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Letter to the Editor: Teachers deserve more pay

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Friday, March 29, 2019

The News and Observer editorial on minimum wage stated this fact: “In the 1950s, a typical CEO made 20 times the pay of the average worker in his or her company. Now it is more than 360 times” Consider this as the public school teachers are told to accept a pay cut.

The Nash Rocky Mount Public Schools system is proposing to cut the salary of our public school teachers. Public school teachers already paid a heavy price for willing to continue to work in spite of previous cut backs in aides, class size, ancillary help etc. orchestrated by the Legislative body in the past couple of years.

Many teachers go to the Dollar Store, using their own money, to buy extra materials for their classes because they are not adequately provided essential teaching aids. The double irony of caring teachers already supplementing the public school system are now told their pay is going to be reduced should be obvious to everyone.

Our public school system has already taken a huge hit from the ruling powers who worship at the alter of the “market system” and imposed privatization of public education, thus cutting drastically funding for public schools. Our tax dollars are used to fund privately-run charter schools, with no accountability to us. And teachers in the nation are fighting back.

In 2012, 26,000 teachers went on strike in Chicago over the soul of our public education. They were supported by thousands of parents, community members, professionals and paraprofessionals and clinicians. The picket lines extended over 580 public schools. The strikers won many of their demands and saved public education for the time being.

In January of this year, 34,000 teachers in Los Angeles went on strike, focusing not just on teachers’ pay but rather on school funding and the conditions of teaching and learning. They also won many concessions after six days of picketing, once again supported by concerned parents and communities.

How much longer will we allow ourselves to be continually pushed and stripped of our democratic rights, our living wages and necessary social welfare safety nets? While the working poor struggles to make ends meet, the government cuts back more and more of the food stamps, unemployment benefits, tax relief, etc. Meanwhile our expenses such as utilities, groceries, gas prices, insurances continue to increase. The teachers are not alone. We support you, our children deserve better.

Dr. Kim E. Koo,

Rocky Mount

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