Low Teacher Salaries Eroding School System, Short-Changing Students


I (want) to express my dismay over the salary schedule for certified employees for the coming school year. Speaking personally, my raise will be 1.8 percent after 21 years and a master's (degree) plus 66 hours (of continuing education). This situation is deplorable, and I believe others in the education community would agree with me.

I had hopes that the members of (the Payson School) Board would recognize the plight of employees and take steps to remedy our low standing among districts in the state.

I did not believe that the legislature would do much, and I was not disappointed. I put no faith in them. I did believe that the board members would make funding for staff salaries a real priority, and I am disappointed with this effort. All of us live within budgets and we know that we must prioritize. Things with high priorities get funded and low ones do not. It seems that the priority given to staff salaries was a priority in word, but not in deed.

It is a shame that our employees take second and third jobs in order to survive in Payson. It is a shame that at our site, we will lose many "irreplaceable" staff members to other districts. It is a shame that we cannot keep newer staff members, and I believe this is borne out by our shrinking teacher experience index. I am personally looking forward to retirement from this district at the earliest possible opportunity. These thoughts sadden me, as I love what I do. I wonder who will fill the vacancies when, in the near future, PUSD cannot even attract new teachers. This day will come, all too soon, as we are among the lowest (paying districts) in the state, which is in turn among the lowest.

The students in our district will suffer the most from this scenario. This is more deplorable due to the fact that they are the greatest natural resource we have.

Ginger Sparks

Rim Country Middle School guidance counselor

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