There are wiser cuts than teachers’ salaries

  • Good workplace morale is key to the growth and success of any company or institution. If we want excellent teachers we must acknowledge their hard work and dedication. A freezing of one’s wages is bad enough but a 10 percent cut is a down-right insult.

The APS Board members and administration decided that an ESD sponsored 10-year millage was the answer. They had to know that in a time of a recession it would fail. Yet they even asked for more than needed as they had a dream list – don’t we all. Reality hit, maybe a passed millage of two mills for two years, would have solved some problems.

As managers of taxpayer money it is time to face facts. Student population is shrinking. Many elementary schools have empty classrooms. Small student populations also result in too many split-grade classes that are not educationally beneficial. It is time for action to downsize the number of buildings again. Educational dollars are going to empty rooms and buildings that have a need for heat, water, maintenance, insurance, etc.

The teachers have made money-saving offers. It is time to listen. Teachers are willing to take the 5.5 percent cut in wages that the state mediator suggested. We cannot blame them for standing up against a 10 percent cut, which now equates to a 16.71 percent pay cut through the end of this and the next school year. Their wages had already seen a variety of reductions.

Our children, grandchildren and community need these quality teachers. Students are excelling in regional and state competitions such as FFA, music, Science Olympiad, and Robotics to name a few. Scholarships are earned due to the great efforts of our educators. We must support these employees who mold and shape the lives of children.

Sharon Genshaw

Alpena