State's Shortage Of School Funding Shameful


Regarding (the Roundup's recent article) "Teacher raises kept to minimum":

It is kind of sad to read in the local newspaper that the (Superintendent's Advisory Council) had little interest in increasing salaries for teachers.

As a former Peace Corps volunteer, I was paid 11 cents an hour. I was a volunteer and didn't really expect any money.

As a teacher in Pennsylvania and New York for the past 32 years, I was paid a decent salary but we always had to fight for a raise every three years.

Both of our sons were recipients of good high school and college educations. Our eldest is a JAG attorney in the Navy and our youngest, a Harvard graduate, is working for the State Department in Washington this summer.

Not being able to retire in New York because of a limited educational pension, my wife and I moved to Arizona two years ago and love the people and the beauty of Pine.

But I was not ready for the state of education in this area and the fact that so many dedicated teachers have to fight for money, not only for themselves, but for the kids and for the programs.

We had fund-raisers in New York, but it seems that every week in Pine or Payson, there is a spaghetti dinner, pancake breakfast, etc. to raise money to send a team to another area or save a music or language program.

It is also ironic that on page two of the (April 11 issue) of the Roundup there was an article about a proposed bill that would increase penalties for juvenile crime.

It's interesting that we are coming up with more penalties for juveniles, and more detention centers, and more prisons for adults.

Does anyone else see the possibility that if we had more programs for kids, more recreation, the best "well-paid" teachers, that perhaps we would have less need for juvenile jails and adult prisons?"

It was encouraging to see on page 10 that the (Arizona) Senate may be approving a bill to give teachers each a $500 raise per year.

It is a step in the right direction, but we have a long way to go.

I think this letter may be best summed up by a poster that was on the door of one of the better math teachers in the high school where I taught. It stated: "Wouldn't it be interesting if the United States Air Force had to have bake sales to run their programs."

Ira Gibel


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