Letters to the Editor - April 26, 2013

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Don Dix

Scott Gibson is correct. School districts are losing fine young teachers to the budget crunch that is PERS. District 40 is beginning the bargaining process for next year, and based on the early requests from the union, it doesn't look good for the students, again!

So just how much does District 40 pay the average teacher. According to those quite familiar, the average salary in this district is $58,000 -- for a work year of 180 days (+ or -). That's $300+ for 5 hours of student face-time per day (and there are several days students are not in the classrooms).
By comparison, a normal work year is about 240 - 250 days per year.

Now add the bennys. The average benefit package in District 40 is $33,500 per year (58% of salary)! So an average teacher receives $91,500 in total compensation per year. If that seems extravagant, frankly, it is.

But that's not the end of it. The union representing the teachers wants more. Pay and step raises, more and better health coverage, and of course a retirement boost are also on the menu.

After expenses, the students only receive about 8 to 10 cents of every school district dollar, and it appears that number will diminish (if the union has it's way).

And lest we not forget the union's cry every time they pick a fight over money, "It's for the kids". That's about the hottest, steaming pile ever produced!


Thank you for your comments Scott. It is unnerving that politicians are playing games with Oregon's future. The Oregon Democratic Party is attempting to serve their special interest provider (the unions) at the expense of Oregon students,

happy slap

"Take delight in a child's soul"

Kris Bledsoe asks ..."How can we protect our children from those who would prey upon their vulnerabilities?"

Mandatory polygraph examinations to weed-out pedophile school teachers would be a start, Kris.

troy prouty

There should be no union in government positions.



As much as I hate unions, I suppose the unions would be OK if the employees want them. However, all public employee unions should bound by binding arbitration with no strikes allowed!

E.J. Farrar

Why stop there, Happy? Why not have all of us take polygraph tests? We have nothing to hide, right?

happy slap

E.J., there are more than a few government employment positions that require 'passing' such an exam. One would think that the nature of the beast being what it is, and that people in positions of such intimate .ie teaching and/or coaching staff seem to be 'coming out' ..or.. making the news over sexual acts with children so often, that polygraph exams would seem only logical.

Are you in disagreement, if so, why?

As an aside, I'd recently read (I believe it was an Oregonian article) that Oregon government public employees have special protections in place to make/keep their PERS accounts from being accessed through any court judgements that might be handed down, should a Public employee .ie teacher, be found guilty of raping children.

I think that's just plain old fashioned wrong, don't you, E.J.?

happy slap

So, one might also wonder as to just how many teachers had to raise their hands in a vote of solidarity to have that 'bit-o-minutia' written into their contracts?

Are you a teacher, E.R. Farrar, and if so, how happy with that are you?


I'd love to be a fly on the wall as you explain your sweet rationale to the families of the dead and maimed at the Boston Marathon. See the soul within the monster? If a rabid dog staggers toward you on the street, do you envision the adorable puppy he must have been once upon a time? Do you lean down to pet him? When he bites your cheek off, do you offer him the other?
These killing machine monsters had a great deal of fun following their actions and did a lot of LOL-ing.
Your argument is not about anything more convincing than the opportunity to glorify YOU.

troy prouty

Most countries spend 40%of administration and 60% goes to teachers.

in the U.S. it's just the opposite.



troy, I don't understand your comment. Could you explain?

E.J. Farrar

Happy, if your position is the protection of children is paramount to our Constitutional rights then you would want to extend polygraphing to anyone in regular contact with children: parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles (who are the more common perpetrators of child abuse of all kinds). And no, I'm not a teacher.

happy slap


No, I wouldn't advocate that every person in America that has, or would have regular contact with children be asked to waive the 4th amendment rights, that would be absurd to suggest so.That is unless they were to seek, or wish to continue working in positions of direct authority over children.

And yes, I would include those wishing seeking employment, or those currently issued licenses to work in or conduct such private business in the State of Oregon.

I mean what the heck, if people can be required to submit to drug testing to gain or keep their jobs, I would think that screening-out the pedophiles would be just as important. Perhaps there would be less people producing dirty U.A's if there were less kids having their ability to trust lost to pedophiles robbing them of that so very important human quality.

happy slap

And yes, I'll agree, there is no doubt that there are teachers that are pedophiles that are also most likely a parent, grandparent,, if not an aunt, uncle, older or younger brother or sister, outside of the school environment.

As for monsters and their apologists, I agree with Lulu.

E.J. Farrar

Happ, are you trying to suggest that parents' and adult extended family members don't have authority over children? That may be true in California, but not here. I'm afraid I'm not following your logic. I'm out.

happy slap

I didn't suggest anything of the kind.

happy slap

All that I am suggesting, is, that those seeking work in such trusted positions undergo somewhat more rigorous testing for certain undesirable proclivities.

That's all that I am suggesting, E.R.

troy prouty

When you talk about unions and their pull from the board of education. for example... We have this problem in the U.S.. with grades 1-12.

some of this I will discuss tonight. We spend 60% of all funding on lower education goes to administration while 40% goes elsewhere. In all the countries ahead of us that are developwed democracies. There adminstration cost average is 40%. So bascially I'm saying those at the top are more compensated probably then they need to be. The balance is all wrong. Now .. from a teacher union stand point, I believe the Union stands in the way of having kids learn. for example the average is 223 days in most countries that are doing better than us. The top is 228. I believe. the union opposes more days of learning, even though you could use some as (home school). You also have schools with two shorter breaks instead of one larger. Once again - Unions has done nothing, to solve that issue.

Then their is a local bond issue. Wealthier areas vs Poor. There is some attempt by lawmakers (Jim) being one to attempt to at least balance that, but Unions once again have not stepped up to help very much in the process.


David Bates

Unfortunately, these discussions over school funding are always tightly restricted to individual communities. As a consequence, everyone is distracted from the fact that there is a vast amount of wealth in this country for public education, between the amount held by the 1 percent and the U.S. government, which spends an insane amount of money on a global military infrastructure and, increasingly, a domestic spy and police state infrastructure.

The rest of us sit in our cities and towns ignoring this reality and instead, we fight over the pennies, and -- as a side distraction -- argue about whether unions have too many pennies. It's a debate that is safely confined to an ideological cul-de-sac, and so long as we do not radically change our perspective, that's where we'll stay.



Where did you find your data ("We spend 60% of all funding on lower education goes to administration") ? In Oregon K-12 school districts the typical amount for administration is 7 percent of the budget and about 52-60 percent for teacher compensation. Naturally this varies from district to district, but it is not close to what you stated.

In Oregon, the compensation for K-12 teachers is among the highest in the U.S. while we have among the shortest school years in the U.S.

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