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Letters: Funding for class-size reduction

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  • The Hammer lehi, utah
    Aug. 29, 2013 2:17 a.m.

    Decreased school size. school district size and class size would recruit better teachers, create a better environment for kids especially in inner cities, and increase positive parental involvement in the students academics. Great letter.

  • Sal Provo, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 7:35 a.m.

    Fund smaller classes only as you cut administrative fat. Also, let's not punish parents for having large families. Large families should be encouraged at a time when there are not enough children produced to sustain Social Security benefits.

  • trekker Salt Lake, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 7:44 a.m.

    I agree schools need more money at the teacher level not in admin. However i would rather see the money come from a source other then eliminating the child tax deduction as this senator is proposing.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 29, 2013 8:30 a.m.

    Open the books. Open the books. Open the books.

    Utah spends a great deal of money on education. Where is that money going? Open the books. Show us where every dollar is being spent. Why would administrators be paid more than teachers? Aren't teachers the "front line"? Why, then, have an insentive to get teachers out of the classroom?

    Show us exactly why each administrator has a job. If teachers have 40+ students in each class, why not double the workload on each administrator?

    Teachers make more money than most of the taxpayers who pay their salaries. That may come as a major shock to some teachers who think that they are underpaid. The median household income in the United States is $63,000. Utah's is $56,000. In a two income family, that comes to $28,000 per wage earner or $14.00 per hour. Family size in the US is 3.00, with Utah having 3.56 people average per household.

    Open the books. Let those who pay the taxes see where their tax dollars are being spent.

  • Steve Cottrell Centerville, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 8:35 a.m.

    Please note that the administrative costs for Utah public education are much smaller (about 2/3) of the administrative costs for education systems around the country.

    Compare public education administrative costs to your own employment situation. Where else does one person have supervision responsibility for about 50 teachers, about 40 school foods, secretarial staff, and custodial personnel, and 500 teen agers? This is the situation as present today in large Wasatch front high schools of 2500 students. This assumes that the principal shares the l

  • isrred South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    "Also, let's not punish parents for having large families."

    Large families are the ones causing the strain on the system. It is not punishing them to ask them to pay more of their fair share for services they are using. Republicans always say they want a flatter, more fair tax with fewer deductions that are give aways to special groups--well this proposal does exactly that and Utah Republicans hate it, even though it's their own policy goal.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 8:51 a.m.

    Great letter!

    There is a correlation between class size and student achievement. The smaller the class size the higher the achievement will be. There is, however, a strong relationship between per pupil funding, class size, and student achievement. The higher the funding, the lower the class size is, will increase the achievement.

    Which doesn't bode well for Utah, where per pupil funding is dead last, class sizes are highest among the nation, and student achievement is now slipping.

    There are those on AM radio that like to deny this, and insist that funding doesn't mean better results. Then again, there are those who deny evolution, global warming, and believe that Noah put dinosaurs on his ark. Lets stick to being smart and use common sense here and ignore the loud static that is being played on AM radio.

    We need to fix education. Better funding (and yes, higher taxes) needs to happen.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 9:23 a.m.

    @ Sal

    "Fund smaller classes only as you cut administrative fat."

    Have you even attempted to calculate the cost of this? Lets assume that you got rid of an entire school district's leadership. With more than 70 schools in many school districts in Utah, you wouldn't even be able to add one teacher to every single with the "savings" you'd gain by cutting administration.

    Even if you cut one administrator from each school you'd only be able to add maybe 2 teachers per school. That makes absolutely NO difference in class sizes.

    @ Trekker

    Gotcha. In other words, do what our legislature has done for decades: Refuse to address the problem and keep kicking the can down the road.

    "Also, let's not punish parents for having large families."

    It's called ACCOUNTABILITY, something that many Utah families refuse to accept. If you want to have a large family, that's great! But be accountable for your decisions and not force me to subsidize your decisions.

    Besides, it's all in the way you look at it. Does the Lord "punish" us when he asks us to contribute 10 percent? Nope, it's accountability in order to keep his church running.

  • open minded Lehi, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    Schools are under-funded in Utah. Large families are a huge part of the problem- the amount a family pays in property taxes and bonds in no way covers the cost of a large family being educated. It's just a form of socialism Utah is willing to accept. I pay for your kids to go to school. I have no problem doing this if the money is being used to create a good education system- but we don't give schools enough money to even come close to having what it takes to have a good education system here. Schools do need more money, I'm willing to help pay for other peopele kids but we shuold all be paying more.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Aug. 29, 2013 9:39 a.m.

    @Mike Richards,
    The books are open. Every single dollar spent by public education is public money, which by law is accounted for openly. All you have to do is click, my friend.
    This is in high contrast to private schools, which often hide their expenses. Caveat anyone who pays money into these private chain schools.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Aug. 29, 2013 9:47 a.m.

    In the bizarre world of Utah, the more children you have, the less you pay to educate them. I guess taking responsibility and paying your way doesn't apply to Utah's big families.

  • trekker Salt Lake, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 10:06 a.m.

    The Real Maverick, Why don't we impose impact fees for new subdivision that is built. It is not just Utahns having large families, we have a lot of people moving into the state due to they want a better life here. People on this board claim Admin costs are lower here, still one has to ask why a few years ago Jordan Districts Superintendent at the time was paid more than the Governor? When that district split by nearly 40% should the admin been cut by that much? you would think but instead they kept them all on board even with a smaller district and now wonder why they have no money.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 10:22 a.m.

    I know you're not supposed to ask this but... why don't we ask the teachers to take less pay to teach less children?

    If each teacher is going to be teaching less children... doesn't that make sense?

    Usually you ask for more money when you also promise to do MORE work (in this case that would be teaching MORE students, not less). For example... if I were an employee making widgets, I would ask my boss for a raise when I was able to show him my PRODUCTIVITY had increased and I was making more widgets than I used to (or more widgets than other employees make). Making the case that my increased productivity would justify him paying me more.

    It's hard to ask the boss to pay you more for making LESS widgets (or teaching LESS students).

    I mean if I told my boss he needed to hire more people so I could do less work... how would that work out?

    Now before you go there... I know teaching students is not the same as making widgets. I'm talking about the general concept.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 10:30 a.m.

    I have no problem with new monies to reduce class size – as long as that is where the new money goes and it is not absorbed by some administrative overhead boondoggle.

    Mike Richards,
    I generally agree with what you say, but dividing Utah’s median household income by 2 to get to an average per wage earner is not appropriate. There are many single-income households that your formula does not account for.

    isrred, Maverick
    So a wealthy, single person should pay less in taxes than a family with 5 kids? Yep, THAT’s progressive!

    Maverick,
    You speak of static, then throw out you own. Tell me, is 43% a majority yet?

    Concerning administrative costs – maybe we don’t need fewer people in administration, but why should the superintendent make more than the governor? Maybe we are paying the administrators more than we should??

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 11:54 a.m.

    I know, let's quibble more as we watch our education system continue to sink toward 3rd world levels. Every well educated child in America can pay back multiple times the money spent on them if we will just quit speaking out of both sides of our mouths. Heaven help us if a teacher earns a few dollars more than you each year. It's time to invest in America again and I am talking about the big picture not the typical U.S. business model of fiscal quarter to fiscal quarter. You can't cut down all the 'trees' and then wonder why in 20 years there is no shade.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 11:56 a.m.

    Sal, since when is paying for what you consume a "punishment?" I know that many Utahn's claim to be capitalist, meaning they pay for the goods and services they consume, but for some reason they cling desperately to the socialist tax formulas as evident in the child tax credits and deductions. There is no difference between a crack addict mom having more children to get more in food stamps and state assistance and those who have more children to get child tax credits. The fact remains that someone needs to pay to educate those kids and under the current "redistribution" tax formulas, those who have the most children are the very ones paying the very least into the treasury. This has got to stop. People need to start taking responsibility for their actions and that means the number of children they choose to have.

  • 2 bit Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 12:50 p.m.

    Kings Court,
    Who would have a child just so they could get the child tax credits???

    I don't have any young children, so I don't know what the child tax credit is, but it's like $600 a year isn't it? Who would have a child just to get $600? That doesn't even cover the birth, much less cloth and feed them for the year and leave you a little on the side!

    Now the crack addict you compared them to, or somebody who can get on public assistance IF they have a child... now THATs a different story. They don't just get a tiny tax credit. They can get food stamps, medicare, unemployment, other welfare benefits, even SS in some cases, thousands of dollars each month (vs few hundred $ credit on what you pay in taxes at the end of the year).

    Now you can see how apples-to-airplanes your caparison really is.

    I don't know ANYBODY in their right mind that would have a child just to get the child tax credit.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Aug. 29, 2013 1:07 p.m.

    To "The Real Maverick" part of the problem lies at the school level with the number of adiministrators, and non-teaching staff, but you also have to consider the District level administrators and non-teaching jobs.

    For example, at the elementary school that I went to, when I was there it had 3 teachers per grade 1 to 6, and 2 Kindergarten teachers, 1 librarian, 1 special needs teacher, a janitor, and 2 or 3 lunch ladies. That same school still has about the same number of students, possibly less, and they have added a computer specialist, multiple paid teacher assistants, a second secretary, and councilors to the staff. If a school has not grown in the past 40 years or more, why do they need a larger staff? What has changed that now requires more people to teach the same number of kids virtually the same things?

    That is where you the waste has gone. Assuming that Utah is like the rest of the nation, we are only getting 60% of school funding to the classroom. The rest is sucked up in administration.

  • The Hammer lehi, utah
    Aug. 29, 2013 1:22 p.m.

    @ Mike Richards

    If pay is so great why are people not leaving their jobs to go be a teacher? Why did I choose not to have any part of that profession in college or any of my colleagues in the business school who were the top of the class in the accounting dept.?

    Teacher pay is poor. Very poor. Nobody wants to be a teacher becuase the pay is bad and the environment to teach in is worse. The only reason why on paper it looks like they make more is because of health benefits which have inflated their actuall wages by 18% each year.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Aug. 29, 2013 1:49 p.m.

    To "The Hammer" if the pay is so bad why do they have anywhere from 10 to 600 applicants for each teaching job that opens up? See "K-5 teacher overload: Too many trained, not enough jobs" in USA Today.

    The evidence shows that there are many people who want to be teachers, so many that districts have to reject most applicants.

    How can it be that "Nobody wants to be a teacher becuase the pay is bad and the environment to teach in is worse" when some states have 600 applicants for each teaching position that opens up?

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 1:56 p.m.

    Well once more I learn that certain opinions are not welcome on the forums. The problem is you never know what is allowed; you cannot tell from the expressed "rules".

    I cannot, apparently, say that mlk failed in his quest, if quest it was, for people to be judged by "the content of their character". If that were the case there would be equality before the law for men and women and for whites as well as black.

    I do not see this to be the case. In the USA equality is not achieved just role reversal, replacing one form of prejudice for another.

    If it is politically (and otherwise) correct to say so, I venture to suggest that now that "appears to be" largely the case with men and women and black and white. I doubt I will be allowed to make myself any clearer than that.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 2:09 p.m.

    Twice in one day I am not allowed to express, on these forums at least, my opinion.

    I cannot be permitted to be too plain in saying that, if the schools wanted to save money, they would cut all optional and extracurricular activities, all sports and music programs, most of the administration, social workers, psychologists etc.

    I cannot say, too clearly at least, that if teachers are really worried about "large" class sizes why are they never upset with all the children of illegal aliens that have made class sizes mushroom? Why do teachers not support mandatory e-verification to dis-employ all the interlopers who are taking jobs from legal residents in a situation of mass unemployment, and filling needed seats in public school classrooms?

    This whole discussion is phoney if you cannot state obvious problems.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 2:15 p.m.

    @ Lost in DC

    Why not make both rich people and big families pay more in taxes? Why does it have to be one way or another? Why not both? We desperately need to raise money for education. An increase in taxes isn't just an option, but the solution.

    "Tell me, is 43% a majority yet?"

    Just because a percentage of people believes a certain way doesn't mean that it's true. Lets assume that 99.9 percent deny gravity exists and believe that the earth is a cube. That doesn't make it any less true. So lets rely on the science. The science shows us a very strong relationship between per pupil spending, class size, and student achievement. Believe what you want, you are free to do so. But know the facts. :)

    @ 2 bits
    "why don't we ask the teachers to take less pay to teach less children?"

    Ummmm... Because they are already making hardly anything? I thought the letter here was about improving education and not gutting spending? If we want to improve education we cannot decrease teacher pay thus making the profession even less attractive. To be continued...

  • The Hammer lehi, utah
    Aug. 29, 2013 2:19 p.m.

    @redshirt
    Sure there are plenty of average college grads out there looking for work, who have trouble finding jobs elsewhere. In fact hundreds of them apply BUT if you ask TOP grads, the best and the brightest, why they won’t be teachers they will tell you very simply the pay is awful and the environment is bad. You pay for what you get and most college grads who are in the top half of their class will not teach no matter what some truth-in-taxation website conjures up as salary. Teachers are poorly paid for the education they receive and the work they have to do.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 2:21 p.m.

    Continued

    Who would go to college for 4 years to make under 30k?

    If the goal is to have smaller class sizes, you don't then decrease teacher pay to accomplish this. This is like pouring oil and toxic waste into Utah Lake wanting to get rid of the carp. Sure, you "lower the number of carp" but you destroy the lake.

    Decreasing class size by basing the pay on # of students would not improve education but destroy it. Remember, our goal is to improve education.

    Rather than waste time on these frivolous debates. Why not work on ways to drastically increase spending for education in Utah? Do we need to charge the churches a certain fee? Put a new tax on Jello? Charge families for their number of children and thus hold them accountable for their actions?

    Finally, we have such a weird obsession in this state to vilify public education. I truly don't get it. You get what you pay for in all aspects of life. So why should education be any different? Increase spending=better education

    @ Mike Richards

    A word of advice: Please become a teacher. I guarantee you will have an eye-opening experience.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 2:25 p.m.

    "For example, at the elementary school that I went to, when I was there it had 3 teachers per grade 1 to 6, and 2 Kindergarten teachers, 1 librarian, 1 special needs teacher, a janitor, and 2 or 3 lunch ladies. That same school still has about the same number of students, possibly less, and they have added a computer specialist, multiple paid teacher assistants, a second secretary, and councilors to the staff. If a school has not grown in the past 40 years or more, why do they need a larger staff? What has changed that now requires more people to teach the same number of kids virtually the same things?"

    Stop being ridiculous.

    Have demographics changed over the past 40 years?

    Has technology changed? Has class size changed?

    Has society changed in the past 40 years?

    How do we hope that education should remain the same as it was 40 years ago and expect better results? This is insane. You need to evolve with the times. Today, a school needs more counselors, assistants, and technology specialists.

    A bigger problem would have been that the school hadn't changed over the past 40 years. Now that would be downright scary!!!

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Aug. 29, 2013 3:08 p.m.

    That is a lie. My spouse applied to be a teacher at a local Highschool. That was after graduating with honors from college with a double major.

    It isn't that the best and brightest are not going into teaching because of the salary and working conditions. It is the fact that the teaching profession has become so incestuous that they only hire those that think and act like they do or else those that can be molded into the established idea of what a teacher does.

    Then, there are those that don't want to go into teaching because of the massive amounts of rules governing what they can and can't do in the classroom.

    Teachers are not really paid that poorly. According to the UEA web site, most school teachers start out around $32,000/yr. Since they only work around 190 days per year, that means that if they worked as much as a person working outside of education, they are making $42,000/yr. That really isn't bad for a job right out of college. A Civil Engineer, fresh out of college averages $49,000/yr in Utah.

  • The Hammer lehi, utah
    Aug. 29, 2013 3:52 p.m.

    @redshirt

    Yes females will go into the profession but what about bread winning dads? They won't even touch it. so we have females who use the profession to supplement a family income. Be honest redshirt, Would you ever consider teaching as a profession as the main bread winner for your family? The answer is almost always NO! I won't do it and most dads won't do it.

    Also most engineers work about 40 hours a week with the occasional 50 hour work week where as my Dad put in 60 hour weeks almost every week starting in August and working through the end of May. I lived in poverty my whole life because my dad was a teacher and we didn't have that as a supplemental income. The honest conlcusion is our teachers are on average coming from the bottom half of college grads and from a degree that is far less demanding then engineering or accounting!

  • Jory payson, utah
    Aug. 29, 2013 4:18 p.m.

    Can't we just say what is the truth. This is just another example on how socialism fails. You will never have enough money to make socialism work, the same goes with the education system.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 29, 2013 5:03 p.m.

    Let's set some ground rules. School teachers want the rest of Utah's workers to pay them more for their time in the classroom. The rest of Utah's families earn $56,000 per year, regardless of how many people in that family are working.

    Let's make everything equal. No public sector employee should expect to be paid more than the people who pay his wages. Barry Newbold, the former superintendent in Jordan School District was paid over $250,000 per year. His father, my band teacher, never earned anywhere near that amount. Why was Barry paid at least 5X more than the average family in Utah? Why was he paid about 10X more than the average worker in Utah? What did he do that made him worth 10X more than you or me? He wasn't even in the classroom. He was a glorified scheduler who assigned others to do the work.

    Pay the teachers the same as those who pay the teachers. Pay those outside the classroom less. Let those who disagree get a job in the private sector where they will be paid what they're worth, not what they think they're worth.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 5:52 p.m.

    2 bit,

    Socialism is socialism regardless of motive. There should be no special tax breaks or subsidies that are paid by other taxpayers. That means we should't have mortgage deductions either. If we didn't have the child tax credit and standard deductions, I'm pretty sure that parents would think twice about having more children than they can afford, which is indicative that many have more children than they should due to the subsidies, so yes, many do have more children to get those breaks without even realizing it.

    FYI: The cumulative tax break for children is much, much more than $600 and yes, I do know of parents who are very excited to be getting those subsidized tax breaks when they have children. I know some people who brag that they pay nothing in taxes and even get thousands more in child tax credits. Also, the child tax credit is $1,000 per child, not $600 per child. Some Republicans are talking about doubling the socialist child tax credit. The child tax credit is also added on top of the standard deductions on your income taxes, so again the cumulative impact on your taxes is quite large.

  • open minded Lehi, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 5:59 p.m.

    If teaching is so easy and the pay is so great, why does teaching have more than a 50% turnover rate in the first 3 years? I would never leave a job that overpaid me and was really easy. There may be a lot of applicants but are they actually qualified? Or are they stay at home moms hoping to get a job? There is still a shortage of qualified teachers in Utah and nation wide. Plus when class sizes are so high there are less teaching jobs for applicants.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 6:06 p.m.

    RedShirtMIT, I have sat on hiring committees and maybe some states that pay better than Utah have 600 applicants per position. I usually see about 80-100 applicants per position, but I can tell you that most applicants are woefully unqualified with only about 3 or 4 of those make the interview list as strong candidates. The problem is that there was a teacher shortage before the recession, but after the downturn, lots of people who have no real desire to be a career educator are simply dusting off their old degrees to get a stop gap job in education until the economy improves. That is what is happening in the current hiring climate.

    Also, don't you find it sad that the author of the letter, Derek Smith, never asked about getting a raise. All he said is that we should hire more teachers to reduce class sizes so each child can get more individualized attention. A lot of these comments are showing me that much of the conservative public is more interested in maintaining the factory education model rather than doing what is best for the kids. I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 8:26 p.m.

    "Can't we just say what is the truth. This is just another example on how socialism fails. You will never have enough money to make socialism work, the same goes with the education system."

    How is it failing?

    Why does it only fail here and work so well in other countries?

    Why is asking folks with more kids actually be responsible and pay for their decisions somehow demonized?

    "Socialism" huh? So are you suggesting we privatize education? Should we do the same for the police and fire departments? It's so difficult to take folks like you seriously.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 10:15 p.m.

    Who would want to teach?

    I will tell you, because my parents were career teachers. They are people who have a love of education. They know and love the content they teach, and they want to share that love with others. They aren't as concerned about getting rich as they are about enriching their communities by inspiring their students to learn and be better citizens. They are smart, compassionate, and dedicated individuals who feel like teaching is a calling and not just a job. They spend 10-12 hours a day during the school year working on lessons, grading work, and even attending extra-curricular activities to show support for their students. The spend their summer "vacations" volunteering, leading student tours, teaching summer school courses, planning for the next school year, and improving their craft at non-paid professional-development workshops. They are people who enjoy catching up with former students they run into at the grocery store, and the love to hear about those students' successes.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 10:16 p.m.

    continued...

    They attend weddings, missionary farewells, courts of honor, and even funerals of the children they taught. They impact lives. They are heroes. Yet, these are the people too many in this state like to turn into selfish villains of some strange alter universe.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Aug. 30, 2013 7:17 a.m.

    To "The Hammer" and you have more women going into fields like nursing, dental hygenists, bank tellers. Nursing pays really well, since few men go into nursing what does that mean, that men can't handle the job?

    You sound quite bitter about your upbrining. If you felt like you were poor growing up, that was probably a symptom of something beyond the pay your father earned. I know a few male teachers that have done quite well, and you wouldn't know what sort of salary they make. They are good with their money and have invested it wisely. Some have summer jobs that more than make up for the hours not working because they were teachers.

    To "open minded" teachers quit within the first 3 years for several reasons. Some quit because they have a child and don't want to work. Others quit because the rules for teachers suck the fun out of the job. Others quit because the veteran teachers make it a hostile work environment for anybody that has new ideas.

    To "Kings Court" salary has little to do with number of job applicants. In NJ they pay $3000/yr more than SLC for the same job.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    Maverick,
    Senator Jones’ proposal does not raise taxes on large families and the wealthy, as you propose, just on large familes, so your first comment is off-topic. You will see that I already support more funding for education, I just do not think those least able to bear the new taxes should be faced with them.

    As for what percent believes what, I do not know where you are going with those comments, either. You insisted last November that slick willy won the majority of votes in ‘92 and ’96, citing the 43% as slick’s percentage of votes during one of those elections. So I ask, is 43% a majority yet? Believe what you want, you are free to do so. But know the facts. :)

    RedshirtMIT,
    They may only teach that number of days, but they have other administrative and prep days. And what are they supposed to do with those other days? Where can they find temporary, part time jobs with professional wages? Doesn’t work that way.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 9:28 a.m.

    To "lost in DC" you may not think that they can find other jobs, but they can and do.

    I knew a Biology teacher that taught university level courses in the summer and occasionally taught at night for the same university.

    I knew another teacher that had a Photography business that was really busy during the summer.

    I worked for a business that hired teachers to go out and do wildlife studies during the summer months.

    All of those jobs paid professional wages, and the jobs only lasted for the summer.

    They looked for summer jobs, and found them.

  • Ninjutsu Sandy, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 9:56 a.m.

    To All:

    I am a public school teacher--have been for many years.

    In this blog I'm seeing a big misunderstanding about what teachers want and need. No one goes into education expecting a high salary. I certainly don't expect taxpayers to give me a huge raise every year. The problem is the current political atmosphere that is poisoning teacher morale. We are often seen as either poor victims or selfish money grubbers.

    Major problems for teachers include
    1. huge class sizes,
    2. ever tighter restrictions on our freedom to teach and make decisions on behalf of our students,
    3. more students who come unprepared to learn and parents who are uninvolved
    4. more reliance on standardized testing that narrows the curriculum,
    5. more punitive measures on teachers and schools and

    But perhaps the main reason for the low morale is just the lack of respect for the profession indicated by ever-increasing accusations of incompetence, and the ever decreasing monetary support for public education.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 10:19 a.m.

    Redshirt,
    thank you. how many teachers do you know who could not get part-time, professional wage jobs during the summer? I am sure they greatly outnumber the exceptions you cited.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 10:22 a.m.

    I watched KSL 2 nights ago.

    Nadine Wimmer did a story about spending and public schools.

    The STATE school superintendent showed her that each Utah school child costs $5,600 per year,
    and they said more than 50% went to the Teachers' salaries - the remainder was broken down by - facilities, maintenance, supplies, and lastly administration.

    But I'm an engineer,
    Educated by these same people.
    so, I did the math...

    Let's assume only 50% went to teachers salaries.
    That would be ~ $2,800 per student.
    The average classroom has 30+ students.

    so -
    That means the average teacher is making $84,000 a year.
    Even if one subtracts benefits, such as healthcare, retirement, and pensions --
    The "average" teacher should be making over $60,000 a year.

    I think someone is lying.
    and I know too many teachers to believe it is them.

    either that or Utah schools gets an F- for teaching math.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 10:31 a.m.

    Why do taxpayers get upset for teachers with 6 years of college work for $16 an hour,
    and Superintendants making $250,000 a year.

    When in the private sector -
    Fast Food and WalMart workers make $7.25 an hour
    while their CEOs make $55,000 and HOUR [ $114,000,000 a year ].

    And bad as it seems,
    Thank goodness for Unions and Government.

    Based on capitalistic economics -- PLEASE don't privatize education!

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 12:09 p.m.

    Re: "As a school teacher, I know that money for public education will make a difference."

    Only to teachers and their greedy trade union.

    No one else would even notice.

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 1:08 p.m.

    RedshirtMIT
    "o "The Hammer" if the pay is so bad why do they have anywhere from 10 to 600 applicants for each teaching job that opens up? "

    Now look at "WHO" is applying for those jobs... Majority of them are women and those that are married their husband makes more money... I know my wife is a teacher.

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 1:12 p.m.

    RedshirtMIT

    "Since they only work around 190 days per year, that means that if they worked as much as a person working outside of education, they are making $42,000/yr. "

    Talk about a "Lie", most teachers "TEACH" 190 days a year.... That does not inlcude these hours at home or after school to do all the other things that teachers are required to do.

    my wife goes to work at 8:00 and leave at 6:00 five days a week... Then she spends several hours a night grading papers....

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 1:17 p.m.

    LDS Liberal

    Here some facts for you.... I work for the state and know how the state works...

    Statement: Half goes to the teachers salaries.... False....

    Half the money goes to what it takes to pay teachers...
    a. Federal unemployment tax
    b. FICA
    c. Health Care
    d. Retirement
    e. Salary (hourly)

    these are just a few things..... Now go look on the back of your pay stub and see what your employer pays for you that you don't get in your pocket..... that is what he was talking about and that is why people who don't know gets upset.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 1:55 p.m.

    LDS Liberal,

    RE" "Based on capitalistic economics -- PLEASE don't privatize education!"

    Yes by all means don't privatize education. I mean private school teachers are getting so underpaid (oh wait... that's PUBLIC school teachers, private school teacher as doing fine).

    And Private Schools are failing to educate their students (Oh... wait... that's PUBLIC schools).

    And Private Schools have too many students in their classes (Oh wait... that's PUBLIC schools).

    By all means... never EVERY privatize public schools! And by all means... Thank goodness for Unions and Government.

  • Ninjutsu Sandy, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 2:13 p.m.

    2 bits:

    Wow, you are really comparing apples to oranges there. Why do you think that private schools are able to avoid many of the problems of public schools, anyway? They get to handpick their students. They get to determine and enforce the perfect class size. Public schools must take all comers, and can only afford small class sizes by going to the public hat in hand. It's just not fair to compare the outcomes.
    Since we want everyone to be educated (don't we?) we have to figure out some way to pay what it costs to do so efficiently.

  • redshirt007 tranquility base, 00
    Aug. 30, 2013 5:17 p.m.

    There's absolutely no reason in a red state to give people a tax CUT for having more children that will cost more to educate. Be self sufficient. This socialism for conservatives must not stand! No tax breaks for large families!

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 2:38 p.m.

    Ninjutsu,
    How is comparing public and private schools an invalid comparison?

    LDS Liberal is the one who said private schools are a terrible thing, and "Thank goodness for Unions and Government".

    If private schools are to be dreaded, and education would be in trouble if public schools had the same motivations and education model as private schools... then doesn't looking at the two and comparing their results valid?

    I think obviously Private Schools do NOT destroy education (they educate pretty well). And they aren't based on LDS Liberal's savior... "Government and Unions".