Archive for Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lawrence school district teachers seek salary increase

March 3, 2011


Bottom line from the first day of negotiations between Lawrence school district administrators and teachers regarding next year’s teacher contract: Teachers want more money, and administrators aren’t offering any.

“We want all the numbers to get bigger,” said David Reber, a biology teacher at Free State High School and lead negotiator for the Lawrence Education Association, after Wednesday’s initial negotiations meeting at district headquarters, 110 McDonald Drive.

He’s referring to the salary schedule for teachers, which includes 156 cells, or steps, that outline the amount of money a teacher earns based on education and years of service. A entry-level teacher with a bachelor’s degree, for example, makes $37,780, while a teacher with a doctorate and at least 13 years of service makes $58,830.

Teachers want the entry-level cells to be increased, saying that would help the district improve its ability to attract quality new teachers. And the union also wants to boost the “Mx” step on the salary schedule, so that teachers who otherwise wouldn’t be eligible for raises actually could see their wages increase.

Reber declined to discuss exactly how much additional money, overall, teachers want to see pumped to the mix. But the union plans to push for something when it lands on the negotiations agenda April 6.

“If we don’t add more money, nearly 50 percent of the teachers in the district won’t see any increase in salary,” he said.

Increasing money for wages would mean making cuts somewhere, said Frank Harwood, the district’s chief operations officer and lead negotiator for the district. Administrators already anticipate a budget that would call for spending $3 million less next year because of declines in state revenue.

Such decisions will be left to members of the Lawrence school board.

“They don’t have any choice about the $3 million” in cuts, Harwood said, after the meeting. “To have more dollars available, they would have to cut more.”

Board members already are scheduled to discuss closing at least one elementary school next year: Wakarusa Valley, the building identified by a task force appointed to create a vision for the district’s elementary schools while acknowledging ongoing financial restraints.

Chris Cobb, a math teacher at South Junior High School and member of the union’s negotiating team, noted that the district maintained a “stated goal” for recruiting and retaining quality teachers.

“If you don’t have an adequate starting salary, you’re not going to recruit quality teachers,” Cobb said. “And if you don’t have an adequate max salary, you will lose longtime quality teachers.”

Negotiating teams are scheduled to meet again March 30, to discuss potential changes to teacher evaluations. Salary issues are set for April 6.


Larry Evans 4 years, 7 months ago

$3 million less in state revenue,,teachers welcome to the world of todays private sector who are struggling to stay afloat. The salaries quoted would be welcomed to a lot of people for working only 9 months out of the year.

I bet 90 % voted for Obama whose policies thus far have been damaging to the economy

repaste 4 years, 7 months ago

The economy sure was rocking when O'dude took office. From the bring of great depression to solid recovery, 8000 Dow to 12000, If only we had left things alone.

avoice 4 years, 7 months ago

You hit that nail on the head. Supposedly, we should pay more taxes so teachers can make more money because they are such a huge benefit to society. That is as compared to the rest of us who, obviously, cannot come close to contributing as much to society as a single teacher does. So, no matter how much education We The People have, and no matter the fact that our salaries compare very closely in education and experience to what teachers are currently being paid, we are supposed to feel that teachers are getting the short end of the stick. Well, teachers, everyone else has had their pay cut. We have found that our years of service don't matter. We have found that our education doesn't matter. The money pool has shrunk and the salary we all "deserve" has shrunk with it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 7 months ago

" Well, teachers, everyone else has had their pay cut. "

No, they haven't. The wealthiest 1% of Americans have seen their income rise dramatically over the last 30 years. That's where the money went, not to the teachers.

Why do you choose to be an unpaid warrior fighting their class war, and making war on yourself in the process?

notanota 4 years, 7 months ago

Now, now. You know that's just class jealousy on your part. Which is somehow wrong. Unlike teachers, they worked super hard to inherit all that money.

gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 7 months ago

Apples to oranges though, really. One can't constantly compare everything to the "wealthiest 1%" and complain that things are unfair. Wage rates float at different market levels. For example, a minimum wage worker isn't likely to see the same sort of increases in pay as a $100,000 worker over ten years. Similarly, teachers aren't likely to see the same sort of increases as the evil 1%.

notanota 4 years, 7 months ago

Someone spilled coffee on my carpet, so now I'm going to spill coffee on your carpet. Same logic. I suffered from circumstances outside of my control, so now I'm going to make sure my neighbor also suffers.

Why doesn't anyone want to apply this logic to all the tax cuts to the rich we've been passing lately? The usual argument is because the rich people supply jobs, but this doesn't actually translate into cut taxes = more people get hired. The Koch brothers, for instance, have been laying people off in recent years and reaping record profits, and that doesn't even include the massive tax cuts they've managed to lobby for. Why are we cutting programs that help people while giving handouts to people who aren't sharing in the sacrifice?

If that teacher earns more money, he or she will actually spend that money in the community and support and stimulate the local business community, unlike someone in the capitalist class who already has their needs and whims met and has little room for increased community spending. Profit and demand spur business growth, not tax cuts, so in a very real way giving that teacher a raise is giving yourself a raise. On top of that, if the teacher pay really does act as an incentive to retain quality staff (and I have my doubts about the necessity of raising the entry fee in a college town, but that's a point for another time) then our kids benefit from a better education and more prospects in the future.

gudpoynt 4 years, 7 months ago

"Supposedly, we should pay more taxes so teachers can make more money because they are such a huge benefit to society"

If you fail to see the truth in this, then you are very shortsighted.

How many childrens' lives do you change in a year, pray tell?

And show me in the private sector where a doctorate + 13 years experience in a single field makes less than $60K in that field. Show me.

xclusive85 4 years, 7 months ago

Show me where a doctorate is needed to teach at a high school level. Very few high school teachers have or need a doctorate.

jayhaitch 4 years, 7 months ago

Agreed. But then where else is a PhD limited to $59,000 a year? And I bet there are very few on the payroll. In Finland you have to graduate in the top 10% to enter the teaching field. We've got it backwards here.

xclusive85 4 years, 7 months ago

It's not limited. Most of the teachers who get their PhD end up in administration. There, they make more than $59,000. If they obtain a PhD and stay at a job where it is not required, why should we pay them more for having it?

Stephen Roberts 4 years, 7 months ago

WTF - do the teachers not realized to for the school board reduced the gross pay of the non tecahers last year and increased the amount for insurance???

What world are the teachers living in??

rdkone 4 years, 7 months ago

One of the sleazeballs who helped create the financial crisis of 2008 took home $470 million selling mortage loans. There were countless others who also profited immensely during the housing bubble. Now most states have large budget shortfalls as a result of our ruined economy. So lets blame the teachers and their unions.

Stephen Roberts 4 years, 7 months ago

I am not blaming the unions but think about it, where does the LEA think the money will come from to pay their raise? Do they think the other employees of the district should take another pay cut to pay for their raise?

And before a bunch of you get your panties in a bunch, there were more than just administrators whose salaries were reduced and the amount they had to pay for insurance was increased.

rdkone 4 years, 7 months ago

The problem is that the pain involved in balancing the budget is not being shared. Instead we end up cutting programs that help those most in need. And raising taxes on the wealthy is out of the question. Would it really be a hardship if some wealthy business man had to settle for a Lexus instead of a Mercedes? While Wall Street is still doling out million dollar bonuses to people who do very little to benefit society we continue to put the squeeze on all those fat cat overpaid teachers out there.

notanota 4 years, 7 months ago

Yes. Democracy and free speech are stupid wishes.

Take_a_letter_Maria 4 years, 7 months ago

Want in one hand and _ _ in the other. See which one fills up first.

As someone who has taken a pay cut, both through workshare and as a decrease in regular pay, someone needs to welcome the teachers to the real world. Let's go back to the offer of making more competitive salaries available as long as they fall under the same at will rules that private sector employees work under. The ability to remove ineffective teachers would go a long way towards improving the retention of quality teachers.

Shardwurm 4 years, 7 months ago

Bingo. We have a winner.

I'm all for paying good teachers what they deserve, but you can't do that with the union and tenure.

Make the jobs competitive and give the customers a voice in evaluating teachers.

Elimination of the union in Wisconsin is the best thing to happen to improve the quality of education in the last 50 years.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 7 months ago

"I'm all for paying good teachers what they deserve,"

You're lying.

kugrad 4 years, 7 months ago

Non-Unionized states have lower teacher firing rates than Unionized states. The concept that unions prevent reasonable firing is a fictitious canard often trotted out but without basis in fact.

Cogito_Ergo_Es 4 years, 7 months ago

I'd much rather have a voice in evaluating our ADMINISTRATORS.

gudpoynt 4 years, 7 months ago

Not Bingo. We don't have a winner.

What we have instead, is a gross misconception that teachers are somehow not at all held accountable for the quality of their instruction.

What right wing media outlet did you glean that from? Teachers get fired all the time for all kinds of reasons. I personally know school administrators who take disciplinary action on teachers, amounting to termination if necessary, every... single... year.

Here's how you spin the argument. You point to a small minority of cases where some jerk-wad teacher has tenure. Tenure was not achieved by being a bad teacher (HINT: it never is). Rather, said teacher has become disenfranchised, and more or less lazy. You point to this case, and a few more like it, and use it to paint the entire public education system as a failure. You show this painting to people not involved with public education at all, and suggest that the primary source of funding for this horrible mess is their hard earned tax dollars. Then you sit back as they get all riled up and start spreading misinformation in public forums.

Meanwhile, the people currently making record profits in a down economy, where funding for public education is in dire straights, have no problem at all with those below them looking side to side for a neighbor to accuse, rather than looking up. In fact, they are so afraid of middle and lower class Americans looking up, that they consider it a wise investment to pump significant amounts money into campaigns aimed at keeping us looking side to side.

For instance, another article today reports that a House bill is aimed at depriving retirees of KPERS benefits that they have legitimately earned, and were promised. Somehow, it's their fault for collecting the retirement that they are due. Has nothing at all to do with reduced tax revenues. Nothing at all.

Mr. or Mrs. Teacher, I'm sorry, but you can't get raises because of..... wait for it.... your fellow Teachers.

levicindy 4 years, 7 months ago

I think it is time we all stop fighting against one another and join together in directing our rage at politicians that don't even balance their own personal budgets. Do I think teachers deserve a raise? Yes I do, but I think you and anyone else who works hard deserves one too. The "middle class" continues to disappear. We need to stop beating up our neighbors and instead take a walk to the statehouse with them to demand leaders there get their acts together. No more looking out for those who contribute the most to their campaigns. They need to be reminded that they work "for the people!"

sallyone 4 years, 7 months ago

They should take a pay cut, they only work 9 month a year for peats sake!

rdkone 4 years, 7 months ago

It is "Pete's sake". Perhaps you should have been paying attention during those 9 months of school.

Hilary Morton 4 years, 7 months ago

You really have no idea. First of all, when was the last time you realized that summer is 2 months long, not 3? Do you send kids off to school in September? No. Teachers go back around August 6th, and kids return the following week. Second of all, very few teachers take 2 months off. I know I don't. When you need to get re-certified, you take college classes. Summer, or "vacation" as you think it is, is a wonderful time to attend seminars, conventions and conferences. That's where I am in the summer. I go to at least 3 per summer.

Feel free to continue believing in 3 months vacation, but it is really not so. Ask a teacher.

Shardwurm 4 years, 7 months ago

I have a good friend who is a teacher and he debunks everything you say. He tells me that between the time off in the summer, the 12 days of vacation, school breaks, and holidays he probably works more like 8 months a year and he loves it.

Feel free to propagate the myth that you deserve more than you get. The days of scamming us into believing you're underpaid are coming to an end. And seriously, if you don't like it go to the private sector and try your hand at that like the rest of us know - where you have to produce results.

parrothead8 4 years, 7 months ago

Feel free to propagate the "if you don't like it go to the private sector" argument. It doesn't work. Do you know what it means to be a "public servant," such as a cop, fireman, or teacher? It means you spend your life getting paid well below what you're worth, because there's no way to place a value on what those people do for return, society tries to ensure a stable, meaningful income for the rest of their lives. If we actually paid teachers what they were worth, we would have gone bankrupt long ago.

If all the best teachers went to the private sector, as you say they should, where would our schools be then? What would the future of our country look like?

You think teachers don't have to produce results? Teachers' results get measured more than just about any profession except baseball players, and when their school doesn't hit certain marks, every teacher in the school is held responsible.

Ask your friend how much work he does during those school breaks and summer months. If he tells you none, he's either lying or he's a slacker.

Gedanken 4 years, 7 months ago

Is your good friend a physical education teacher or maybe an art teacher? That is the only way to explain his experiences.

Core curriculum teachers work way more then what you describe. I come from a family of teachers. My wife is a teacher. She goes to work about 7:00a.m., gets home about 5 and then works for a couple of more hours at night grading papers and calling parents.

I decided to take a different route in life because I have no desire to bust my butt like that. Now - that being said - now is the wrong time to be asking for a pay raise.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 7 months ago

Sounds like your good friend is one of the teachers who are lazy scammers of the system, and thereby serve as the poster children for the way you want to paint the majority of teachers who put in the time and effort to go a good job.

Why don't you inform his superiors of his bad attitude and poor work habits? Sounds like he needs either close supervision so that he becomes a good teacher, or should go to work wherever you work.

fairplay 4 years, 7 months ago

Slacker???? Sounds like tenure to me.

notanota 4 years, 7 months ago

Oh, you have a friend who is a BAD teacher. I see. Yes, he belongs in the private sector where people never never never phone it in, nobody has a slacking coworker, and everyone is paid exactly what they're worth.

gudpoynt 4 years, 7 months ago

shardwurm - funny, I have several family member teachers who put in an average of 10 hour days during the school year (that's a conservative estimate), often work school events during evenings and weekends, and during the 2 months (not 3) that they have "off", they attend professional trainings, teach summer school, coach summer sports teams, etc.

Your friend teacher sounds as if he's putting in a minimal effort compared to all the teacher and administrators in public education that I know.

adagio 4 years, 7 months ago

Agreed. Teaching isn't simply a 9 to 5 job. Teacher's who actually work hard put in way more hours than that during the school week, plus the weekends and extra-curricular activities. Just because we "get summers off" doesn't mean it balances out with the extra hours we put in. People need to realize this - glad you understand!

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago


If you are one, you shouldn't make such elementary mistakes.

windex 4 years, 7 months ago

Sounds like your friend is a crappy teacher. Good, dedicated teachers are constantly seeking to improve themselves by taking classes (which they pay for themselves), going to conferences (which they pay for themselves) and working at home. Sounds like he's one of those worthless pigs at the taxpayer trough who should be fired.

Cogito_Ergo_Es 4 years, 7 months ago

I'm sure they'd love to produce more results, but No Child Left Behind has them so tied up in teaching to the test, and the meaningless assessments, there is no time left for the superior teaching I'm sure most of them are capable of. The 'results' NCLB is creating is a pointless waste of theirs and our children's time. NCLB implies that teacher's never assess how much our children have learned about any given subject and that's just not true.

conservative 4 years, 7 months ago

If the union wants a raise they need to make proposals of what the teachers are willing to do to save the district money. A good first step would be to give up the ridiculous early dismissals every wednesday. That would allow the district to shorten the school calendar by more than 7 days a year.

windex 4 years, 7 months ago

Gee, how about buy everything for your classroom (maps of the world and the U.S. to go on the wall, the glue gun that you'll use to put the maps up, incentive sticker charts, games and manipulatives to keep learning interesting, materials for kids whose families fail to provide them, etc., etc.) - does that help save the district money? And those early Wednesdays? It's a friggin hour and a half! Get over it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 7 months ago

If Republicans continue their full-out assault on workers, public and private, there very well could be general strikes all across the country.

The causes of the budget crisis are 100% the result of a massive redistribution of wealth from working people to the wealthiest of the wealthy over the last 30 years.

But for the Koch brothers, et al, too much is never enough, so they spend $million to buy politicians to feed the public lies stating that public employees and their unions are responsible, so they must be punished.

Liberty275 4 years, 7 months ago

How many schools do the koch brothers own?

Liberty275 4 years, 7 months ago

"there very well could be general strikes all across the country."

I encourage everyone that wants to go on a general strike to have at it. I also encourage all employers to fire the striking workers on day one and hire people that are willing to work.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 7 months ago

Do you work for a living? If so, why do you hate yourself so much?

newmedia 4 years, 7 months ago

No doubt only merit increases. Hope and Change.

N_logic 4 years, 7 months ago

Here's an idea, how about user fees? Let's have parents of children utilizing the school system pay additional fees or user taxes while their little dumpling is in school. I believe that it is a community's responsible to offer quality education to all, and I am willing to contribute to that effort by continuing to pay taxes that support education. However, those that are using the system need to contribute additional funds in order to maintain the level of education their children are receiving.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 7 months ago

I assume you'll be making a retroactive payment, with interest, for the time you (and your offspring) spent in school. When your check clears, I'll discuss this issue further.

notanota 4 years, 7 months ago

I assume you haven't been to school lately? We already pay extra fees for enrollment, and we're asked to kick in for all the office supplies.

lady_bug 4 years, 7 months ago

Yes, there is already a student fee charge that applies to books, technology, transportation, even though very few students actually qualify to take a bus. But do you know that most of the international students attending KU do not have to pay this fee nor do they pay for lunches? They come to Lawrence to attend KU and supposedly sign a contract that they will not receive financial assistance and yet our schools foot the bill to educate their children. Maybe if every one of these students actually paid their fees we would be able to give every school employee a raise, not just the teachers. Perhaps that should be looked in to?

notanota 4 years, 7 months ago

Um, I'm not sure what you're talking about. Are you talking about jobs, like GTA assistanceships? International students are still paying $10,000 a semester on tuition, so I'm not sure it makes a huge difference if they get comped a $40 per hour technology fee.

Kent Shrack 4 years, 7 months ago

2 months off? Let me use some math that one of my teachers taught me. I'm away from my house for work 12 hours a day, 260 days a year Teachers, um about 7 hours a day,180 school days? 3120 hrs vs 1260 hrs I know teachers put in more time than that, but how much more? Retirement? My sister is a retired teacher that maxed out her time, Draws close to her teachers salary for the rest of her life. I get,, OH, wait, I don't get anything. If I don't perform, I get fired.
BUT, No sour grapes here,,, I DO THINK THEY SOULD GET PAID MORE. They have to teach our kids! They teach the good ones and baby sit the rest, both at the same time.
Scratchin' your head yet?

windex 4 years, 7 months ago

Sorry, Cadillac, you get an F. Let's use some of that math correctly. 3120 divided by 52 weeks per year = 60 hours per week. REALLY?? Cadillac, surely you're smart enough to at least get July 4th and Christmas off? How about New Year's Day? Thanksgiving? Maybe even Labor Day? Possibly even a couple of weeks of paid vacation? So let's adjust your hours to reflect just the 5 above-mentioned holidays, plus two weeks of paid vacation, pretty standard for professional-level work. So you're "away from your house" for work 12 hours per day, 49 weeks a year. That's 2940 hours per year (I suspect you spend some of it commuting, but whatever.) Maybe you get an hour for lunch? If so, subtract 245 hours.

TEACHER I know very well: Away from house for work 11 hours per day, 186 days per year = 2046. (lunch lasts 18 minutes; feel free to subtract that time if you wish, but I'm not doing the math for you.) Conferences, conventions, classes: 150 hours Cost of conferences, conventions, classes: appx $2,000 Cost spent out of pocket on materials and supplies: $840 Monetary cost of having a teaching job $2840 Comes out to 45 hours per week for the same 49 weeks per year, and it costs ya' almost $3,000 for the privilege of shaping young minds.

Scratchin' your head yet?

Seriously, it's a wonder anybody does it.

irvan moore 4 years, 7 months ago

deserve it or don't deserve it don"t matter, there isn't any money. whoever is running that union needs to figure out that keeping as many teacher jobs as possible is more important than a few extra bucks for the ones with the most tenure.

rdkone 4 years, 7 months ago

The thing is there is money. It's just that the greedy people who have it all don't want to share it.

Fossick 4 years, 7 months ago

...with the other greedy people who want it.

There, I completed your sentence. There is no charge.

gudpoynt 4 years, 7 months ago

comparing public educators to the top 2% of wealth holders in this country is asinine.

Yes, it's true that absolute redistribution of wealth is a bad idea.

So let's not ever redistribute any wealth to anyone. Great idea!

But surely, it would make sense for a little redistribution, right? You know, enacting policy so the very wealthy can contribute to the bottom line of societal good.

But.... contributions from the very wealthy means that the very wealthy will be.... (gasp).... less wealthy!!!! No!!! We can't have that! That would be horrible! We would plunge into a heartless, socialist, impoverished state almost immediately!

Everybody listen to me!!! Be afraid!!! Be very afraid of the socialists and their attempts to steal my... er... I mean... your money. That's right! The socialists want to redistribute all of your wealth to themselves! Don't let them, whatever you do!

Fossick 4 years, 7 months ago

The question is simply one of motive. It is pretty amusing to hear those obsessed by the money of others accusing those others of being 'greedy' for not giving them any. If you're obsessed by money, you're greedy even if you don't have any. There are no moral Indulgences for the faux-oppressed, no matter how much they claim them.

fairplay 4 years, 7 months ago

The problem with redistribution of wealth is that there is ALWAYS somebody with less than you trying to take yours. I bet I can find 100 people by the end of the day that would label you as greedy and unwilling to "share".

notanota 4 years, 7 months ago

Ah yes, correct me if you've heard this one. A CEO, a teacher, and a tea partier sit down at a table with a dozen cookies. The CEO grabs 11 and then turns to the tea partier and says, "Hey, that union guy is trying to steal your cookie!"

windex 4 years, 7 months ago

BS. The money is there. It's just in the hands of wealthy hoarders who think their vacation home is more important than your child's future.

Morganna 4 years, 7 months ago

Come to the private sector - try to find a job????? There are none out there. Ohhhh wait - maybe you could work fast food!!! Be grateful for the job that you have!!! Raise and bonuses, I have not had one in 2 years and probably won't get either this year - I have a job that pays the bills and I am grateful. Look in the LJW - see if there are any jobs to pick from.

fairplay 4 years, 7 months ago

According to earlier posts the economy is fixed. There should be plenty of jobs as a result. I recommend Craigslist or the website with the annoying radio commercials

ferrislives 4 years, 7 months ago

The teacher's unions in Kansas had better be careful. If they keep this kind of crap up during hard times, they'll be dealing with the same thing as Wisconsin and Ohio teachers!

It's hard times folks; get used to it. You can't get blood from a turnip!

jhawkinsf 4 years, 7 months ago

"156 cells, or steps" My guess is that if they fired the person who manages that system, there might be more money available for teachers. Like all levels of government, the multiple layers of bureaucratic bull that bogs down the whole system is preventing teachers from getting a pay raise. The money is there. It's buried somewhere in those 156 cells.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

Good point - that does seem unnecessarily complex, doesn't it?

Jacks_Smirking_Revenge 4 years, 7 months ago

Who thinks this is the best time to ask for a raise? I sympathize with the teachers, most of whom do deserve more respect and better pay cells. The timing of asking while facing large budget cuts is a poor choice. Would teachers be willing to give a bit to get more money? If it is a zero-sum equation, how many teachers would be willing to get creative on where the money goes? Would they be willing to pay more into their own healthcare benefits if it meant a salary increase? How many would agree to shuffling the current money from going into KPERS for later towards their wallet now? Or lose tenure for increased performance based pay?

Now the big question, how many teachers are willing to get creative but cannot because of the union's demands?

optimist 4 years, 7 months ago

I will be first in line in favor of salary increases for the best; most qualified teachers...just as soon as we have a method in place to determine who they are. This must include a fair but streamlined process for weeding out the under performing educators and there are some. I know it and their peers know it.

If this is truly about student education and teacher quality then it is time to get rid of antiquated job protections and subject educators to the same competition we in the private sector are subjected to every day when we go to work. It is a travesty that we parents are forced to entrust that which is most important in our lives to teachers who given their job protections are held less accountable for their performance when they should be held more accountable. This includes administrators being held accountable for recruiting, hiring and retaining the best talent available. Administrator performance should be directly linked to teacher performance and administrators should be penalized or rewarded accordingly.

Agree to this and then we should discuss salary and benefit increases but without it this is a one way street and I for one am tired of the public sector workers relegating we the taxpayer to the role of serf.

N_logic 4 years, 7 months ago

They are likely requesting a raise while the union is still in place. Who knows if the KS republicans will try to strip unions' bargaining power like Wisconsin's republican govenor is doing.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 7 months ago

If hogs think there is any feed left in the trough, they will squeal loudly when you try to move them back.

N_logic 4 years, 7 months ago

Many of these teachers are being paid low wages by employment standards. Mid $30s starting out with a bachelor degree is low, and a potential of approximately mid to upper $50s for someone with a PhD. That's not much incentive for future job growth and future earnings. Lots of folks are comparing teacher jobs to private jobs and the fact that people working for private industries have not received a pay increase during the past year or so. That may be so, but you ultimately have the potential to earn significantly higher income than teachers during economic prosperous times. Plus, many of those employed in the private sector do not need a PhD to earn $50k a year, even a bachelor or master degree for that matter.

pittstatebb 4 years, 7 months ago

Kansas ranks 49 out of 51 in the nation (includes DC) for public employee pay (including teachers) and is one of only 9 states where the average public worker makes less in salary and benefits than the average private worker. Now these ranking are not comparing the same educational levels or job titles, they are simply averages.

This is the wrong time for teachers to ask for a pay raise from a perception standpoint, even if it was warranted from a statistic standpoint.

gudpoynt 4 years, 7 months ago

"they have been the only people getting raises in the last ten years"

um..... you are an idiot. An echo chamber idiot. An echo chamber idiot that spews painfully obvious falsehoods like this.

It is discouraging that uninformed thoughts such as these fester in your closed mind, and any challenging evidence to the contrary is met with immovable subordination to an ideology of talking points.

And it's really discouraging to see you anonymously putting forth these festering falsehood in a public forum.

gudpoynt 4 years, 7 months ago

consumer1 - And since you are apparently a qualified statistician, how do you propose to define "proof" of "improved education"? Will you use a non-linear regression? What are you independent variables?

Or will you go by how many "smart looking kids" there are?

Or will you just pull "facty" stuff straight out of your butt like usual?

windex 4 years, 7 months ago

Teachers getting pay raises? Sorry, they've been taking cuts just like the rest of y'all.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

I think the upper end is a bit low, but almost $40K for an entry level job with a bachelor's degree doesn't sound that low to me.

I read a story about a guy who got a job offer for $40K, just out of school with room for advancement and turned it down. That seemed odd to me, given the unemployment rate, and the bad economy.

Cogito_Ergo_Es 4 years, 7 months ago

I thought entry level teaching positions received $27k. Is that incorrect?

heygary 4 years, 7 months ago

God this is a tired argument!

All to many of the folks standing up in front of our class rooms have unmarketable degrees, which would not even fetch mid-30's in the private sector! MId-30's (plus bennies and job security) to show up to work 8 months a year, pitching a couple of classes a day based upon material that is specifically deliniated to you ... get over yourselves.

Bob Burton 4 years, 7 months ago

Easy solution.. Give them all a pink slip.. Tell them to reapply.. You get rid of the union & they will become competive.. School will improve greatly..

Soapbox 4 years, 7 months ago least you still have a job. There are not enough dollars thru taxes collected to give any Gov. workers a raise, are they kidding or trying live up to..."Those who can do, those who can not teach or work for the the Gov. !

guesswho 4 years, 7 months ago

Such nasty comments. Give the teachers a raise. They deserve it. Not many jobs are subject to so much hostility and relatively low pay and stress, yet so important to us as a society.

Teachers are not the problem or the cause of our economic situation.

Taxes are at a historic low. If we do not have a well-educated society, how will people learn to do any sort of rational, critical thinking?

oh wait.....rereading many of the posters...perhaps it is too late.

Soapbox 4 years, 7 months ago

While I feel bad, they chose the occupation, let them live with it.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

So you don't value education?

If we value it as a society, we should respect and compensate teachers accordingly.

poorteacher 4 years, 7 months ago

Do you not work "Soapbox"? Do you have a job? You sure post a lot. Maybe if you got your butt off the ljworld and worked you wouldn't be so pissed that other people are getting raises or want raises. Seriously!!! Get a freaking life!!!

Thank you guesswho for supporting the people who are educating these young children.

Soapbox 4 years, 7 months ago

I see your a gov. please take care of me person.....dream your silly dream!

Soapbox 4 years, 7 months ago

As in? What do you speak of, you do not know me!

Fossick 4 years, 7 months ago

Ah, what wonderful irony: the teachers are doing a great job, and you people, who are their product, are stupid.

Soapbox 4 years, 7 months ago

Only some of them are doing a good job.........the rest are barely time "can't fire me" job! NICE !

missmagoo 4 years, 7 months ago

$37,780 for an "entry-level" position is a pretty dang good starting salary for a 23 year-old new grad. I would anticipate this is right in-line, if not slightly higher than other industries. My first job out of college in the finance world paid me 34K.

Come on.. we all want raises. But if I were a teacher, I would thank the Lord I had a job and if you don't like it, quit. There's a line around the block of new college grads with teaching certificates who are holed up working in daycares and preschools right now waiting for the chance to make $37,780 in this school district.

notanota 4 years, 7 months ago

How many years ago was that? My first job that required a bachelors paid about that, but it was years and years ago. Times have changed.

windex 4 years, 7 months ago

The article has it wrong, just for the record. It's $34,780 to start. I think they stay there for some years before they can move up; not sure.

Liberty275 4 years, 7 months ago

Fire 30% of them and give the rest a 10% salary increase for increased class size.

hipper_than_hip 4 years, 7 months ago

Why do teachers need a union? It's not like they're working in coal mines or are uneducated blue collar workers.

SunflowerChinaCat 4 years, 7 months ago

The answer is the profession of teaching in this country has historically been "women's work" and it continues to be dominated by women. However, and this is going to be shocking, the adminstrators have historically been and continue to be predominately men. Before unions, teachers (that is, women teachers) could be fired for getting pregnant even if they were married, dating, smoking in public,etc... You get the idea. So unions formed to protect teachers from discriminatory practices in both hiring and firing.

Synjyn Smythe 4 years, 7 months ago

The district needs to cut $3 million, but is contemplating saving less than $500,000 by closing Wakarusa. The teachers want a raise. The only way that math can work is if some of Doll's minions in the district offices receive pink slips and the school board chooses to close Cordley to save $2 million, instead of the less than $500,000 the district has reported! Better qualifications = better pay = less need for layers of supervision and management! The teacher's union should be banging that drum beginning now!!!!!! We'll see how serious the school board is about the future of teacher recruitment and retention in Lawrence very soon!!!!!!!

Cogito_Ergo_Es 4 years, 7 months ago

I would think Doll and his administrative crew could stand a pay reduction themselves and kick a little more back to the teachers. And I'd like my own opportunity to evaluate the upper level administrators, instead of it all happening behind closed doors at school board meetings. We don't have to fire the administrators in the big pretty building, just cut them back to what the teachers are making! They should be glad to have it at all!

studentteacher 4 years, 7 months ago

This is ridiculous. Being a student teacher and a recent grad from KU, I would hope that the community would show a little more support than this. I mean, teachers have enough to worry about (scrutiny from the community, school closings, behavior issues, etc.), why would they not be concerned with their pay as well? Teachers are (one of) the most underpaid and disrespected people in society. Yeah I agree, we chose the profession that we did. But why? Because we want to make YOUR kids productive and educated members of society. The least you can do is show a little support and hope the best for all of us.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

I agree with your sentiments.

But isn't almost $40K for an entry level position requiring only a bachelor's degree a decent wage?

Fossick 4 years, 7 months ago

It's the average wage in America. Teachers are a lot of thing, but 'underpaid' is not among them.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 7 months ago

There is no magic formula for determining who is underpaid, and who is overpaid.

But given the massive transfer of wealth to the upper 1%, and especially the upper 0.1% over the last 30 years, it's quite clear that the problems we are now experiencing are most definitely a result of their being obscenely overpaid, at everyone else's expense.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 7 months ago

Whenever I read your posts I'm reminded of the old quote; "If you're young and a conservative, you have no heart. If you're old and a liberal, you have no brain". I was young once but grew up. I hope you're young.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

Well, we could think about whether they should be paid the average, or more, or how the averages are arrived at, etc.

For example, if a lot of people are making a lot less than that, and a few people (relatively) are making a lot more, then the average may not be so great.

But, I think it's ok for an entry level job, and would gladly accept it as a recent college graduate.

gudpoynt 4 years, 7 months ago

And many do.

$40K is a pretty good starting salary right out of school. Unfortunately that's not what the entry level salary really is. You're automatically adding about 5.9%.

When you tell people how much you make, do you round up by $185/mo?

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago



Isn't it still a decent starting salary for a job that only requires a bachelor's degree?

I tend to think in round numbers, so yes, I will often round to them.

windex 4 years, 7 months ago

Then round to $35K because it's lower than that.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

Actually, the better rounding off would be to $38,000 - it's the closest round number.

But the point, which seems to be obscured with these details, is that I find the starting salary to be a reasonable one for an entry level job in a profession requiring only a bachelor's degree.

Do you agree?

If not, why not?

notanota 4 years, 7 months ago

It depends on the job and whether they require a specific degree or just a bachelors. Teaching requires a certificate and continuing education credits, so that's usually worth more than an any-old-BA-will-do job. And there are plenty of areas where a specialized degree is worth far more money.

The starting pay for a food science degree is $48k. The starting pay for someone in IT is more like $50k, and for computer science it's $60k.

heygary 4 years, 7 months ago

"Attract and maintain high quality ..."

Horse feathers!

There was once nobility associated with teaching, law enforcement, firefighting, the armed forces ... these were "callings" that garnered respect. Now they are "livings". They are increasingly becoming the only option for graduates with worthless degrees and respositories for tenured deadwood.

There will always be capable and noble individuals who seek out public service ... regardless of the "starting pay". If you want to optimize your earning potential try your hand in the public sector.

irvan moore 4 years, 7 months ago

i'm for the teachers getting fair pay but when you talk about the "low" pay take a look at the benefit package, it's pretty dang good.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

Of course, as states remove the ability of unions to negotiate such things, watch them get worse and worse.

notanota 4 years, 7 months ago

This. And being a teacher is generally a terminal position. If you get a job at some company somewhere, you often expect that with experience and competence, you'll get promotions and climb the ladder, so you can accept a lower paying entry level job. It doesn't work that way in schools.

notanota 4 years, 7 months ago

I know quite a few teachers myself, and they don't get a second job in the summer, which is two months, not three. They generally use the summer to take classes, plan lessons, and get ready for the next school year.

xclusive85 4 years, 7 months ago

So, the last week of March, and two weeks of August aren't counted in the break? With June and July that makes almost 3 months.

notanota 4 years, 7 months ago

They're only a "break" in that they don't have students, but they still have to work. There's Inservice, paper grading, setting up the classroom, etc. It's not like teachers only work during the times kids are present.

weeslicket 4 years, 7 months ago

consumer1: "Let us not forget they get three months out of each year to do what ever they want." yes. that's called "unemployment". ask your friends and neighbors how that's working for them.

kugrad 4 years, 7 months ago

Excuse me? The lousy health insurance the Lawrence teachers get would never be considered sufficient in the private sector. It is bottom tier insurance. Some local providers won't even accept it. KPERS is not part of a "benefits package" FYI. Employees cannot opt in, nor out. They pay in 4.5% of their income (plus Kansas taxes on that income, plus all the other Kansas taxes they pay just like everyone else) .

If you want to make the claim that Lawrence has a great benefits package, I suggest you do some comparative shopping and come back with your results. What a joke.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

KPERS is an excellent retirement plan.

It is a defined benefit plan, as opposed to a defined contribution plan.

It's 4%, with an employer match. And, it might be a pre-tax contribution.

If you think you'd be better off with a 401K, and no employer match, I think you're very mistaken, considering what's just happened with the stock market.

Matt Torres 4 years, 7 months ago

As usual, I can understand where most people commenting here are coming from, it just gets lost in all the insecurity and veiled insults. I do see a lot of subtle yet very prevalent straw-manning going on here. People trying to subtly make teachers out to be a lazy, greedy underacheiving adults who are afraid to find a job in the private sector.

For all I know, there may indeed BE people like this in the teaching field, but I think it ill-serves the debate to talk about the entire field this way. I know a lot of teachers and they all seem to want to do what they do because they ENJOY throwing themselves at the challenge of raising the best next generation of young people possible.

notanota 4 years, 7 months ago

That and the whole "I'm suffering, so everyone else has to suffer" argument.

notanota 4 years, 7 months ago

I'm suffering, so nobody else gets to have nice things. Bingo.

Now here's the deal. If you want to establish merit pay, you have to think of a few things first. First, why are you doing it? Really. Are you trying to create an incentive for performance, or are you trying to retain good teachers?

If you're trying for an incentive, RAND did a recent study, and it turns out that money isn't a motivator for teacher performance, even when it's very large amounts of cash bonuses. If you're trying to retain good teachers, it seems like a better system to equally reward all good teachers for sticking around and just make sure your staff is competent and any truly bad teachers are eliminated. Otherwise, why retain someone who doesn't merit a bonus? Experience and education attainment are two things that can be objectively measured, and they do have a positive correlation with student outcomes, so those end up being used for pay raises more than anything. Is it perfect? No, but it's better than alternative proposals.

Now, on to the "merit" issue. How do you determine merit? Not all teachers have the same student populations, and not all students have the same characteristics. If you tie merit to student scores, teachers in affluent school districts will get more pay than teachers in urban districts with mainly impoverished students. You also have the problem of students who move in and out of district, which means measuring the third grader's scores doesn't necessarily mean you've measured the second grade teacher's ability. So you've got to tie your testing to individual students, pro-rate it for the time they spent with each teacher, and correct for demographic differences, disability, and other confounding variables. That sounds like a system that would end up costing us more in taxpayer dollars to administer with all the testing and tracking.

Or you could just have the principal or some other administrator evaluate the teacher. MInd you, that administrator may not have ever actually spent any time with that teacher or significant time evaluating them, and they've now got a full load of teachers, but they'll be in charge of merit pay, so be sure to kiss butt appropriately. The results would be even less objective than tying pay to student scores, and ultimately it's subjective bureaucratic BS that drives a lot more teachers out of teaching than pay issues, but I suppose it would feel emotionally satisfying to those who aren't actually working in schools.

BTW, I'm not a teacher and have never been a member of the NEA. <--- Unless you meant the NEAA, Norwegian Elkhound Association of America. I'm not sure why they're filling our head with any ideas. Well, other than the idea that Norwegian Elkhounds are nice pets.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

There must be some way to make sure that teachers are doing a good job, though, don't you think?

And we want that, I would think.

notanota 4 years, 7 months ago

Oh, I'm sure there is a way to make sure teachers are doing a good job, and I'd support a system that did that. But right now the proposals mostly center around student test scores, and tying money to scores does more damage than good. I also don't like a merit system where it becomes impossible for all teachers to achieve maximum merit. When you have to say that some teachers are better than others in the same school, you disrupt the idea of a school as a team and put a competition in place instead.

Rather than have legislators base decisions about pay on motives that have nothing to do with performance, it would be nice for a change to allow actual experts to weigh in and find real evidence-based practices. Experts that do not have a political dog in the fight. I'm tired of strategies that are merely suggested as a way to dismantle the education system piece by piece.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

There must be some way to make sure that teachers are doing a good job.

And, don't we all want that?

weeslicket 4 years, 7 months ago

it may surprise many ljword readers that the administrative staff and the union have been working on this question for some time now.

it's a complicated issue, but it is being given thoughtful review by all the concerned parties.

i don't know what the final outcome will be, but i do know that this is a real discussion.

question #1: when a school has a "bad" teacher in the building, who hates "them" the most? (this is a ranking question) a) students b) parents c) administrators d) other teachers d) community posters e) unions f) elected leadership

question #2: who has the responsibility to remove these "bad" teachers from the school community? (also a ranking question) a) students b) parents c) administrators d) other teachers d) community posters e) unions f) elected leadership

you may be surprised at the real answers to these questions.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

Please let us know what the outcome of the discussion is, and how the problem will be addressed.


bd 4 years, 7 months ago

I have not had a raise in three years and this year looks the same! What a bunch of whiners!

ohmylawrence 4 years, 7 months ago

If they do get paid more then I really hope they keep the schools open and teaching on Wednesday afternoons. Area districts do one half day a month while Lawerence is every darn Wednesday This is difficult for parents who work especially for the parents on little ones. I also see every Wednesday afternoons the teens everywhere because their parents are working. There are not many places for the teens to go for activities and daycare for the wee ones is really expensive.

Richard Payton 4 years, 7 months ago

Appear's the oil man is stealing everyone's pay from the private and public sector. This oil man doesn't care about you. Heck Mr. Oil wants gas to be $5.00 a gallon this summer. Talk about budget messes. Two year plan has gas at $10.00 a gallon at the pump if Mr. Oil gets his way. Makes KU ticket scandal look like small potatoes.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

Shouldn't all children get a good education?

Shouldn't all teachers be held accountable to some basic standards?

del888 4 years, 7 months ago

I would like to donate my payraise this year to all the teachers. Oh wait, .... I didn't get a raise. Maybe I should become a teacher.

windex 4 years, 7 months ago

Sure, if you want to take a pay DECREASE. Go to school for 5 years, get your degree and then get back to us.

Ladybug2 4 years, 7 months ago

If the district is going to have to cut $3 million dollars for next year and then turn around and have to cut more for teachers to get a raise isn't that putting a lot of the teacher/employee jobs on the cutting block to pay for the remainder? I think I would be thankful that I have a job and benefits and keep quite until things turn around. My daughter has two bachelor degrees and doesn't make what your starting teachers make. Finding a job isn't what it used to be!!

weeslicket 4 years, 7 months ago

perhaps your daughter would like to join the teaching profession?

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago


But doesn't it suggest that the starting salaries for teachers aren't that bad?

weeslicket 4 years, 7 months ago

starting salaries for teachers are really lousy (compared to equal compensation for private sector with similar education and experience). if you can survive the poverty and all-consuming time and effort needed for a few decades, then the compensation improves to mostly lousy.

SinoHawk 4 years, 7 months ago

Unemployment for the <30 age group (of which I am a member) is around 30%. Even for kids with an excellent academic background, 30k+ is not too terrible. I realize that many teachers will need to supplement their incomes through tutoring and/or part-time work over the summer, but that is just part of life.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

Any examples of private sector entry level job salaries for positions requiring only a bachelor's degree?

Then why would you try to recruit anybody to the profession, if it's so lousy?

adagio 4 years, 7 months ago

Teacher's need to make more money. Simply put. We're underpaid for the work that we do.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago


That's the second time you've made that elementary mistake.

And "Simply put" isn't a sentence - perhaps if you added a colon and continued the sentence with "we're underpaid,...".

If you really are a teacher, I fail to understand why your posts contain such obvious and elementary mistakes.

weeslicket 4 years, 7 months ago

liberal: If you extrapolate that to a full work year 52 weeks x 5= 260 work days in the year times the $215.88 per day the entry level teacher earns the equivalent of $56,130.00. per year.

except that one cannot extrapolate this math to your conclusion: because teachers do not get paid for the days they were not contracted to work. 10 month employees get paid for 10 months of contrated work. that's it. and then they are seasonally unemployed for 2 months.

you might like to think of that as paid vacation time, but what it really is, is unemployment. and so: your "equivalent" figures are false.

thelonious 4 years, 7 months ago

Then go become a teacher and quit complaining.

BTW, what do you do and how much do you get paid?

thelonious 4 years, 7 months ago

Liberal, still waiting for a reply - what do you do for a living, and how much do you make? If teaching sounds like such a good deal to you, why don't you go invest several years of your life getting a degree and certification, and then go teach? No one is stopping you.

thelonious 4 years, 7 months ago

Liberal, that's all very nice, but you did not answer the question - what is YOUR income?

By the way, do you have any idea what principals do? They earn their pay, believe me. Let's not forget, they have resposibility every day during the school year for the education and safety of a LOT of children!

You may actually even earn your pay - but what is it? Before you accuse teachers making $36k to start or $50k after 20 years or whatever of having a "good deal", how about full disclosure? If you are taking home some kind of $150k or $200k or more income as a "self-employed" person, you may not have much standing to comment on how good a deal $36k is for a teacher, or principal pay, especially when you do not know what they do.

thelonious 4 years, 7 months ago

Liberal, the reason that what you earn is relevant is because people who live in glass houses should not throw stones, i.e. if you earn a very high income and have not walked in a teacher's shoes, your opinion as to whether $36k starting pay to teach is a "good deal" is actually irrelevant, because a) you do not know what a teaching job entails and b) you do not have a clue what it is like to try to live on $36k per year, especially if you are trying to support a famiy on that.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

And, if you haven't walked in liberal's shoes, then your opinion of him is irrelevant.

And, if I haven't walked in your shoes, my opinion of you is irrelevant.

Etc. Ad infinitum.

I know a little bit about starting salaries in the human service/social work field, and they are lower than $36K, even at a good place to work.

And, perhaps people should think about whether they'll be able to support a family on an entry level salary right out of school before having one and trying to do so.

Entry level means just that - it's a starting point. I don't know how people seem to have gotten the idea that they can/should get their dream job immediately upon graduation - it's never been like that.

kugrad 4 years, 7 months ago

If you hate Lawrence so much Wilbur, why don't you just stay in Eudora where you live? Don't try to pass yourself off as someone with credibility on public education. You are not from a family of teachers. The knee-jerk anti-public education views you post here regularly would never come from someone raised among educators. Anyone from a "family of teachers" would know better; much better. I don't believe a word of it.

weeslicket 4 years, 7 months ago

wait for it........

wait for it ..........

independant1 4 years, 7 months ago

Private schools costs are 30-40% less and private school students outperform public school students times 1.4.

Private school teachers aren't as highly qualified as public school teachers.

So money does not buy increased student performance.

my opinion, public school teachers are more than adequately remunerated for their time and effort. a degree/piece of paper does not make a teacher or predict student success

LoveThsLife 4 years, 7 months ago

With private school your talking amount a narrower portion of the population. There are also socio-economic factors at play when you go the public vs. private route which makes it harder to judge if the reason for success is purely about where they are going to school or if outside factors affected the outcome.

independant1 4 years, 7 months ago

Why do public school teachers send their children to private schools?

In Philadelphia, 44 percent of the teachers put their children in private schools; in Cincinnati, 41 percent; Chicago, 39 percent; Rochester, N.Y., 38 percent. The same trends showed up in the San Francisco-Oakland area, where 34 percent of public school teachers chose private schools for their children; 33 percent in New York City and New Jersey suburbs; and 29 percent in Milwaukee and New Orleans.

Maybe because they can afford it?

JayhawksandHerd 4 years, 7 months ago

I'm not sure I follow. Are you arguing that teachers shouldn't be able to afford choices when it comes to educating their own children? What does this have to do with Lawrence teachers?

notanota 4 years, 7 months ago

Probably because private schools often have longer hours, which means they can keep their kids at school while they, themselves stay late to take care of their own administrative and unpaid school duties. Just a guess.

notanota 4 years, 7 months ago

Not true. When student populations are compared by socioeconomic class, private schools do no better than public schools, the only exception being small order-controlled religious schools.

Furthermore, highly qualified teachers have better outcomes according to multiple studies.

When you compare private outcomes to public, they look better on paper, because most of the students are of higher socioeconomic status, have highly involved parents, and do not have any behavior problems that would disqualify them from attendance at a selective admissions private school. Private school teachers deserve less pay. They don't have to work as hard to get every student educated.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

An excellent public school system is economic growth material! Lawrence can live without new buildings.

Teacher Salary Support

Would you favor a sales tax increase to provide more money for Lawrence teacher salaries?

Of 5,198 voting 80% said yes. Remarkable

BUT instead of shooting for a tax increase I say this USD 497 district do two things to help out the school district.

Lend 10% of the existing 1995 sales money to the school district to keep existing schools open plus fix them instead of floating a new bond issue to build new schools. The existing bond debt is set to be retired this year so let us let it be retired. AND give teachers a raise.

In Addition:

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. Seem like a lot of money for part time bus transportation.

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

Think car pooling,family members ,walking and biking.

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

An excellent public school system is economic growth material! New buildings are irrelevant!

Lawrence,Kansas needs to start talking about this.

Kontum1972 4 years, 7 months ago

and again i ask ...what happened too all that lottery revenue that was suppose to help with our schools...that was one of the excuses for bringing the lottery online in Kansas....wheres the money?

we voted on it...remember?

Richard Payton 4 years, 7 months ago

I remember Kontum1972 the pitch for the lottery was money for schools. The money must have be a ponsi scheme. I guess Bernie Madoff was correct in saying the govenment operates ponsi's also.

roadwarrior 4 years, 7 months ago

1% of school funding, nationwide, is coming from lottery proceeds: ...

George Lippencott 4 years, 7 months ago

I would like to talk about teacher incomes and particularly about step increases. Those are periodic salary increases tied to longevity.


Jeremy DeBoard 4 years, 7 months ago

Hmm, there goes the "public teachers in Kansas make more than private ones" argument.

tunahelper 4 years, 7 months ago

teachers deserve a raise, they have to put up with all the whiney, crybaby students all day long! If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in English, thank an American Soldier!

kugrad 4 years, 7 months ago

The bottom line is that the teachers don't expect a raise at all. The LJW just loves to incite attacks on teachers. It sells papers and advertising. Of course the teachers union asked for a raise. They do every year. They obviously don't get one every year. During the 90's, when economic times were very, very good, teachers did very, very poorly here in Lawrence. Over a 10 year period, only 3% was added to the salary scale in Lawrence. So, when the economy was great, teachers got diddly. Now, the economy sucks, and the teachers are suddenly the scapegoats? Gimme a break.

What this is really about is the small concessions that the teachers will negotiate for during this session. They might get a few dollars for people who would move sideways on the scale (like earning a Master's degree or gaining more education), but that is probably the most they actually hope for. They want to keep insurance (and the district policy is quite poor; nowhere near a typical private sector policy for a job requiring less education and contributing less to society - I know people who work for fast food restaurants and have better insurance; really). They hope to gain small changes to things like how many days can be considered "personal" days out of the 10 possible paid absences a year, and so on. SO, the negotiators ask for a raise, knowing full well that there isn't that much cash to go around, but in the end, they are just looking for some continuity and a few small concessions to improve the lives of the people they represent. What do they get for going through this dance? A lot of opportunistic bashing by people who really are not informed about education, negotiations, the teachers union, or public schools in general, but who seem to have all day to sit around and rag on public education even though most of the most vocal critics that post here don't even live in Lawrence.

notanota 4 years, 7 months ago

Thank you. That clarifies the timing.

JayhawksandHerd 4 years, 7 months ago

Kugrad is exactly right - this is simply a starting point for negotiations, as has been the case for each district I've worked for across two different states.

"A lot of opportunistic bashing by people who really are not informed about education, negotiations, the teachers union, or public schools in general, but who seem to have all day to sit around and rag on public education..."

It is a bit ironic, isn't it? All these people supposedly killing themselves working in the private sector, yet the same names pop up time and time again during the middle of the work day on any story even remotely related to education.

Stephen Roberts 4 years, 7 months ago

Shouldn't the people who had to take a GROSS PAY CUT last year, get their salary restored before the teachers get a raise?? A note to everyone, it was not just administrators who had to take a pay cut, it was virtually everyone who works for the district office.

whats_going_on 4 years, 7 months ago

probably a good idea, before someone votes to take their right to do this away from them.

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