Letters to the Editor

Teacher bonus

July 17, 2011


To the editor:

The Lawrence school district now has to spend $3 million within the next year. How should the money be spent? The answer is a no-brainer: Divide the money equally and give a monetary boost to all the teachers. It may be only a one-time deal, but can you think of a better way to show respect and appreciation to our devoted, hard-working, and loyal teachers?


usesomesense 6 years ago

Dividing it equally among our district's teachers would only reinforce the broken system of tenure our district already employs. I have had direct experience with many teachers from mediocre to down right terrible - as well as fair, good and excellent teachers in USD497. I would suggest that those funds be used for things of some permanence (facilities or materials - perhaps to augment the bulk purchasing they are starting to do) or if they were to be used (at least some portion) for teacher 'bonuses' that those be true bonuses - based on performance. 'Equally Dividing' the funds is much like saying a business should pay the same to the guy that takes out the trash (and doesn't even do that right) as the person that is responsible for 50% of the business' income.

pace 6 years ago

maybe we could build a special sports worship area. No. Award the teachers teaching or even if it is for one year, add teachers to reduce the class size.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

Teachers have gone without for a few years and some spend their own money for supplies so I say spend it on the teachers

And maybe on secured parking for bicycles. Let's get back to the good old days when tons of children either walked or rode bikes.

Let's take a hard look at school bus expenses:

Save $3 million on busing annually? Something to think about:

USD 497 budgets $4-4.5 million to bus students. The district is charged at a daily rate depending on how many students use the transportation.

Parents would you be willing to find other means to get your students to school IF it meant keeping all the schools open,teachers employed and retaining important subject matter/programs?

Think car pooling,family members ,walking and biking.

USD 497 says it needs $3 million. Can WE come up with $3 million?

IF 75% of students were no longer bussed: 75% of $4,000,000 = $3,000,000 (million) saved

75% of $4,500,000 = $3,375,000 saved

This $3 million or $3.375 million could also be applied to wages.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

I have been asked numerous times why is it that USD 497 officials do not work with the city bus system. The city bus system has dedicated funding so it would make sense to come up with an affordable pass designed for public school students. We need some practical thinking on the USD 497 BOE .

Again I ditto Lori Wagner.

There is no hard evidence available that substantiates the thinking that Lawrence teachers are incompetent. That talk is political rhetoric designed to encourage public schools become privatized. Private industry is the most reliable source of fraud against taxpayers and I feel sure mountains of documented evidenced can be sourced.

Private industry brings with it:

Obscene CEO packages Obscene spending on political campaigns Obscene Golden parachutes shareholders who are only interested in the bottom line corp jets fraud advertising budgets cannot guarantee a better education * can turn away students at will

Stephen Roberts 6 years ago

Merrill - what about the people at McDonald Drive that had to take a gross pay cut? This is not only administrators.

supportstaff 6 years ago

As support staff for USD 497, I take offense to constantly hearing how the teachers need raises. If it wasn't for the support staff at 110 McDonald Dr, there is a lot that wouldn't get done for the teachers as well as the students. Some of you need to get your facts straight. The classified staff at ESDC needs a raise if the teachers are going to get a raise. We had to take time without pay last year to help out the budget. I didn't hear any complaints from that building because we are thankful to have jobs and were willing to do what needed to be done to help the budget. Why don't teachers understand this??? We also had to take time off during the winter break and were required to use vacation time, personal time, or take it without pay. Is this fair?? I think our teachers are top notch but the public tends to forgot about the classified staff who are just as dedicated to our schools and students as the teachers are. Think about it.

Peter Allen Macfarlane 6 years ago

The old adage that you get what you pay for applies here. If you want a better education system, you need to encourage and reward those teachers and support staff trying to make a difference in students' lives. You don't get that kind of quality with your negative attitude.

KSManimal 6 years ago

Before you poo-poo teacher's raises, you might look back over the years when classified staff have gotten raises. Notice that those raises are typically the same % raise that teachers got; and got only because the union negotiated them.

Ditto for health insurance benefits - classified and administrative staff get the same insurance coverage as teachers. Unless teachers continue to fight for better insurance, you can expect YOUR insurance coverage to decline as well.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

Let's sell the big white building,move to an empty school building then give a pay raise to all making $55,000 or less.

All hard working people deserve good pay = economic growth and fewer tax increases.

If the debt limit is not increased on time we'll see more tax increases locally,taxpayers will be hit with late fees,Wall Street will take a major hit and pay raises may well be on the back burner.

In fact if the USA goes into true long term default the economy and Wall Street go up in smoke. I would pull out of Wall Street if one cannot afford to lose more money until this matter is resolved.

Because all hard working people deserve good pay to perpetuate economic growth and fewer tax increases those ill informed repubs need to quit saying no.... they are simply being stupid.

Public Education is a best bang for the tax buck!!

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

ALEC Exposed: State Legislative Bills Drafted by Secretive Corporate-Lawmaker Coalition

This week the Center for Media and Democracy released 800 model bills, legislation that is straight out of the corporate playbook and drafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council.

The group’s membership includes both state lawmakers and corporate executives who gather behind closed doors to discuss and vote on draft legislation.

ALEC has come under increasing scrutiny in recent months for its role in crafting bills to attack worker rights, to roll back environmental regulations, privatize education, deregulate major industries, and pass voter ID laws.

Thanks to ALEC, at least a dozen states have recently adopted a nearly identical resolution asking Congress to compel the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to stop regulating carbon emissions. We are joined by Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media Democracy.


KSManimal 6 years ago

Those teachers did give you a bonus - it's called "literacy." Granted, that gift pans out better for some than for others.....

As for shutting teachers up - if you want to live someplace where specific groups of people are singled out and prohibited from speaking their minds; there are plenty of other countries which operate that way. That's not how we roll here in the USA.

pace 6 years ago

How ironic that you complain about other whining, Your voice is a consistent whine with no acknowledgement of value received. Your voice is a one note cry baby negative. You think it is a bad day when your horse comes in, you call the glass empty when its free beer.

Olympics 6 years ago

Remember when teachers, public employees, Planned Parenthood, NPR and PBS crashed the stock market, wiped out half of our 401Ks, took trillions in TARP money, spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico, gave themselves billions in bonuses, and paid no taxes? Yeah, me neither. Pass it on.

Patty Buchholz 6 years ago

KSManimal(anonymous)replies…Before you poo-poo teacher's raises, you might look back over the years when classified staff have gotten raises. Notice that those raises are typically the same % raise that teachers got; and got only because the union negotiated them.

Ditto for health insurance benefits - classified and administrative staff get the same insurance coverage as teachers. Unless teachers continue to fight for better insurance, you can expect YOUR insurance coverage to decline as well. Seriously,KSManimal You really should get facts straight before posting;the raise issue was not always the same as classified staff do not belong to a union and did not always receive the same percentage. As for the insurance, there was a time when the teachers wanted classified staff dropped from insurance with them, it didn't work because the usage of classifed staff was so much lower than teachers, they couldn't afford it without classified. Just FYI.

Stephen Roberts 6 years ago

happyp- the classified staff received their raises not because of the union but the board made the decision to give them the same as the teachers. Last year when the classified staff had to take gross pay cuts, what gross pay cuts did the teachers as a group take? 0 zero.

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