs will make up nearly 10 percent of the $900 million in cuts that Perdue outlined to reporters late Tuesday afternoon.

Ask Roy Barnes: In a close race, the teacher vote — with friends and family — can swing a campaign.

To smooth the way, the governor had a conference call with the state’s school superintendents before breaking the news to reporters late Tuesday afternoon. Perdue can’t technically order teachers furloughed — they’re governed by contracts with individual systems.

(He’s put a cap on other state workers — no more than 12 days in a 12-month period.)

Instead, Perdue said he would be slicing system allocations equivalent to those three furlough days, and let superintendents do what they think best. The governor advised the school officials to target non-teaching days set aside for lesson planning and parent conferences.

“There are about 10 days there in pre-planning, post-planning, staff development, teacher work days that we have throughout the year,” Perdue said.

A 3 percent cut in school funding (5 percent statewide) comes on top of the teacher furloughs.

The governor heaped praise on teachers and school administrators and their dedication. “I thank them for that, I’m sincere in that. And I hope they will — even in light of this bad budget news — continued to be inspired,” he said.

But Perdue also said he thought an air of practicality would reign. Speaking of state employees in general, the governor said, “They’re not unmindful of what’s happening in their neighborhoods. I think state employees at this point are proud to have a job.”

If you’re a John Oxendine or Karen Handel or Nathan Deal or Eric Johnson or Austin Scott, you may be thanking your stars that Perdue isn’t given to — in his own phrase — governing by slogan. Overall, he’s driven more by numbers than ideology. We are not Alaska, nor even South Carolina.

The governor said he was under pressure to make even deeper cuts than he announced Tuesday. But he resisted.

“Philosophically, there is some dispute over whether to predict where the bottom is, and go there right now,” Perdue said. “We had strong sentiments from one section of the Legislature that thought we should be more aggressive early on. But the fact is I think we’d be under more criticism if we picked a false bottom.”

In other words, the one thing Republicans don’t want to do is furlough teachers — and other state workers — after the crisis has passed.

As for those “strong sentiments,” we’re supposing they came from the Senate — but we’re open to other opinions.

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121 comments Add your comment

Keith

July 21st, 2009
5:49 pm

Perdue just killed Karen Handel’s campaign

Robert

July 21st, 2009
5:59 pm

Once again Perdue shows his true colors. And to think we voted Barnes out for telling stories to the teachers. We are underpayed and overworked as it is. By the way, did he ever give up his fishing hole in Houston County or did he steal that money away from the tax payers.

blurb

July 21st, 2009
5:59 pm

I’m a state employee, and I’m happy to take furlough days if it means saving someone else’s job. Some of the people laid off from my agency last fall still don’t have jobs, given this horrid economy. It would be hard to witness even more losing their jobs. Further, my agency has been cut to the bone; we couldn’t do our work effectively if even more staff were terminated. But we’ll manage with furloughs.

Leslie Whitlow

July 21st, 2009
6:01 pm

Good I can take those three days and go fish at the taxpayer built fishing compound near Sonny’s home. I guess I won’t see him there since he will be on a taxpayer trip overseas again!

Bill Songer

July 21st, 2009
6:32 pm

Teachers get paid too much anyway!!!!

Perdue stepped in poo

July 21st, 2009
6:42 pm

If you wanted to get teacher support, you would have gone to the teachers, not the superintendents. Speaking of Perdue and superintendents, why has Jim Galloway remained silent on Sonny Perdue publicly lambasting the APS Superintendent over the denial of the obvious cheating that took place?

Kate

July 21st, 2009
6:43 pm

Really Bill? I suppose you think police officers are paid too much as well? Would you suggest we work for free to educate the future of America?

Chandra Guest

July 21st, 2009
6:46 pm

Obviously, Bill, you are not a teacher.We deserve much more than we receive. Finishing an education on your own leaves one with almost $40,000 in student loans. What a rude and IGNORANT comment from you!!!

Coastal Cavalier

July 21st, 2009
6:57 pm

I have a question about all this. If you furlough a teacher 3 days, they have to be replaced by a substitute teacher that will cost money. Is the savings really going to amount to that much? In most schools you could furlough the administration three days a week and nobody would miss them.

Norbal

July 21st, 2009
7:03 pm

Teachers are overpaid and underworked. We all know this. As well as school administrators & principles, whose pay should be capped at 40k/yr.

Norbal

July 21st, 2009
7:07 pm

“Really Bill? I suppose you think police officers are paid too much as well? ”

Actually, in many cases, they are.

Roxanna

July 21st, 2009
7:17 pm

You would not need subs, the furloughs would be on non-student school days. In pre and post planning all the teachers do is sit in classes and meetings. Go to trainings and take 2 hour lunches. They could stand to be furloughed those days. Teachers should be thankful to be employed. They like everyone else need to make cuts. Teachers in many areas make $50K to $75K+ per year, that is a high pay for many areas in the south. So to say they are underpaid is not true. They are adequately paid. Here check out all the teachers pay in Georgia here: http://www.open.georgia.gov/sta/viewMain.aud

Stop the whining and make cuts in your family budget like we all have to and give up your 3 days of work and pay. My sister is a teacher and she is doing much better than in this economy than my husband is as a car salesman and better than I am as a pharmaceuticals sale rep.

teacher

July 21st, 2009
7:29 pm

The open record of salaries is very interesting. I wish I made that much! It has my salary listed at $13,000 over what it actually is.

dave

July 21st, 2009
7:33 pm

If you work in a weak county then you might sit around and take two hour lunches. If you work in a strong county not only is your pre/post planning filled with meetings at system/school/discipline/team level meetings but you are expected to get ready for the year in that time as well. How about we cut three days from actual school days and see what parents have to say. I am paid at a decent level, but I have more years of college level classes than any doctor, or lawyer I know.

Never Thought America Would Sink This Low

July 21st, 2009
7:35 pm

In South GA beginning teachers start out making a measley $27,000 a year. If they choose to invest 20 to 30 thousand of their own money in pursuing advanced degrees, then they work their way up the payscale. Obviously, some of the ignorant people on here making snide comments either do not have school age children or just dont really care what kind of education the future leaders of America receive. It seems to me that educating our children should be of the utmost importance. And as far as Roxanna’s pre and postplanning thoughts, I’m not sure where she got her info but she is dead wrong!!!!! We spend that time endlessly working and preparing lessons and materials for the upcoming year.

Roxanna

July 21st, 2009
7:44 pm

Dave, you must be a PhD or Specialist that is great but you chose to put all those years into your schooling. Most teachers have at best a 4 year degree and some are TAPP which means they do not have any college level Education classes. So you with all your college education can understand the need to have everyone make cuts.

Also the open Georgia records are taken from the actual tax reportable pay of the employees. So if you are missing $13,000 then you should talk to your counties Payroll department and find where that money is. Show them the website and show them your W-2 or paycheck stubs and ask “Where’s the money?”

Kristi

July 21st, 2009
7:51 pm

If anyone thinks teachers are overpaid, come and visit an elementary room, but don’t just stay a few minutes. A month would make you rethink your statement, Bill and others, who seem to think we are overpaid. During that month, you will witness many things including the following: teachers putting in many more than the 40 hours for which we are paid -oftentimes 50 plus hours, taking papers home to grade and record, having conferences with parents, calling parents on our own time, using resources that we’ve purchased with our OWN money, buying underprivileged children supplies, clothes, bookbags, and other things, writing individual lesson plans to meet the needs of ALL children, attending special education meetings, etc, etc, etc. It is MUCH more than just a dog and pony show from 8-2. My late husband said he had no idea how hard teachers work until he married me. He said he was wrong about how he thought we worked 8-3. Oh yes, if your month happens to be at the beginning of the school year, be prepared to spend WEEKENDS and NIGHTS at the school getting the room prepared, at the teacher’s home while she prepares lessons, and be sure to go with her to Wal-Mart while she writes a check from HER PERSONAL checking account to buy supplies for her room. Yes, I am very thankful to have a job, but am I overpaid? No way. If you critics think we are overpaid, here’s a thought: Go get a teaching degree and come do our job. Oh yes, those built in 10 days we have in our contracts when students do not attend school are only the ones for which we get paid. All the days during the summer, weekends, etc., are on our own time. We get no overtime, but we do what we do because it has to be done.

Ashley

July 21st, 2009
7:56 pm

Bill, You have got to be kidding me!! I work here in GA have a bachelors degree worrk full time and I bring 2,000 a month home after taxes!! I know many people who never got an education who make more than I do and teaching is a professional job and we have to take our work home with us!!! A fulltime 7 hours of ensuring that 20 somthing kids are learning at a high level and then another 2-3 hours of paper work per day after that! That is my life and that of many other teachers. You should be ashamed!!!!

Chandra Guest

July 21st, 2009
7:59 pm

Kristi, Thank You!!!! I couldn’t have said it better myself!!!

Teacher1

July 21st, 2009
8:01 pm

My husband and I are both teachers. We have 3 teenage children. This pay cut, (lets call it what it really is), is a double whammy for us. Yes, I’m grateful to have a job. During my entire growing up my mother, as a bookkeeper, was a victim to the economy. I know what it’s like to be in that situation. I have worked hard for what I am paid. I have 2 advanced degrees. I am at the top of the experience ladder. It doesn’t matter how many hours I work, my pay remains the same. I am paid for the days I am contracted to work; and I work my contracted days. I have almost an entire school year accrued in sick days because I don’t want to be absent. For those of us who care about our students and want to make a difference, Sonny’s “furlough” is a slap in the face. My grandma said “ya need to dance with the one what brung ya”. Sonny has forgotten who “brung” him.

E Jenkins

July 21st, 2009
8:03 pm

Maybe if the governor would have taken the stimulus money, He wouldn’t have to make such drastic cuts in teachers’ and other state employees’ time and or money. Just some food for thought.

david

July 21st, 2009
8:05 pm

i’m embarassed that sonny perdue is from houston county. Just heard that we will be furloughed during preplanning for 2 days. I guess they figured teachers will come in anyways to get their room ready, attend departmental meetings, attend adminstrative meetings, help schedule students, etc…

Saddened

July 21st, 2009
8:05 pm

Most of the teachers that I know, me included, spend more hours working a week compared to most other professions. I have three higher education degrees and have more in student loan debt than I get paid in a year! So saying that teachers get paid too much is ignorant! My work day typically starts at 7:00 am and I do not leave until 4-5 but I only get paid for an 8 hr day and that does not include the hours that teachers put into their work outside of the school building. Most teachers end up having to take home their work. I will take a three day furlough without pay if that means keeping my job but that does not mean that I will not be working….I will spend those days in my classroom getting things prepared for the students that I will be greeting the first day of school. I am a teacher because I love children and I hope that what I do in the classroom inspires my students to do greater things in this world! I am not a teacher because of the amount of money I make….if that was the case I would be making a lot more money in another field with the education that I have! Until you have walked in the shoes of a teacher you have no right to make any judgments or assumptions! I am so lucky to have a job in this economy and I do not take that lightly and I pray for those who are out of a job and hope that things turn around soon!

Cherokee Teacher

July 21st, 2009
8:18 pm

I would love to know where the teaching job is that is 7-3, underworked and overpaid!!??? My first year, I spent nearly $3,000 of my own money to supply my classroom. The $100 Sonny money didn’t provide a tenth of what is needed to truly teach. Yes, I could run off copies and have children work straight from text books, but that is not teaching. I work an extra 2 to 3 hours every night after school and weekends. I provide bandaids, food, school supplies, clothing, and even personal hygiene supplies when needed. I provide love, counseling, perform negotiations the UN would be impressed with, nurse open wounds and hidden wounds, and teach at the same time. I worry every day if my students are getting enough to eat when they aren’t at school, cry when they have to move again because their parents have to move for lack of employment, and sometimes am the only person there for them at awards day or parent/teacher night. Oh yeah, and I take classes to further my teaching skills on my own time and my own expense. I choose this career, so don’t think I’m whining, but for those of you who want to make uninformed comments…rethink it!

GA TEACHER

July 21st, 2009
8:31 pm

I hate to hear Perdue sliding this info in the back door right as school is about to start. I certainly don’t have a problem in these economic times doing my part and serving the furlough days, as I feel blessed to have a job for at least the next year. However, I do resent that he suggests that we should take those days on planning days. He knows we will do the planning from home or we will come to school anyway and get ready for the year, paid or not. I have already worked at least 3 unpaid days this summer moving classrooms and setting up the new room. If you don’t want to pay us, give us true time off… actual school days off. And, unfortunately, this paycut will cause me to refrain from purchasing supplies for my classroom this year. I usually spend between 800-1000 dollars of my own money buying supplies since nothing is provided for us. So, this will hurt my students in the long run. What an unfortunate situation.

Jan

July 21st, 2009
8:34 pm

Wonder how BILL learned to make a complete sentence . . . .

Available Consultant

July 21st, 2009
8:45 pm

Dear Norbal,
I’m sure that you pride yourself on your opinions and, perhaps, education. However, before you make judgments about the pay of big-hearted, small-salaried teachers, be certain to consult one of them, maybe even a “principal,” prior to posting comments about the pay of “principles.” We are not all dressed in apple vests and put in minimal work hours.

Jan

July 21st, 2009
8:47 pm

Love (and appreciate!) the comments from other teachers . . .who truly know what’s going on. Yes, check out a classroom teacher’s pay scale after 21+ years—it’s “flatline”…:(

Lisa

July 21st, 2009
8:48 pm

Norbal,
A principal of a school is spelled with a -pal at the end. Maybe you should have paid attention in 3rd grade!
PS If you can read this, thank a teacher!!

Over paid teacher????

July 21st, 2009
9:05 pm

This is for roxanna, norbal, bill and anyone who agrees with them. yeah, we are lucky to still have jobs but let me tell you what teachers get paid to deal with children who are disrespectful, rude and unmotivated is not enough. It is because they have parents like you that set their minds to think this way. I have adjusted my budget and have a new baby. We can agree or diagree on whether teachers should be furloughed but lets not make uneducated assumptions! Times are tough for everyone!

And lets just say, is Mr. Purdue going to take a pay cut?! I think not!!

Sonny's Tithe

July 21st, 2009
9:11 pm

And, we certainly don’t want businesses in Georgia to help pick up any slack through higher taxes. After all, they’ve already sacrificed 10 percent of their workforce for the good of the economy. How much more sacrifice can they be expected to make.

Sonny's Tithe

July 21st, 2009
9:18 pm

Well, what do you dang teachers expect. Do you think that politicians can afford to do without their staffs or something. Cagle needs all twelve of his staff just like every politician needs his staff. Don’t even think about messing with their expense accounts either. There’s wining and dining and campaigning on the tax payer’s ‘dime’ that has to come out of that. Besides, you can’t touch ole Sonny boy. His $20 million loan doesn’t even draw attention any more. Just like his special tax break that only he got. He makes Teflon Willy look like a joke.

Janet D

July 21st, 2009
10:14 pm

Norbal, Bill, and Roxanna:

I am not sure what planet you live on, but you need to get a clue. First, a teacher in the $50-75 k range must have their masters and specialist degree. Most teachers do not have that degree. Second, you and Sonny think we have teacher “work days” but Cobb County took those away years ago. Lastly, you come and teach for a week, and we will see what you have to say about teachers after that time. You are all ignorant. I do not mind giving a furlough day if Sonny was being fair to everyone. Maybe he should have cut pork spending and many jobs could have been saved. While we are talking about everyone giving a little, Sonny should have raised state sales tax by one cent and it would take care of all these issues. Instead, he kept the sales tax holiday that only saves a family about $20-30 dollars and cuts funding even more. I am tired of people complaining about posing jobs etc, yet we have to make up the money somewhere. Stop giving tax breaks because we can not afford them at this time.

Base

July 21st, 2009
10:30 pm

Sorry Sonny balances the budget on the backs of employees.Where is his and the legislatures contribution, cut their salaries and staff and save a lot.Also cut the numerous authorities that the state has like do nothing GRTA,Building Authority and Properties Commission.

GaDawg

July 21st, 2009
10:33 pm

Way to go Lisa (they need to learn how to spell if they want to bash a teacher)… I’m a teacher/coach and what has been said on here by true educators is the truth. We spend our personal money to help supply our classrooms.Our county has already taken back the 2% pay raise that we received last school term. So next month everyone from the top down will take home 2% less in their checks. Our town has already lost several major processing plants and farmers have lost their incomes due to the closing of these plants.I had students stealing snacks at the end of school last year because they knew that they wouldn’t have food to eat during the weekend due to the fact that their parent lost their job due to the plant closing……YES!!! we as teachers make sure that these children have food to eat and clothes if they need them. My question is what has SONNY given up????? I don’t mind giving up days if needed but let’s CUT some of the FAT in Atlanta….. I’m at the top of the pay scale and had to add another degree(still paying back the loan) just so that I could get a raise……and I also have a spouse that was self employed that is currently out of work (going on 2 1/2 years now)… so yes I know what it’s like to live on one salary. There’s better ways to cut the budget and it should start at the top(ATLANTA… GOVERNOR) If education paid so well why do most of us teachers have a side job?????? Invitation to all non-educators…..Come walk a day in the shoes of a teacher and then get on here and bash…….I can bet you your attitude will change…*L*

Batman

July 21st, 2009
10:37 pm

Bill, Norbel……I’ve worked in the so-called “real” world, and without a doubt, teaching high school is the toughest job I’ve ever had. You know NOTHING friend…NOTHING at all. Please come sit with me in my classroom. Please..I dare you. In fact, try to TEACH my students. You’ll find that you have made some very ignorant statements about teachers. I make good money for south Ga., and I deserve every penny of it. I have a BA in philosophy and the MA in literature; I have taken MANY courses in education. I’ve busted my butt to get where I’m at in life……please don’t belittle me and my peers. Folks like you make me sick…..

Jennifer

July 21st, 2009
10:38 pm

Bill – I am glad you think teachers get paid too much. I work damn hard hard and make just enough to make my bills every month. Living paycheck to paycheck with a MASTER’S DEGREE is not exactly what I consider being paid TOO MUCH. I can take 3 furlough days if I have to but what I cannot take is someone spouting off making rude comments that I make too much money. I will be more than happy to give you the reins in my classroom for a week or two. I guarantee you will be singing a different tune by the end of that time.

wow

July 21st, 2009
10:58 pm

Everyone is struggling at this point. There is no need to belittle a profession due to disappointing experiences you (you know who you are) may have had in the past. Teachers probably work harder than in any other profession than any other considering the amount of education, certifications, continuing education, time and effort put into teaching. Not only do we deal with difficult students, we deal with difficult parents too. We get paid for 190 days, but my students’ parents can tell you that the kids are thought of 365 days a year. We CANNOT leave our work at work. We don’t get breaks during the school day. We hit the ground running early in the morning and we keep going until the realy evening. We don’t have time to send fun emails, make phone calls to check on family or even go to the bathroom during the day. We are held responsible for all our student’s achievement-that includes the educational, emotional, mental, physical and social side of success too regardless of ability levels, student motivation/effort, parental support and the many other issues. I too have had “poor” teachers (ones who are responsible for the “can’t do…teach” phrase), but if it was not for some great teachers (and my parent’s encouragement)…success in my personal schooling and profession would not had been in my grasp. I teach children with severe behavioral disorders. I have been mistreated, spat-on, inappropriately grabbed, cursed and carry around a chronic (daily) painful injury from stopping a student from attacking another student. I definitely do not continue to teach for the money; I teach because I make a DIFFERENCE in the lives of kids most people have given up on already. I teach because there is already enough failure in this world and some kids need to be told they can succeed and make a difference too. I teach because the kids need more encouraging and need to be taught to be independent and self-sufficient. I teach because the kids need me.

Three days may not seem like much to some, but to our family, personally we cannot afford a loss of three days pay. Our family medical costs are 1/4 of my pay each month. Our toddler’s food supplement is $45 a small can (A can last as little as 2 days or as long as 5 days). Teachers are not given any breaks; we do not qualify for any assistance (medical, food, housing, etc.); when I took off when my child had heart surgery-I didn’t get paid; When I choose to be with my child when he had RSV and almost died- I didn’t get paid; we still have to pay off our school loans on top of the other bills that everyone else has to pay. If we do not have materials (common in special ed), we are expected to find a way to get them, (usually we buy them). When parents do not provide the materials their child needs, we provide them. I could go on for days what teachers do for our students to help them be successful, feel important and to have what they need… Think about it…Where would we be without good teachers? Stop putting down teachers; we work hard. Most of us are broke along with the rest of US citizens. Give us a break! Teachers are always the first to get the short end of the stick. Instead: Cut the politicians pay (the governor was paid 4x more than me last year + his travel was paid); stop paying politicians salaries after they are not re-elected or not longer serve; stop having politicians approving their own raises; stop paying refugees to live here; stop giving illegal aliens or people who aren’t trying to better themselves medical, housing and food with no strings attached; start making ALL business pay taxes (don’t excuse them because they come from other countries). There are many other ways to find money… I could keep going but I have to go to bed so I can be fresh for a class I am taking to become an even more “highly-qualified” teacher. Oh and I am not getting paid for the class… How many of you non-teachers would go to a class to benefit your work for free?

GaDawg

July 21st, 2009
11:04 pm

Thought that I’d share this………..

Teachers Get Paid Too Much…

I’m fed up with teachers and their hefty salary schedules. What we need here is a little perspective.

If I had my way, I’d pay these teachers myself-I’d pay them baby-sitting wages. That’s right-instead of paying these outrageous taxes; I’d give them $3 an hour out of my own pocket. And I’m only going to pay them for five hours, not lunch or coffee breaks. That would be $15.00 a day. Each parent should pay $15 a day for these teachers to babysit their child. Even if they have more than one child, it’s still a lot cheaper than private daycare.

Now, how many children do they teach every day-maybe 20? That’s $15×20=$300 a day. But remember they only work 180 days a year! I’m not going to pay them for vacations! $300×180=$54,000. (Just a minute, I think my calculator needs new batteries.)

I know you teachers will say-What about those who have 10 years experience and a Master’s Degree? Well, maybe (to be fair) they could get the minimum wage, and instead of just babysitting, they could read the kids a story. We could round that off to about $5 an hour, times five hours, times 20 children. That’s $500 a day times 180 days. That’s $90,000….HUH?

Wait a minute; let’s get a little perspective here. Babysitting wages are too good for these teachers. Has anyone seen a salary schedule around here?

~Anonymous

RJ

July 21st, 2009
11:04 pm

Wow, there’s very little respect for teachers, police and fire personnel here-unbelievable! Georgia scores near last on tests and emergency readiness.It seems that there are so many citizens in the Peach State that are blind to these facts. Rational, aware folks ought to fear for the future.

Dan

July 21st, 2009
11:06 pm

Bill you are an ignorant fool. I worked in the business world and made 150,000 plus for years. I began teaching special education three years ago and am currently working on a THIRD degree. I have one in management and one in marketing, now I am getting one in special education. WHY? To educate the future leaders of the world and help children succeed. To bad your parents did not let you finish school. I am assuming this by your lack of intelligence about the real world, get a life jerk!

Dan

July 21st, 2009
11:12 pm

Go Dawg how about we babysit your kids instead of educating them and then they could be as ignorant as you. Actually they would probably be smarter. Your IQ must be around 65 give or take a few points.(being generous folks)

ABC

July 21st, 2009
11:14 pm

Dan … to sum it up; the people who have negative comments to make about teachers are ignorant (not realizing what teachers go through) or either angry/jealous because they can’t say they contribute something positive to society through their job (that’s if they are working)

wow

July 21st, 2009
11:19 pm

Dan… I had to read GaDawg’s post twice…I believe it was meant as sarcasm-proving the point that even babysitters get paid more than teachers if the time and effort was really added up.

The title is: Teachers Get Paid Too Much…

GaDawg is a teacher/coach . see his post @ 10:33PM

Another teacher

July 21st, 2009
11:29 pm

Um, Dan, I am pretty sure you misread GoDawgs post. It was satirical. You might one to read it again because you are not showing your best side.

Doni

July 21st, 2009
11:37 pm

For all of you who think teachers just sit at desks and babysit while making too much, get a clue! I worked in the business world for 10 years before becoming a teacher, and that was a piece of cake compared to teaching. Teachers already put in far more than their eight hours a day. I work at the school 7:30-5:00 every day and then come home and do more! I have already returned to work this week (a week before preplanning without pay), because preplanning is chocked full of meetings and staff development, so there is no time to prepare my classroom (I had to move to yet another trailer and could not get into it until this week). We have to deal with unmotivated and unruly students, disinterested and difficult parents, not to mention politicians and the general public who think they know how to do our job better than we do. I took a pay cut to become a teacher, and after 8 years in the classroom, I am still not making what I did in the business world. I made the career move, though, because I wanted to make a difference. Unfortunately we are so micromanaged by politicians these days, that making a difference is nearly impossible! If Sonny is truly worried about the state’s economy he should have accepted the stimulus money, trimmed the pork from the state budget, and if all else failed, cut his own salary!

This is wild

July 22nd, 2009
12:27 am

This is obviously a hot button .. I just learned about us taking a 3 day pay cut .. If it will save jobs and/or improve our situation, its not that big of a deal (please just let them spread it over a couple of months..lol)
To the “teacher’s get paid too much” commentors, you obviously place no value on education. I am willing to bet that you wouldn’t say that about your favorite athelete or about whoever/whatever it is that you value..Its clear that you just dont know any better…and thats ok, thats exactly why society needs teachers…

Elem Teacher

July 22nd, 2009
1:04 am

As a teacher I do not mind taking the 3 days and the pay cut but what bothers me is that I work so hard and yet I still have foolish people who think I have it easy! It is not easy to deal with 28 4th graders in one room and still have a 95% pass rate on CRCT (the only reason not 100% is because of the students who have been in the country only 1.5 years). It is not easy to deal with parents who criticize everything you do because they know better than you do about how to teach. I went to school for 4 years to get my degree and I am going back for my second one. Yes, I could have chosen a different profession where I could have made more just sitting behind a desk doing something but in my profession I am engaging America’s future each and every day! I make only $40,000 a year, which is bringing home $2500 a month after taxes and insurance for my family, and spend at least $1000 of my own money each year to make sure my students learn the most they can. I work many 11-12 hour days and still take my work home to make sure I am on my “A” game to teach your children. Yes, I have a wonderful job and I chose it but I will not let someone say that teachers are overpaid. I earn my 190 day pay plus more in the summer and on weekends when I am up at the school preparing. So you can take my days and money but don’t belittle what I do!

Dawn

July 22nd, 2009
1:19 am

Wow! Why is it that our federal government can bail out car companies & banks but can’t seem to offer help to our state governments to pay our teachers?? …And for those who think we are overpaid…you have no idea what our job entails. Many weeks during the year, I work from 8AM to 7-8PM at school & still bring home work for later that nite until midnight as well as weekends! That doesn’t even begin to cover the many events we have to attend after hours without pay. Seriously??? For the work we do and the $$$ we spend out of our own pocket, we make very little!! There have even been years that we have gone without state pay raise, too, which means we are actually making less because our benefits’ rates go up. Roxanna, you have no clue! Yeah, it shows my scale pay around $48,000 but by the time everything is taken out on top of school supplies I have to buy myself…it’s around $29,000. I do understand the ignorant statements that a few have made….because you truly do not & probably will never understand or ever appreciate all that we do!! I have a friend in the business world that decided later in life to be a teacher, he wrote an article about it several years ago…would be great if you could experience what he has….more work & hours than he could have ever imagined….would love for Bill & Roxanna to step into our shoes for a year. I’m quite certain their views would change! LOL

Concerned

July 22nd, 2009
2:20 am

I sit here, as a teacher, reading these comments and am flooded with a wide array of emotions… One of which, surprisingly enough, is pride….. This pride stems not just from reading the comments in defense of the education profession, but realizing the caliber of my colleagues as they profess their willingness to sacrifice their pay for the betterment of our economy. The righteous indignation expressed here has primarily NOT been in response to what is being asked of us (teachers), but because of the expressed inappreciation and misunderstanding of what exactly we do. I won’t spend time listing the many roles of a teacher because many of you have done a wonderful job of this already. I do however, want to express the fear and sadness that I feel as I notice (in these comments and in the general attitudes expressed around me daily) the depreciation of the value of education in our country. The United States has stood, for quite a while, as one of the greatest countries in the modern world. This position is not secure, however. Many countries operate with the sole intent of surpassing us in this rank. At the most basic level, they are attempting to accomplish this task through Education. The older generations of leaders want to insure that the progress they are making is continued long after they are gone. Education is seen, almost every where else, as one of the most valued commodities available. The sacrifices made around the world to make education available make ours pale in comparison. Our nation does not stand a chance in the global arena if we continue to undervalue the education of younger generations.

While I may not be exactly thrilled about giving up three days of pay (during which I will still, undoubtedly be working), I am glad to be able to sacrifice something for our country. There are many Americans who give much more to insure our freedoms- even to the point of sacrificing their lives. I’m really afraid of what is going to happen to our country if we don’t step back and reevaluate our priorities. Whats important to you?

End with comments about willing to sacrifice…