Archive for Thursday, August 24, 2006

District agrees to 8 percent pay raise

Lawrence teachers, school board still must approve package

August 24, 2006

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Lawrence school officials agreed Wednesday to give the district's 850 teachers an 8 percent pay raise.

"This is wonderful," said the district's lead negotiator Kim Bodensteiner.

Plans call for the teachers voting on the $2.6 million package in 10 to 14 days, after which it will be voted on by the school board.

Assuming it's approved by both sides, the raise likely would take effect in time for the district's Oct. 20 payroll. Bodensteiner said the raise is expected to make the district's wages more competitive with districts in nearby Johnson and Shawnee counties.

"We have to be competitive," she said. "We need to be able to hold on to our veteran teachers, and we need to be able to attract quality new teachers."

Bodensteiner, who's principal at Cordley School, warned that Lawrence's salaries still lag behind those in many districts. But the gap, she said, is narrowing.

"We value our teachers," she said.

A beginning teacher's salary is expected to go from the current $29,550 to slightly less than $32,500.

On the high end of the salary grid, teachers who've earned doctoral degrees will see their salary go from about $52,000 to roughly $56,000. Exact figures are not yet known.

"It's about a $3,000 bump on both ends - for both the new and veteran teachers," said Kelly Barker, a junior high civics teacher and lead negotiator for the teachers.

Other components:

¢ The district's 25-year salary grid would go to 15 years, allowing teachers to reach their maximum "vertical movement" - raises based on years of experience - 10 years earlier than they do now.

¢ Hourly pay for taking part in curriculum and professional development would increase to $14 from the current $13.50.

¢ Pay for "additional assignments" - coaching and club sponsorships, mostly - would increase 3 percent across the board.

Eighteen of these assignments would receive additional raises designed to make them comparable with those in similar-size districts.

High school forensics coaches, newspaper and yearbook sponsors each would receive raises of more than $2,000.

¢ A joint committee would study whether to change the district's early retirement benefit.

Barker and Bodensteiner both said this year's negotiations were considerably smoother than those in 2005-06.

"Both sides, I think, really tried to listen," Bodensteiner said. "We really haven't been that far apart."

Board president Sue Morgan welcomed news of the agreement.

"It's good for the teachers and its good for the district - it's a win-win," she said. "We've all recognized and struggled with the (25-year) salary schedule's flaws for a long time. This makes us more competitive when it comes to putting quality teachers in front of our kids."

The news coincided with board plans to add as much as 6.437 mills to the district's property tax levy, generating an additional $6 million.

The increase will be the subject of the board's Aug. 21 meeting.

The agreement Wednesday was reached shortly before 8:30 p.m.

Prior to Wednesday, 84 of the state's 296 school districts had reached salary agreements with their teachers.

"At this point, the median raise, statewide, is right at 4.3 percent," said Jim Hays, research specialist at the Kansas Assn. of School Boards. "The high is 11.1 percent in Wichita, the low is zero - there are always some districts that can't afford to give any raises, either because their enrollments are going down and they don't have the money or whatever money they do have gets eaten up by their health insurance premiums."

Four districts - all small and rural - have reached settlements that do not include pay raises, Hays said.

"Before it's over, I expect we'll see a lot more in that position," he said.

Comments

Shardwurm 8 years, 9 months ago

"Lawrence school officials agreed Wednesday to give the district's 850 teachers an 8 percent pay raise.

"This is wonderful," said the district's lead negotiator Kim Bodensteiner."

No kidding. An 8 percent pay raise? Sheesh.

This is the biggest racket on the planet. How many other jobs are out there where you can be a complete buffoon and still get an 8 percent pay raise?

I'll say it until I'm blue in the face: If you teachers want respect then you're going to have to accept some risk. By that I mean you need to be paid based on performance. We parents aren't as dumb as we look. We know who the good teachers are and who needs to be fired.

But your union won't let it happen. Allow parents and students to have a part in evaluating teachers. Break down the barriers and allow non-performers to be fired and performers to be rewarded.

THAT is how you fix the education system. Not by throwing more and more of my tax money into the bank of the worst teacher in Kansas.

Bone777 8 years, 9 months ago

Shardwurm. You aint vary nice. I wnt to school in Laurence an we have grate teechers.

Stephen Roberts 8 years, 9 months ago

Now the adminstrators will get a 6-8 percent raise saying the are SO overworked and underpaid.

bmwjhawk 8 years, 9 months ago

Congratulations to the Lawrence teachers, board members, and negotiators. This bump was overdue and allows 497 to compete with other districts in the area.

Note: The base is still below that of many area districts, but it's closer, which goes to show just how out-of-whack it was before. 8% sounds like a lot in one shot, but look at the overall increase over the last 15 years and it won't be so SHOCKING.

rcr 8 years, 9 months ago

Shardwurm said: "This is the biggest racket on the planet. How many other jobs are out there where you can be a complete buffoon and still get an 8 percent pay raise?"

Maybe with this pay increase the district will be able to attract better teachers. All the good teachers have been going to the money in Johnson County and we've been getting whatever was left.

This doesn't mean that there are not any good teachers in this town, there are some great teachers, but there are some who probably have jobs because we could get no one else.

laughingatallofu 8 years, 9 months ago

No, Shardwurm, I beg to differ...

You parents ARE as dumb as you look. YOU parents are NOT involved in your childrens' education, but yet you feel it is justified to place the blame on a teacher who's probably making 1/3 to 1/2 (or less) of what you're making!

If you WERE involved in the education of the next generation, you wouldn't be taking ignorant broadswipes at the educational system.

By the way, if you're so hot and bothered about it, why don't YOU run for a school board position?

prioress 8 years, 9 months ago

"The 20% that miss school by calling in sick, and a substitute has to be paid do to their work for them. I am not talking about sick, or taking a child or parent to the doctor. These are the ones that regularly schedule "shopping" or days off, and call in sick." +++++++++ Probably an exaggeration. However, I bet if you check the negotiated agreement, there are ways to deal with this. Sick days are for the sick; abuse is fraud and, most likely, grounds for termination. Get a copy of the master contract and check it out before you accuse so broadly without evidence.

mom_of_three 8 years, 9 months ago

An 8% raise is more than some of us receive every year, but it was just a few years ago that one teacher I know received .08 an hour for a raise. That's right.

I am not going to begrudge them their raise, as I know teachers deserve it. And don't begrudge them because you didn't get such a raise. That's between you and your employer.

fletch 8 years, 9 months ago

macon47: Please cite a study, report, or news article saying the teachers in Lawrence have a 20% absenteeism rate.

I'm not saying you're wrong. I'm just saying I have absolutely nor reason to believe your argument unless you're willing to back it up with proof.

prioress 8 years, 9 months ago

"in the past board members who asked these questions were shunned, and no information was ever provided." ++++++ That's the board's fault, ultimately. The superintendent serves at the pleasure of the board, and is bound to provide answers to all BOARD questions. If one member (or any number less than four) is curious, it's not a BOARD problem (yet.) If four or more vote to give direction to the administration, they will answer the questions or prepare a report.

laughingatallofu 8 years, 9 months ago

Well macon47. I don't believe you. I agree with T_O_B, you're making this all up. If not, then YOU prove it.

ksmoderate 8 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, Macon, SHAME on those evil teachers for taking a sick day! I'm sure this happens in NO other profession.

mollysoph 8 years, 9 months ago

Shardwurm, maybe you aren't getting an 8% payraise because all you ever do at work is read LJW and post ignorant comments...

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 9 months ago

well I think everyone takes a sick day now and then sometimes you just have to to stay sane. And let me tell you if I was in a class with 16, 5 year olds all day I just might want a day off for no other reason than sanity. Even worse is a class full of highschool kids with attitudes.

mom_of_three 8 years, 9 months ago

According to the handbook, teachers can take up to 3 days a year as "business leave" which is taken out of sick pay. No reason/excuse has to be given for this leave, just enough notice. I think the real world calls them personal days.

Maybe that is the absenteeism some are seeing.

I used to get personal days in my old job. Don't see why teachers shouldn't get them, too.

prioress 8 years, 9 months ago

"I used to get personal days in my old job. Don't see why teachers shouldn't get them, too." ++++++++ I bet they do; check the master contract. There is a difference between using a "personal" day and lying about being sick. I've been lucky and used about 15 sick days in the past 30 years or so. Smart employees save as many as are allowed so, if they really need them, they are there in a pinch.

Bone777 8 years, 9 months ago

What's all this about taking a day off to stay sane? These teachers get every holiday, Christmas break, spring break and a whole bunch of other days off. I think if a teacher with a set curriculum can't maintain their sanity with this schedule, they should go out and get a full-time job.

hockmano 8 years, 9 months ago

I think its great the teachers received a raise!And hopefully it WILL attract better teachers. I think there are GREAT teachers, and there are some who need to go work somewhere else.

About the parents not being involved...I thought I moved from Kansas City to a better school district but after a few years here I realized the larger districts have alot of resources that Lawrence just can't provide. Especially when it comes to special education. I know they try, but...they come up short. After you hear some of the same things regarding your child(negative things) you tend to turn a deaf ear.

The parents are not WACKOS we just want a decent education for our children!

And that is not always being provided.

And to laughingatallofu... A GOOD teacher will always be a GOOD teacher no what they are being paid!

Confrontation 8 years, 9 months ago

Please tell me this means that they are required to show at least an 8% improvement in test scores.

prioress 8 years, 9 months ago

Please tell me this means that they are required to show at least an 8% improvement in test scores. ++++++ In an ideal situation, I would agree. Schools, because they must serve all, are not in this situation. Improvement is required each year by NCLB and QPA from the State Board of Ed Regs. If public schools could preselect their clientele, your approach would be more rational and workable. Since they cannot, we are going to struggle, particularly with children of color and/or the poor...often the same folks, as you know. Want good test scores? Get some well-to-do white kids and go for it. Of course, they have problems too, often brought on by 'abuse by excessive income.' Some parents have confused money with love, and we are paying for that too. The greatest gift you can give a kid.........time with the parent/s.

Paul Rosen 8 years, 9 months ago

I am sure that the teachers would want to be paid like baby sitters, Going rate for parents between four and six dollars an hour per kid. Let's see a class of twenty (we'll use four dollars an hour) eighty bucks an hour. Six hours a day (we can't count the "plan" time. That's 480 dollars a day and 180 days a year makes 86,400. And babysitters don't have to have college degrees or plan lessons.

mollysoph 8 years, 9 months ago

Are you folks out of your minds? What do teachers do with their time off in the summer/vacations? I will tell you: take recertification classes that are required, plan with team memvers for the following year, work getting their rooms ready beginning in July, and take classes/attend workshops that are paid for OUT OF THEIR OWN POCKETS. As far as pay goes, a teacher with a master's degree who has taught for 10 years makes about 36K. While not pocket change, it is difficult to raise a family on that salary. In a profession that serves EVERYONE in a community, I find it appalling that citizens gripe about teacher pay. You think teachers make too much? Have you considered what a teacher is responsible for or does? It is galling to me that so many people on this website hold educators in such low regard. And a sad commentary on the lack of respect those people have for people who give so much for so little. Grow up and quit griping. You're sad.

dncinnanc 8 years, 9 months ago

macon47:

Please, PLEASE tell me where you get that 20% figure.... I used to work in the payroll department for USD 497 (last year) and I can GUARAN-FREAKING-TEE that there is not a 20% absentee rate! Please, enlighten us with your sources...

bmwjhawk 8 years, 9 months ago

I have inside data that says that teachers actually work outside of the normal workday, too: weekends, evenings, holidays, etc.

prioress 8 years, 9 months ago

"I have inside data that says that teachers actually work outside of the normal workday, too: weekends, evenings, holidays, etc." ++++++ Also a good point. GOOD teachers who take responsibility for their professional growth and their students' learning often put in the equivalent of a 50 week work year during their nine months on duty. While I'm on the topic......two of the dumbest things we ever invented were the school day and school year. Learning happens 24/7 and students and teachers need to be engaged in the process for much longer periods of time.

mollysoph 8 years, 9 months ago

Macon, what is your problem? Why do keep saying teachers go shopping with their sick days? Why are you so hostile? No, teachers do not instruct the same amount of time that you go to work (I assume you are at work jacking around on the computer while your employer pays you, unless you are sitting at home, not at work, which wouldn't surprise me either) but they DO put in more hours than your small, uninformed mind could possibly fathom. Teachers take student work home with them to grade at night, after they take care of their own families and put their children to bed. THey take classes during their vacations, plan lessons during free time, work on days when students don't attend school, go to professional trainings and pay for this out of their own pockets. Suck on it, Macon.

conservative 8 years, 9 months ago

bmwjhawk. Yep, there are definitely those teachers who do that and more. They deserve the raise they received and more.

However there are a huge number who don't put in extra hours and even skip out on the 8 hours per day. I see a lot of teachers who aren't at my kids school by 7:30 and are gone before 3:30. I won't even talk about how early some of them are away from the school on early dismissal Wednesdays.

There needs to be more accountability for teachers, and frankly I will oppose these formula driven raises until there is a way to tell which ones are deserving and which ones aren't.

My children have had some good teachers who were deserving of every penny they get and then some. I've also experienced a few who weren't.

ksmoderate 8 years, 9 months ago

Agreed, conservative. Unfortunately, like every other profession, there are those who don't earn their keep. The solution to the problem you pose (which has nothing really to do with macon's argument, thankfully) lies in the hands of the administrators. It's their job to keep their employees (the teachers) in line. Many don't. Too many don't. They get paid VERY well to boot. I'd suggest to anyone here who has a problem with these teachers to address their administrators. Once they start feeling the heat they might do something (after all, they're not on tenure-track).

laughingatallofu 8 years, 9 months ago

<<< Posted by offtotheright (anonymous) on August 24, 2006 at 11:08 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Teachers in Lawrence make a lot more than any other jobs that are here!

Just a bunch of whiners who babysit all day!

OK, OTTR, put up or shut up.

Who makes more than teachers? Tell me, show me the data.

And who has to put up with the cr*p that they have to put up with?

Burger flippers at McDonald's? OK, yes, you're right.

Do you have a "cushy" job like the teachers? Tell us about it. I'm dying to know how "hard" your job is and what you make.

Do YOU:

Have a bunch of employees who come to work every day without an adequate breakfast (and no coffee at their desks), and expect them to have your full-time attention?

Do YOU help your employees with their "duties" (homework) after they go home for the day? Do your employees even think about work after they go home? Are You involved??? Of course you aren't.

Do YOU???

I could go on and on, but you, offtotheright, make me sick with your high and mighty opinions.

Have you ever been a "babysitter"? Or are you making soo much money that you can hire a nanny to do what YOU should be doing for your your kids.

Dang, you p***ed me off!

Bone777 8 years, 9 months ago

The teachers union is one of the strongest in the country. The administrators have almost no power against it. Good luck trying to get rid of bad teachers. They are untouchable unless they are molesting the students.

conservative 8 years, 9 months ago

Seems to me that the teachers want to be treated like hourly employees when talking about all the extra time instead of like the salaried employees they are. Guess what, most salaried employees work more than 40 hours per week and take work home with them. Want to be paid by the hour, great, do all your work at the school and punch a timecard.

laughingatallofu, guess what you just hit one of my hotbuttons. Time spent with your own kids isn't 'babysitting" it's called parenting. People like you who refer to it as babysitting obviously aren't involved in your kids lives.

prioress 8 years, 9 months ago

The teachers union is one of the strongest in the country. The administrators have almost no power against it. Good luck trying to get rid of bad teachers. They are untouchable unless they are molesting the students. +++++++++ That is not true. Any teacher who is not following policy, the approved curriculum and good professional practice is at risk. All it takes to tip the balance is a brave administrator skilled in supervision and evaluation, and a gutsy school board who won't put up with weak acts. Now, if the administrators are weak and/or the board is not prepared to do battle, that is another matter. Condemning entire groups of people due to the deficits of a few members is WRONG; always has been and always will.

ksmoderate 8 years, 9 months ago

Fair enough. I agree that many (if not most) salaried workers put in more than 40 hours/week and take work home with them. But do they complain about it or wish they didn't have to? I would bet a resounding "yes" on that one.

lunacydetector 8 years, 9 months ago

i guess this means we won't be hearing about how little the teachers get paid. i wish i had a job requiring 9 months of work per year with 3 months of vacation and got paid a minimum of $32,500 a year or $3,611.11 per month - not too shabby starting out.

glad we won't have to hear or read the b*tching anymore.

Confrontation 8 years, 9 months ago

Posted by prioress (anonymous) on August 24, 2006 at 11:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"If public schools could preselect their clientele, your approach would be more rational and workable. Since they cannot, we are going to struggle, particularly with children of color and/or the poor...often the same folks, as you know."

This is as racist as statements get! You must be a teacher! I can understand if there is a language barrier that prohibits a child from learning (since Lawrence doesn't want to do much to help them). However, just assuming that minority or low-income students are less intelligent IS the root of the problem. I've known several teachers who automatically assume that minority students are less intelligent. Therefore, they don't work as hard with them. Teachers are supposed to treat all students the same, but I know that's a big lie! Make these teachers work 12 months per year like the rest of us! All the teachers I know spend their summers traveling and working part-time jobs for extra spending money. Maybe they will learn to teach more than the white students if they were forced to hold down a real full-time job. The extra months would give all the students a chance to catch up and make the U.S. population more intelligent than your less-than-average Dubya. Teachers should have to show improvements in ALL their kids, not just the white ones! When you force a teacher to actually teach, then they run to their unions to get a pay raise. What a cushy job!

laughingatallofu 8 years, 9 months ago

Conservative,

You're right. Taking care of your kids at home IS supposed to be "parenting". Unfortunately, many "parents" pass that responsibility off to teachers.

No breakfast? "They didn't want to eat." Teacher has to deal with the consequences,

Dressed like a homeless person waiting at the bus stop? "They want to wear what they want to wear". Teacher has to deal with the consequences.

Math homework? "Heck, I never learned that when I was in school". Teacher has to deal with the consequences.

My kid is sick? "Sorry, I'm too busy to pick them up right now". Teacher has to deal with the consequences.

I'm too busy to show up at a parent-teacher conference. I have to get my 6 year old to soccer practice. Teacher has to deal with the consequences.

You're right. Parent's should do what they're supposed to do.

But if they don't, it's up to someone else who's making $30K a year to pick up the slack, and then get blamed when "something doesn't work out".

Teacher has to deal with the consequences.

It's a great system we have, huh?

mom_of_three 8 years, 9 months ago

$32,500 starting out isn't that great for a college graduate. Most 4 year business school graduates start out about $10,000 more a year, not including signing bonuses and other perks. Considering the responsibility and education of a teacher, I would say that starting isn't too great.

laughingatallofu 8 years, 9 months ago

Just curious, lunacy,

How much do YOU make a month?

Moreover, if you're educated, you can do fractions and figure out how much a starting teacher makes over a full year.Is that still more than you make?

Lunacy, I'm waiting for your to post your job description and your monthly wage.

I won't hold my breath.

bmwjhawk 8 years, 9 months ago

If the job's so great, why isn't everybody doing it? Why are there teacher shortages in certain areas?

I'm confused.

Tychoman 8 years, 9 months ago

For the same reason that there aren't enough nurses. The job can be extremely rewarding, but the reason there's a shortage is most people don't like teaching, plain and simple. The job can suck A LOT and there is a lot of schooling to go through before reaching certification. A lot of students I know just don't want to jump through all the hoops it takes to become a teacher.

conservative 8 years, 9 months ago

laughing, most of what you listed aren't actually dealt with by the teacher either. They don't get the kids different clothes, they just mark the child down as incomplete on their homework if it isn't complete, child is sick they send them to the nurse and don't have to deal with it, and if a parent doesn't come to a conference they just have that many fewer to do.

TOB, um teachers are under contract for 180 days per year most people work around 240 (52 weeks x 5 days figure 20 days of vacation and holidays per year). Therefore yes teachers only work 3/4 of the number of days that most people do. Maybe you're forgetting about all those days off around the holidays and the week off during the spring.

Mom of 3, assuming your numbers of 10,000 per year are correct, then teachers are right on scale since they only work 3/4 of the year. If their pay was extended for year round it would be equivalent of a little over 43,000.

laughingatallofu 8 years, 9 months ago

OK, conservativeman,

laughing, most of what you listed aren't actually dealt with by the teacher either. They don't get the kids different clothes, they just mark the child down as incomplete on their homework if it isn't complete, child is sick they send them to the nurse and don't have to deal with it, and if a parent doesn't come to a conference they just have that many fewer to do. <<<

My point is that parents aren't doing THEIR job, and then subsequently heap all of the blame upon the "teacher".

So, I guess that we'll just let the kids fend for themselves. In the scenario that you described, they'll surely grow up just like you. Blame it on everyone but you, right?

BTW, do you make more than $43K/yr? What do you do for a living? You don't need to answer. Is it harder work than being a teacher? It's all relative, but it's something to think about.

Tell us about your life, conservativeman, because you seem to have ALL the answers. Again, you don't need to answer. But, if you did, I'm sure that all of us would be very enlightened.

conservative 8 years, 9 months ago

laughing,

several points.

First conservativeman hasn't posted on this thread. My name is conservative.

Second, every job has issues they have to deal with not just teachers.

Third, I've never tried to blame a teacher for anything. And if you read above even said that many deserve more of a raise than they received. However I would like a system that would get rid of the ones who don't put in the effort or the hours. You're the one in this conversation blaming parents and somehow using that as a way to try and uplift teachers.

Lastly, actually, no I don't make 43,000 per year, I make a little less than that as if it's any of your business. Now would you like to reciprocate and indicate how much you make?

FastEddie 8 years, 9 months ago

most people work around 240 (52 weeks x 5 days figure 20 days of vacation and holidays per year

Where is your data that backs up this statement? I don't know anybody who works 240 days a year (and I know a lot of working stiffs). Are you talking about people in this country only? People in the US do work harder and longer than almost everyone else in the developed world but the average number of work days/year is not 240.

laughingatallofu 8 years, 9 months ago

Agnostik,

Love it!

Conservativeman likes to play with numbers.

"It's about a $3,000 bump on both ends - for both the new and veteran teachers," said Kelly Barker, a junior high civics teacher and lead negotiator for the teachers.

So, at the low end, a teacher making 29,500 and goes to 32,500 ---that's about 10% (keeping up, c-man?)

Assuming that a teacher works ONLY 180 days a year and ONLY 8 hours a day, that works out to $22.57 an hour. Sounds like a lot.

But that's ONLY if the above assumptions are correct. You you really think they are? Be honest with yourself.

But how much do you pay when the plumber has to come out to your house because you posted on the LJW and were found to be FOS?

What is your YEARLY cable bill as a percentage of the $3000 (8-10%) raise? Heaven forbid if you'd have to do without the Home Shopping Network!!!

A burger flipper at McDonalds works 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. What does the burger flipper do when he/she goes home? I'm sure that it's not thinking about how to make the next day's burgers even tastier.

A teacher is a professional. My guess is that most people on this forum are professionals (in their job, not in their postings). It's all relative. I'd suggest that some of you look in the mirror before you start throwing stones at it.

laughingatallofu 8 years, 9 months ago

Sorry, conservative, I didn't mean to misrepresent your name. Inattention on my part. My apologies.

If parents were doing their jobs as "parents", maybe we we wouldn't be having this dialogue.

You know, I'll bet that the great majority of parents are doing their jobs as "parents". But that doesn't make a teacher's job any easier. Especially at the wages that they're being paid relative to the responsibility and accountability that they have.

Have you a solution? I'm listening.

Regards, Laughing...

Hilary Morton 8 years, 9 months ago

Woo-hoo! We got an 8% raise. Now, what other teacher wants to take off work tomorrow for a day of shopping? :)

FYI: Lawrence teachers get 10 days per year, including sick, and personal days. I, personally, take 2 days off to attend sessions on improving reading scores. We're required to. Most principals will suggest to take a day off for sanity or taking care of personal business, as we don't leave for lunch, or the campus for any reason, and sometimes, you need to get things done while businesses are open.

I would LOVE to get paid like a babysitter. I see 270 wonderful kids each day, so if they pay me $10 an hour per kid, I could use my summer vacation for trips instead of picking out music, buying supplies, attending reading sessions, conventions and taking summer classes toward my Master's Degree.

Congrats to all Lawrence teachers, and what a wonderful opportunity to get more great teachers to come here, instead of leaving this town easily for a higher-paying district such as Shawnee Mission, Olathe, or Blue Valley.

If you have any questions about Lawrence Public Schools, just ask a teacher. We'll be up and down Mass Street, buying shoes, and sipping on margaritas while substitutes are dealing with our kids. All "20%" of us! :)

::tongue firmly placed in cheek::

Tychoman 8 years, 9 months ago

Mmm margaritas. Those sound good now that Cman's gone.

NorthLawrenceDude 8 years, 9 months ago

Hilary is an idiot. My wife is a sub, and she could work every single day of the school year if she wanted too. There is always somone "sick" or whatever. On most days, they can't find enough subs.. and the kids suffer. The Lawrence teachers are SPOILED. Let them work in Wyandotte county schools for a month or so, then they would appreciate their jobs. 8% is rediculous. Now I know all you teachers on here will blast this post, but instead of doing that...why don't you track down your union president that stole all that money and make him pay it back. LMAO.

mom_of_three 8 years, 9 months ago

conservative, You are assuming that teachers have 3 months off. As has been said, some do training over the summer, and they return a little sooner than the students to ready their classrooms. But it does "seem" like they have more time off than the average stiff.
you are also assuming that a new hire also receives little or no vacation. Some companies start out with 5 weeks vacation depending on the job, such as an exec., on top of sick pay.
Don't forget, though, that some of the raises in recent years were mere pennies for some, and sometimes larger raises are given to account for that.

ksmoderate 8 years, 9 months ago

NorthLawrenceDude,

Appalling. "why don't you track down your union president that stole all that money and make him pay it back."

Why don't you call the union president so he/she knows you are accusing them of stealing? If you feel so strongly about it, put up or shut up.

Hilary: thank you for being a teacher!!!

Swampfox 8 years, 9 months ago

I should hope that this pay raise is linked to an 8 % improvement in teacher performance.

Bone777 8 years, 9 months ago

The teachers union is one of the strongest in the country. The administrators have almost no power against it. Good luck trying to get rid of bad teachers. They are untouchable unless they are molesting the students. +++++++++ That is not true. Any teacher who is not following policy, the approved curriculum and good professional practice is at risk. All it takes to tip the balance is a brave administrator skilled in supervision and evaluation, and a gutsy school board who won't put up with weak acts. Now, if the administrators are weak and/or the board is not prepared to do battle, that is another matter. Condemning entire groups of people due to the deficits of a few members is WRONG; always has been and always will.


This is true. The NEA is one of the most powerful unions anywhere. I am a union member (not a teacher) and I recognize how much the unions protect inadequate employees from administration. That is one of the major draw backs of unions in this country. When you become a union member you assume the responsibility of being condemned due to the deficits of a few members. One for all and all for one.

Kathy Gates 8 years, 9 months ago

To add some more fuel to the fire...let's talk about those "vacations" during the school year...like Christmas Break, Spring Break, Martin Luther King Day and so on. In many professional jobs those are PAID HOLIDAYS! There's no such thing as a paid holiday when you're a teacher. You contract to work X number of days (personally, my contract is for 210 days). I spread those out over the 9+ months of the year that school is in session. Even the lowly state employees get paid holidays!!!

pickaname 8 years, 9 months ago

I have worked in Wyandotte County and forgive me but we teachers are treated very well. If you are in the field that I was in there, behavior problems...In the school district, USD 500...Huuummmmm in Wyandoote County, naw, I never dealt with em. Yah right. I left Lawrence school district this year to go to DeSoto district. Desoto got 4.2, Lawrence got 8, I still got a decent raise in Johnson County. I can defend teachers because I have worked along side some of the best educators I have ever seen, here in Lawrence. The fact is, Lawrence is loosing great teachers for lack of salary adjustments. For instance. a teacher of 35 years in Lawrence can retire, get a job in say, Tonganoxie or DeSoto, get a higher pay for doing their job and collect retirement from Lawrence. I still blame No Child Left Behind and the parents of unscrupulous children. People pay attention to what your child wears out of the house in the mornings. Horay for teachers raises, there is only one way to keep good teachers, truth be told, we love what we chose to do for a living, of course it does not hurt to be paid for educating the future, afterall, they will soon be your bosses.

pickaname 8 years, 9 months ago

I agree, teachers do not teach to get rich, but they deserve a fair salary. Please do not feel sorry for the educators. Those of you that feel all we do is babysit, answer this, why is it that you need babysitters for highschool students. Please let them stay home, rob the local Presto, do their drugs, and be sentenced to home arrest. Then YOU stay home and babysit. I bet then and only then will you realize what educators do for the students that are in diar need for support and guidance. Build a bigger JDC, raise taxes, and lower the welfare checks, then we will get credit for training your animals. Spare me your unfound empathy,and home school. By the way, most of us do work summers! Bottom line, we love what we do, and deserve comparible pay.

Hilary Morton 8 years, 9 months ago

I just wanted to say that the first district I worked in was KCK, 500, and they paid higher than Lawrence. I then went to Olathe, 233, and they paid higher than Lawrence. The only thing Lawrence teachers are spoiled with are intelligent kids, and a supportive community. That's why I'm here. It means more to me than my salary. But I don't have any kids of my own. The story would be different.

Subs will always have jobs when there are 847 certified, 750 classified teachers and 65 administrators in the Lawrence district. That's simple math. Someone is bound to be gone on any given day (except blackout days) and subs are used when teachers are gone for mandatory training days at the district building.

'Tis true that there are bad teachers. 'Tis true that it can be difficult to get rid of them in lots of environments. If you have kept up with local news over the past two years, Lawrence has worked pretty diligently to remove some problems in our district, and the other districts I've worked for have not. Perhaps if teachers were paid on their performance, there would be more competition and better teaching. But let's face it, kids; we are not Texas.

The only thing that makes me an idiot is continuing to read comments on ljworld. I am just trying to give you a perspective from someone who lives this day to day, instead of lashing out anger on the educational system. I am sorry for those of you who have very warped impressions of the teaching profession, but blaming teachers for all problems in the government and child-rearing in general is something we are used to. We are immortal to the community, and we can't afford Lawrence housing. It's an oddity, really.

Have a great evening, and relax. Lawrence is still paid below districts in the surrounding area. We're happy, but we're not wearing tiaras and tails to class daily.

gohawks2006 8 years, 9 months ago

Hmm...where to start? For one...Wow...teachers are "just babysitters"? Hmmm...how many babysitters do you know that possess their Master's degree? I don't know of many that do. Babysitters have tough jobs too. They have to care for your children while you aren't there. They deserve a bit of respect! To the comments of "work the summer, like the rest of us"...most of us DO work summers. We just don't get paid to do so. We take classes, we work on plans for the upcoming school year, we work additional jobs so that we can pay our bills...do I need to go on? We WORK all year long! I WISH I only worked in my room a week before school started. Let's try at least a MONTH before the school year. I WISH I only worked 180 days a year. I WISH I only worked from 8:15-4:15. I WISH I had parental support. But the truth is, I don't. But, that's okay. I knew that when I went into teaching. I just wish more of you were informed about our hours and our dedication. Take yesterday for example. I was at school from 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM. I only get paid from 8:15-4:15. THEN, I worked on school work at home from 7-10, WITHOUT pay. I'm 100% sure that I'm not the only USD 497 teacher that worked a long day yesterday. When does that leave time for my family? Teachers must work extra hours just to keep complainers like those on this post happy (and it STILL doesn't work). As stated before, teachers don't go into the profession to get rich. We did know that. We do it because we love it and we want to make a difference. Higher pay is nice, but receiving RESPECT is even better. I don't think that the eachers on this post are as angry about the comments about not needing higher pay as they are about the lack of respect that many of you are showing. If you think that we have "cushy" jobs, just trade places with a teacher...even just for half of a day, and then tell us that our job is "cushy." I, for one, don't care if you think we need a pay raise. I don't tell you or your boss if YOU deserve a raise. I would just ike to see some "thank you's" or appreciation. Sometimes, that means more than an 8% pay increase. Thank you to those of you that ARE showing support for your child's teacher.

bmwjhawk 8 years, 9 months ago

"if an occupationial choice is teaching pay should never be a factor."

A ridiculous statement. This is to say that, because many teachers enjoy helping students, they shouldn't work for extra compensation?

If the reward is the reward, then why pay teachers anything? Ignorant.

Or, is this statement meaning to say: teachers have always been poorly paid, so why change it? Ignorant.

Somebody will always have it better and somebody will always have it worse. Why are so many angry about teachers getting something? Is it because it's easy to blame the failures of society on the educators?

I'm still very confused. I really want to know why, if people are so bitter about teachers having 2.5 months "off" in the Summer, they don't take the steps necessary to join them.

Tychoman 8 years, 9 months ago

Nearly every single teacher I had at LHS mentioned in one way or another how they could have accepted a job at a better school district, be paid more, more prominence, etc. etc. but they didn't because they VOLUNTEERED to work in 497. Lawrence is known around the state for having some of the best teachers in the region and it's also well-known that teachers often request Lawrence. It's about time we're giving the teachers a pay raise. Pity it can't be more.

sinkorswim 8 years, 9 months ago

Wow. There seems to be a lot of interesting views of what teachers do around here. I understand and agree that there are some teachers who don't quite live up to their expectations. This happens in all jobs, occupations, careers. However, I believe they are in the minority. Most teachers are extremely dedicated, sometimes to a fault! One thing that really gets on my last good nerve is the notion that we only work 180 days a year. In all the years I've been teaching, I've yet to have a summer or any other break "off." Over winter and spring break there are usually papers to grade, grades to figure, report cards to fill out, lesson plans to do, supplies to purchase, etc. while I also hope to spend time with my family and take care of home chores and responsibilities. The summer has always consisted of working another job to supplement my income, taking classes (at my own expense), district meetings, planning and collaborating for the next year, conferences to attend (often at my own expense), and working in my classroom. I'd love to be able to start a week before the kids! It's more like 4-5 weeks before our students start.

Do we deserve an 8% raise?? ABSOLUTELY! Hopefully this is the start of our district becoming competitive with our neighbors to the east. Each year we lose some awesome teachers that choose to travel K-10 for better pay. Maybe they'll consider coming back this way.

By the way, I'd love to meet these teachers who supposedly take days off to shop. I think you're more likely to find teachers at school who really should be home because they're sick themselves, but hate to risk losing a day of instruction by having a sub. We have way too much to do to just take a day off for random shopping.

kugrad 8 years, 9 months ago

Conservativeman, Teachers are NOT salaried employees. They are CONTRACTED employees with a contractually defined duty day. This differs from salaried employees. Administrators (at least the top tier) are salaried employees without a specified duty day in their contractual agreement.
I can think of very, very few other professions where there is a contractually agreed-to duty day, yet most work overtime. Teachers regard their job as though it were salaried an surely most put in the hours of a salaried employee, but they are actually not salaried.

Just want to set the record straight there.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 9 months ago

It's about time.

I seem to remember some teachers returning to school over christmas holidays in order that students could spend time on projects...

I also seem to remember teachers being available after hours for parent teacher conferences as a means of reaching out to parents.

I also seem to remember teachers assisting students needing scholarships and advising them on what the best choice of school might be...

I could be wrong but it is my conclusion that many teachers are likely working more than 50 hours a week during school without time and a half.

djazz 8 years, 9 months ago

Come into my classroom sometime, and show kids how to play a band instrument from scratch! Put a clarinet together, etc. Get a kid to make a sound on a flute! That is not easy. Try it!

Nurture them for a couple of years, and amazing what they can do.

Later on, they move up through the Public School System or private, and emerge as outstanding talent, Universities, many of them, not all.

Thats where your great Orchestras we all love to listen to start. A teacher has to show them how to put a clarinet together, hold a violin, blow a horn, hold a pair of drumsticks.

Ken Lay (now dead), Dave Wittig, Lake, all the others would have a real difficult time doing that for 30 minutes. Wouldn't know what to do anyway. But rip us off they can!

I don't take sick days off. Pretty much have to really be sick, like the day before. Because the system, gotta report before 7:00 AM. I have weeks, months of sick leave. You can share sick leave with others in despair. Give up some or yours for them.

I once served on the Lawrence School Board, got the most votes next to imcubant President of the Board at that time. Interesting. Board meetings were interesting. Often ran to midnight at that time. Land aquisition, etc.

dizzy_from_your_spin 8 years, 9 months ago

Do teachers get into the profession for the money or for the satisfaction?

If it's for the former, why don't you take your "skills" and parlay it into a fortune in some other profession?

If it's for the latter, at what point did it dawn on you that teaching is not a lucrative profession?

I can't think of one other profession that whines more than teachers.

I can't think of another occupation that demands such high esteem and pay, yet seem so hapless to remedy their own personal situation.

If I were a teacher, I'd be more distraught about the wage desparity between the queen bees (administration) and the worker bees (teachers). Are administrators really worth 3-4 times more than what the teachers are paid?

prioress 8 years, 9 months ago

" Are administrators really worth 3-4 times more than what the teachers are paid?" +++++ Short answer, "yes" if they are good ones. Is a CEO of a giant corporation worth 100-200 times the salary of some of the workers? In some cases, yes; in most cases I doubt it.

bmwjhawk 8 years, 9 months ago

Do teachers get into the profession for the money or for the satisfaction?


Are they not allowed to enjoy their work AND get paid well for it?

If it's for the latter, at what point did it dawn on you that teaching is not a lucrative profession?


So, they should just accept that and not fight for more?

I can't think of one other profession that whines more than teachers.


Ouch. That's got to hurt the teachers out there. I can't think of a profession that is forced to shoulder so much of the blame for society's problems yet isn't deemed worthy of competitive salaries.

I can't think of another occupation that demands such high esteem and pay, yet seem so hapless to remedy their own personal situation.


So, now you wish that they would do something to improve compensation?

If I were a teacher, I'd be more distraught about the wage desparity between the queen bees (administration) and the worker bees (teachers). Are administrators really worth 3-4 times more than what the teachers are paid?


So, teachers SHOULD be upset about how much they aren't making? Or, are you arguing that administrators should get less?

The bitterness some posters show towards those in the teaching profession is amazing. Some people seem to think that, unless teachers do what they do for a pittance, what they are doing isn't admirable.

Wilbur_Nether 8 years, 9 months ago

dizzy_from_your_spin whirled out the comment "I can't think of one other profession that whines more than teachers."

I can. Bloggers.

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