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Should Lawrence public school teachers take a pay cut to help the district make up for a $5 million shortfall in funding?

Response Percent Votes
No
 
70% 1049
Yes
 
26% 398
Not sure
 
3% 48
Total 1495

Comments

kansasmutt 4 years, 1 month ago

WOW, cut teachers pay. Your district is screwed. What does a teacher make, about $8.50 an hour ? Administartors make $20.00 an hour , hummm sounds fair to me, Ha ha ha .What a joke.

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UfoPilot 4 years, 1 month ago

Why doesn't the administration take a pay cut?

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pace 4 years, 1 month ago

Cnn is editorializing there is no money to keep schools up to a decent standard, They keep saying the teachers have to take it on the chin, again, to prove they are worthy. The remarks about millions for sports and letting the crowded class rooms turn to crowded mega auditoriums is right. We are choosing the stadium over the future. Close the corporate loop holes, tax the churches, fund the class rooms and neighborhood schools, fund the future.

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TrooGrit 4 years, 1 month ago

well, make a difference. Mail a $50 dollar check to a teacher. Or sit on your thumbs and do nothing. it's what you usually do.

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CyberKnight 4 years, 1 month ago

Someplace North of $10,000,000.00 (TEN MILLION DOLLARS) for sports, sports stadiums and Astroturf, so now we cut teacher's pay?

The people of Lawrence, Kansas should be ashamed!

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commuter 4 years, 1 month ago

Charlie Johnson- Hey great idea but I need to add something to it. I think it would be great to follow a great teacher for a week and then a bad teacher for a week. There is a huge difference between the two. Then you will see who is underpaid and who is overpaid. It is too bad that the great teachers get lumped in with the crappy ones.

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commuter 4 years, 1 month ago

Charlie Johnson- Hey great idea but I need to add something to it. I think it would be great to follow a great teacher for a week and then a bad teacher for a week. There is a huge difference between the two. Then you will see who is underpaid and who is overpaid. It is too bad that the great teachers get lumped in with the crappy ones.

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commuter 4 years, 1 month ago

Charlie Johnson- Hey great idea but I need to add something to it. I think it would be great to follow a great teacher for a week and then a bad teacher for a week. There is a huge difference between the two. Then you will see who is underpaid and who is overpaid. It is too bad that the great teachers get lumped in with the crappy ones.

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toe 4 years, 1 month ago

The standard of living is declining. Debt kept it up for about 20 years, but that is also running out.

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Mary Darst 4 years, 1 month ago

You got to seriously be kidding me. I think all of the people who think teachers should take a pay cut need to all find one teacher, and follow them at work for a week. The when summer comes they can go and PAY for all the continueing ed. classed they are required to take. Then when State Testing comes around they need to spend Jan., Feb., and March with them to just experience the stress over testing they suffer. Those three months a LOT of what is taught only concerns taking the test, and scoring high enough to keep the Education Nazi's away from their schools. Then when it's test time...The stress level is greater...just with how we give the test. Now, add the total disrespect the teachers get from their students and parents. It's a wonder we have any teachers. We have young , GOOD teachers talking about different professions every day. This DOES NOT mean they are not passionate about children and teaching them, it just means they deserve the respect they deserve.

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lawupsman 4 years, 1 month ago

It is ridiculous to even post that question! Heres a thought, how about doubling the fees we pay as parents? I think i paid $112 for the entire year oh and $ 2.15 a day for lunch. That is the cheapest form of daycare anywhere in the United States and on top of that they are getting a quality education!

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KSManimal 4 years, 1 month ago

Jimo (anonymous) says…

"underpaid teachers"

"You don't have a clue how outrageous such a claim is to most working people."

What most working people think is irrelevant. What is relevant is this: if a job is overpaid and underworked, you'll find a line of people trying to enter that profession, and those who do enter will stay. Conversely, if a job is underpaid and overworked, you'll find a shortage of people entering, and of those many will leave within a short time.

Do yourself about three minutes of internet searching and figure out which scenario fits the education profession.

It isn't about what teachers make compared to other professions. It isn't about how hard teachers work relative to other professions. It's about whether or not the pay is sufficient to attract and retain high quality people in the teaching profession

Are there enough people willing to do the job, with all it currently entails, for the amount of money we're offering? Look it up.

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cinnabon 4 years, 1 month ago

I started my teaching career 10 years ago in Lawrence, and have to say that I'm lucky I left. My starting salary there was 24K, much lower than the 34K starting salary is now. (By the way, teacher salaries are public, and can be found on any school district website. The USD497 one can be found in their master agreement on page 53: http://www.usd497.org/Employment/documents/MasterAgreement2009.10.pdf )

I am currently teaching in another state, and with 10 years experience and a Master's degree I make 54K, almost 10K more than I would make if I was still in Lawrence. Teachers have been making a mass exodus from Lawrence to Blue Valley and Olathe in the last 10 years because the pay is better.

Sadly, the situation in Lawrence is not isolated. Public school funding all over the nation is dismal, and something needs to be done.

A quote for those of you who think teaching is easy:

If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn't want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some...... conception of the classroom teacher's job. ~Donald D. Quinn

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jumpin_catfish 4 years, 1 month ago

svenway_park said…I wish the voters of this forum could vote on whether merrill should be allowed to post his cut and paste garbage on every topic. I have no doubt how that one would come out.

But without merrill's extremist view the brainwashed sheep would have a difficult time knowing what side of an issue they should be supporting.

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blackfox 4 years, 1 month ago

Like someone else asked, how much do they make now? You never see this published.

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blackfox 4 years, 1 month ago

Heck yes they should! What do they really do nowdays? Let the kids look a computers all day? Do teachers even teach anymore?

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OonlyBonly 4 years, 1 month ago

Teachers? NO! Emphatically. Administration? On the other hand - gimme the red pencil.

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Jean1183 4 years, 1 month ago

rlsd...........said it. The support staff in the district that I work in have been cut (hours, number of days worked, pay). I know for a fact that some of those support staff only make $8.95 per hour. The support staff do not have a powerful union to protect them. The teachers should have been advocating for their support staff or they most definitely WILL be earning their nice salaries of $30,000+ per year with benefits.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 1 month ago

Leave our children alone. Children are not as invincible as some adults may think..

USD 497 admin building is the building to close. It the BOE says it cannot be done that is simply not true. It would make a lovely new office building or it could become a convention center for Holdiay INN.

OUR current budget crisis could use that building on the market to reduce the principle by several million on the sports expansion project thereby reducing the interest being paid on the principle. The interest of $250,000 a year coming from the general fund was an irresponsible decision. Now those who made that decision should make the sacrifice in the name of maintaining reasonable size classrooms. Whatever activity the admin building is housing can surely be accomplished in the virtual school building.

Maintenance/USD 497 vehicles can be parked at the new LHS parking lot. No doubt the virtual school can house some of the supplies.

There is no possible way to justify keeping that building on OUR tax dollar expense list. The decision to purchase that expensive piece of property was questioned in the first place as to the real life necessity.

Putting the admin building on the matket now is the fiscal responsible decision. Because of the location,design and parking available it will bring the most money of any USD 497 property.

Let's make the most fiscal responsible decision and leave the children alone.

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pace 4 years, 1 month ago

I am sick how we are always asking the teacher to sacrifice just a little more to prove they care about the children. If we want proof about who cares about the children, lets ask the legislatures to close the "special" tax loop holes, to quit showing the love for corporations and raise the teacher's salary and lower the class room count. I heard some cnn idiot announcer say in response to the protest. They can't be successful there is no money nor will. If the people crying for the teachers to step up to the plate, again and again. would just step up and call their legislatures to task, /We would have a better educational system and a better future. We will be asking them to pay the debts to pay off wall streed, maybe we should make sure they have access to the skills needed for that job.

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heath 4 years, 1 month ago

jayhawkzrule: If you think teaching is so easy, then you're obviously not very good at it. Your work as an adjunct instructor on the collegiate level is no comparison to teaching on the elementary/secondary level. I've taught on the collegiate and secondary levels. The collegiate is much easier. (At least in the classroom. Both sectors have their own unique challenges outside the classroom - neither of which you can really understand until you've experience them - on a full-time basis, not as an adjunct.) If you were truly passionate about your teaching you would know how hard good teachers work for their students. While you pass yourself off as someone "in the field" you are desperately under-informed, and I feel sorry for your students.

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rlsd 4 years, 1 month ago

You all ought to make what the support staff does, and they want us to take less money, hours, jobs, etc? The teachers will then be counselors, nurses, secretary, asst., etc. etc.

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Bob Kraxner 4 years, 1 month ago

Wasn't it $6,000,000 that was spent on football stadiums? Who in the hell decided that was necessary? Put those responsible for that blunder in jail.

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pmitch 4 years, 1 month ago

As a local third-year teacher, and a student of society, I like many others have seen these clouds on the horizon for a while now. There are a couple of things about this poll and the subsequent comments that I find troubling.

The first is the overwhelming lack of vision on both sides. What we should be asking ourselves is WHY are our public schools, in a town WITH such a high standard of living, are facing such a deficit and HOW did this situation come to be (again)? The lack of revenue for public programs across the state is the result of the self-interest and short sightedness of our state officials, who in the interest of (re)election have promised the voters again and again what they want: lower taxes. Not that I blame them, surely they shouldn't be asked to "take one for the team" and have the state's best interests in mind, re-election be damned. No, it's the voters, and THEIR greed, THEIR inability to budget, THEIR refusal to live within their means, and the consequent demand for lower taxes that have put us where we currently find ourselves.

Secondly, the negative attitudes and beliefs held by so many on this forum in regards to public schools and teachers are concerning. Research repeated shows that adults who hold negative attitudes towards school often had negative experiences while they were in school. Perhaps our refusal to support teachers is the result of the poor performance of the teachers, schools, (and students) of the past. Yet without community support, how can teachers and schools ever be expected to improve? You staunch capitalists out there can't argue that higher teacher salaries won't create higher interest in the field and get more talented young people to devote themselves to teaching.

Teachers are continually expected to do more with less. A student in my class this morning was irate that her teacher was could no longer be present at weekly after-school tutoring session because he was the coach of a spring sport. When I suggested that his choice was logical in that one use of his time was paid and the other was not, she scoffed and claimed that "if he's in it for the money, he shouldn't teach!" This is an eighteen-year-old woman. Where did her beliefs toward teachers and their place within society come from (see above comments)?

As a relatively novice teacher, it is difficult to make ends meet. I DO work for the TWO months I have off in the summers, while simultaneously taking post-graduate courses to further my education and ensure an eventual pay raise. I am grateful for job I have, and sincerely hope that I am able to hold onto it for next year. If I were faced with the choice of taking a pay-cut or losing this job, the choice would be obvious. But why should I be the one to be asked to sacrifice? Isn't clear that I, like so many other young people who have devoted themselves to teaching, already am?

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svenway_park 4 years, 1 month ago

I wish the voters of this forum could vote on whether merrill should be allowed to post his cut and paste garbage on every topic. I have no doubt how that one would come out.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 1 month ago

As a matter of clarification...

"Every school district should have the right to vote in Teacher Salary Support:" meaning USD 497 voters should have the right to vote on the issue.

Voters NEVER should have been bypassed on the athletic fields projects!!!!

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porch_person 4 years, 1 month ago

Resounding "No". Teachers should be given raises. If you're not behind what's best for the kids, you're not thinking of the success of the community.

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cletus26 4 years, 1 month ago

from what i hear, they hardly get paid noway. im just in ooohhh. one can win the sum of 2 million and above on a lottery ticket, but the city/state/whomever can't keep the schools running properly. well i be...

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txron 4 years, 1 month ago

IT TAKES GOODI CITIZEN TO SEND STUDENTS TO NICKHAWK

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Jimo 4 years, 1 month ago

"underpaid teachers"

You don't have a clue how outrageous such a claim is to most working people. Teachers' "advocates" are often the teachers' worst enemies. Talking with many teachers about their jobs reminds me of talking to right-wing talk radio fanatics -- they live in a self-referential world where they've talked themselves into an alternative reality of existence.

Teaching and most other governmental jobs are typically quite a lot better than the hard-scrabble life for most other workers.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-03-04-federal-pay_N.htm

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goodcitizen 4 years, 1 month ago

Amen nickhawk. I would like to see any college level teacher last 5 minutes in my primary grade class--the one with several students on (unfunded) plans for ADHD or BD and the crack baby student prone to violent outbursts and accidents in his/her diaper--and no aid to help because we can cut para hours without impacting student learning right? Oh and that saved what?--5 dollars a day? No, it is not brain surgery, it is brain surgery in the middle of a brass band.

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toe 4 years, 1 month ago

They probably won't have a choice.

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vega 4 years, 1 month ago

Can;t believe the nastiness of some people who posted here, and can't believe that someone could come up with an idea to cut the salaries of the underpaid teachers. Summer "vacation" for teachers means no work = no paycheck, and many must take another job over summer just to get by, pay rent, feed their families. Vacation, really?

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LogicMan 4 years, 1 month ago

"Why don't you "voluntarily" tighten your belt, pay more taxes, "

I have, and I do. Even the Kansas "use tax" on internet purchases.

With half the State's budget for K-12 and the shrinking revenues there's no avoiding the cuts for now. We can all hope for a quick recovery and restoration of funds to all basic programs once the revenues rise again.

I hope that we can all survive until then; all includes the ever-shrinking Lawrence Journal World. Get a subscription, and place some paid ads with them if you can.

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Lori Nation 4 years, 1 month ago

School fees are more than Johnson County, and Yes I agree they should take a pay cut or NO NEW RAISES!! Plus no other district does this dumb early Wednesday crap. Why can't the district think of extended the school hours so the kids are only going to school 4 full days a week and then Friday, Saturday, Sunday close the schools completely (no lights on, and etc.) I work in an office and I guarantee every teacher is always asking for Wednesday, or late appoitments because they don't want to take time off work.

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jumpin_catfish 4 years, 1 month ago

How much is enough money for teachers? Just curious, you hear people say they don't get paid enough so how much IS enough. Oh, and how many days do they work each calendar year?

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Zachary Stoltenberg 4 years, 1 month ago

LogicMan (anonymous) says… " Unlike the Ford workers who helped save the company which is now #1 and extremely well respected."

Your user name has to be the biggest contradiction I've ever seen on these boards. Why don't you "voluntarily" tighten your belt, pay more taxes, and single handedly fun our education system. You seem to know it all.

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notjustyoureverydayaveragetrol 4 years, 1 month ago

Oh No! crisis mode! teachers might only be getting two months off! OMG!!!!

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notjustyoureverydayaveragetrol 4 years, 1 month ago

Oh No! crisis mode! teachers might only be getting two months off! OMG!!!!

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supernik 4 years, 1 month ago

not even no but HECK NO!!! our children's teachers do not make enough money as it is!!!

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supernik 4 years, 1 month ago

not even no but HECK NO!!! our children's teachers do not make enough money as it is!!!

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svenway_park 4 years, 1 month ago

Paulette has never gotten along with a school board, or a city commission, or a county commission, or other elected officials where ever he has lived.

He isn't very smart. But he enjoys pretending to be so on city commission TV and getting his neighbors hyped up to finance his frivolous lawsuits.

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Kontum1972 4 years, 1 month ago

just the 6 figure people should take cuts...not our teachers

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Liberty275 4 years, 1 month ago

No. Let the schools they work for close down and lay them off.

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ClaroAtaxia 4 years, 1 month ago

ABSURD! If anything these teachers need a pay RAISE! How they dare they even consider this!

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Jeremy DeBoard 4 years, 1 month ago

"Modern cynics and skeptics see no harm in paying those to whom they entrust the minds of their children a smaller wage than is paid to those to whom they entrust the care of their plumbing." John F. Kennedy

"Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition." Jacques Barzun

"Teachers are expected to reach unattainable goals with inadequate tools. The miracle is that at times they accomplish this impossible task." Haim G. Ginott

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KSManimal 4 years, 1 month ago

jayhawkzrule says:

"Teaching isn't brain surgery, designing a bridge. or defending an accused criminal through our complex legal system."

You're right. The difference is, of those professions and any others you'd like to add to the list, TEACHING is the only one that is ESSENTIAL to the existence of all the others.

Teaching makes all other professions possible.

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Larry Bauerle 4 years, 1 month ago

"I teach at the master's and collegiate level and it is not as hard as my other professional job - not nearly as stressful either. Don't get me wrong, I place a high level of importance on education, but let's just be honest about what we pay our teachers and what is required of a teacher."

Please don't compare your "teaching" load to mine, as a high school teacher. I'm not necessarily disagreeing with all you say. I've taught a long time and enjoy what I do and can pay the bills. I have had to coach and take another job, though, to make ends meet. But my world and your world are not even on the same planet when it comes to our jobs.

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KSManimal 4 years, 1 month ago

think_about_it (anonymous) says…

"So the average teacher salary is over $47 k and they get 3 months paid vacation huh?"

No. Teachers get NO paid vacation. They are contracted for 186 days. They are not paid a dime for non-contract days of the year. At 8 hours per day, that's about $30/hour. Considering most teachers work more like 50-60 hours per week, it's really only $20-$25/hour. Considering most teachers work on school-related projects during the summer - for no pay - it's down below $20/hour.

At the starting salary of $34K, if a single parent of three teaches in Lawrence, that teacher's kids will qualify for federal free/reduced lunches for the first ten years of the teacher's career.

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KSManimal 4 years, 1 month ago

LogicMan (anonymous) says…

"But I doubt the teachers' union will voluntarily tighten their belt to save the jobs of some of their own and to save our neighborhood schools. Unlike the Ford workers who helped save the company which is now #1 and extremely well respected."

Lawrence teachers - both union members and non-members - voted in favor of a contract for the 2009-10 school year that gutted insurance benefits to the tune of $1 million. That's not a typo. ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Teachers took on 100% of that increased cost and/or reduced benefits. The district (thus taxpayers OTHER THAN teachers) took on none of it.

Individual teachers could then choose between increasing their premiums by 35%, or increasing their deductible and co-pay expenses tenfold. For many teachers, what this effectively means is they took a $10,000+ cut this year.

And you want them to take another?

Funny how folks will say "times are tough, we all have to sacrifice"; then turn right around and ask ONE group to shoulder ALL the pain, instead of something easy and spread out...like a 1% sales tax increase for a few years. Basically, your asking teachers to foot the bill for what should be paid for by all Kansans.

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jayhawkzrule 4 years, 1 month ago

beawolf gives the following salaries: Average Beginning Teacher Salary: $31,753 Average Teacher Salary: $47,602

That does seem low - on its face. When you consider that teachers only work 8-9 months of the year, while the rest of us work a full 12 months, a teacher's salary begins to look more attractive. Pro-rating a teacher's salary to 12 months, the average teacher is making about $65,000.00. Not too shabby when you consider the benefits, pension, etc.

This may not be a popular comment, but it is time we all addressed the 'elephant in the room.' Teaching isn't brain surgery, designing a bridge. or defending an accused criminal through our complex legal system. The average prosecutor starts in the $40s. I teach at the master's and collegiate level and it is not as hard as my other professional job - not nearly as stressful either. Don't get me wrong, I place a high level of importance on education, but let's just be honest about what we pay our teachers and what is required of a teacher.

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KSManimal 4 years, 1 month ago

commuter (anonymous) says…

"After the school closures in 2003, in 2005 the teachers were given a 8.1% raise."

As usual, you are using fragments of information to deliberately mislead people.

First of all, the raises in '05 were unrelated to the school closures in '03. Those schools were closed because of dwindling enrollment. Some had what, about 50-75 students?

Secondly, you say 8.1% raise....but that isn't true. What is true is that the district paid 8.1% more to employ teachers. This 8.1% increase in COST TO THE DISTRICT includes much more than teacher's take-home pay: payroll taxes, higher health insurance costs and so forth. Teachers did NOT get an 8.1% raise.

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paulette2 4 years, 1 month ago

Not when their school board voted after the market crash of 2008 to spend $250,000 per year in interest out of general revenue for the $18 milion dollar athletic fields with duplicate stadiums.

The School Board members are volunteers. Maybe it's time that they be BACKcharged for their spending.

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paulette2 4 years, 1 month ago

Not when their school board voted after the market crash of 2008 to spend $250,000 per year in interest out of general revenue for the $18 milion dollar athletic fields with duplicate stadiums.

The School Board members are volunteers. Maybe it's time that they be BACKcharged for their spending.

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BadLlama 4 years, 1 month ago

I'm so done taking one for the team. Yes, I chose this profession, and I chose it because it's what I am passionate about. I chose it because I like working with kids--not because I wanted to get rich. However, I've got to make a living wage, too. Why should teachers always take the fall? We've been taking one for the team forever.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 1 month ago

Every school district should have the right to vote in Teacher Salary Support: http://www2.ljworld.com/polls/2003/mar/teacher_salaries/

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wheatridge 4 years, 1 month ago

Among my friends who still have jobs, all have been furloughed, or had some form of pay reduction, profit share matches reduced, health benefits have increased, food, gas, utilities have increased; Feds and State officials are considering tax increases. I work for a Fortune 25 company in engineering that generates 350 million dollars in taxable revenue partially destined for school district. The computer lab at Free State is better equipped than our labs. Let’s build another football stadium, ya wanna? Tell me again, why should the school district in general, and the teachers, in particular, be exempt?

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rehab1976 4 years, 1 month ago

What BS you act like your the only one's that have collage schooling. I'am a plant supervisor with over 40 workers. I have to give over 240 hrs of extra training a year so we can keep our job's. All safety meetings ,and work out all vacations ,day's off, sick, cover overtime. you bore me with what little you do.. We also work 12 hr rotating shift's. I wish I had straight day's. weekend's off, holiday's off. You are over payed and over rated. Times are hard and the teacher's in lawrence are letting their children down big time. You all SUCK!!!!!!

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kugrad 4 years, 1 month ago

3 months paid is not correct. Some years the winter break is as short as 9 days, including weekends, others it is 14 including weekends. Teachers have a minimum of a bachelor's degree and many have a masters plus hours. Every professional job requiring such a degree has a minimum of 2 weeks paid plus the federal/state holidays. Clearly when one brings up the 3 months paid argument, they are talking about summers off, as you well know mr thinkaboutittroll. Teachers have a professional education and deserve professional pay for doing a professional job. It is easy to pick on teachers due to all the negativity in the press and from trolls on sites like this. However, the fact is that teachers work the same number of hours per year as everyone else; typically more. They just do it in a different time frame. Those of you who have never taught really have no idea what you are talking about in regards to the difficulties of teaching.. It is like talking abour marriage without ever having been married or parenthood without ever having children. You are clueless. If you did know, you would realize that the stress put on teachers would lead to massive burnout and a lack of qualifed people in the profession if teachers worked 50 weeks a year while putting in the same hours per week they do now. You think it is easy because you haven't done it.

Now, imagine going to work each long day and doing your very best. Now imagine there is always negatively slanted press attacking your profession. Imagine if every time there was an article in the news about your profession a bunch of trolls with no qualification to speak about your profession other than having once visited your place of work became regular posters on every thread spouting misinformation and negative thoughts. Educators know how this feels and it isn't right.

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Beth Bird 4 years, 1 month ago

think_about_it:

No - You are incorrect. While students may be off days like MLK and President's Day, teachers are in work days or professional development. While they may be "off" in the summer, teachers are required to complete continuing education to keep their license requirements fulfilled. Many teachers attend school for themselves over the summer, in addition to planning and preparing for the next academic year that begins in August. On that note, studetns may not report until August 23rd (for example), but teachers have reported back to official days at the school by August 2. So we are talking, at best, June and July "off", meaning not required to be at the school building, but like I mentioned before, they are taking classes, preparing, and planning for the next year's classes. This is one of the largest misconceptions about teachers - They do work all year. It is just not publicized.

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think_about_it 4 years, 1 month ago

So teachers don't get the Thanksgiving, winter break, spring break, ML King Day etc. days off huh? 3 months paid vacation is correct.

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Jimo 4 years, 1 month ago

"To wit, a starting teacher with a Bachelor's only will make $34,430 a year in Lawrence. A PhD, maxed out on seniority, makes $58,830."

And guaranteed (or nearly so) job security - something that not 1 in 10 private sector employees enjoys. There are quite a few people in town making $34k with a bachelor's degree who have to worry every day how long they can count on keeping their job and what they'll do if they lose it.

Wages will fall, just as taxes will increase, schools will be closed, and budgets constrained. Failure to do any one of these things just makes the others worse.

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rehab1976 4 years, 1 month ago

What about spring break christmas two weeks, fall break what a bunch of BS. Just admit you all got caught with your pant's down, and quit crying. Boo Hoo If you Don't like it QUIT!!!!!!!!!!! They won't replace you ,and you will do your part to help save money!!!!!!!

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gainesvillefl 4 years, 1 month ago

"sunny (anonymous) says… I didn't get a raise! As a matter of fact, my paycheck is less due to more federal taxes taken out. How do you suppose that is happening? Could it be that Hussein lied? He said no raise in taxes....."

Sunny: you've GOT to be kidding me. In case you're not, you ought to know that in 2009 there was a federal stimulus program that lowered your withholding and, consequently, made your paychecks bigger. In 2010 it returned to the original percentage, which has made your paychecks smaller. It has nothing to do with "raising taxes" in the traditional sense.

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thelonious 4 years, 1 month ago

Thank you, kugrad, for pointing out that the break is only two months instead of three, and I will add that during the 10 months or so of classes, the teachers probably put in 60 hours a week with all of the grading and extra activities that they do - it's not just the classroom hours, folks.

People should walk in their shoes before spouting off.

Also, teacher pay in Lawrence is pathetic - below districts like Blue Valley, Shawnee Mission, Olathe, even Eudora pays better! Just what, exactly, is wrong with the Lawrence School District?

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thelonious 4 years, 1 month ago

Thank you, kugrad, for pointing out that the break is only two months instead of three, and I will add that during the 10 months or so of classes, the teachers probably put in 60 hours a week with all of the grading and extra activities that they do - it's not just the classroom hours, folks.

People should walk in their shoes before spouting off.

Also, teacher pay in Lawrence is pathetic - below districts like Blue Valley, Shawnee Mission, Olathe, even Eudora pays better! Just what, exactly, is wrong with the Lawrence School District?

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kugrad 4 years, 1 month ago

Teachers don't have 3 months off. Look at the calander for this year and next. They work until the last week of May (most will be in sometime during the final week as the rooms won't be ready to just walk away from on the last day of school, also many schools do staff inservices/projects/development during the week right after school gets out). Then they are back at the beginning of the second week of August. That is basicallly 2 months. Almost every teacher in the district, especially elementary teachers, will be back in their rooms one week early because the district only provides 1/2 day or so for them to get their rooms ready for the school year, which is grossly inadequate. During the summer, most teachers will develop units, attend some training or other inservices. It is safe to say that there will be at least 1 to 2 weeks of work done by most teachers between the time school gets out and the time it resumes.

People are deaf to actual information it seems, but it has been shown time and again that the average teacher works more hours per year than the average employee in the private sector. This does not include the 2nd job many teachers have over the summer or during the school year.

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getreal 4 years, 1 month ago

I am really starting to worry that we have lost sight of the "big picture." I am certain that conservative organizations such as Kansas Policy Institute (formerly Flinthills), Americans for Prosperity, and the Kansas Chamber all run by Koch Industries are quietly celebrating while they divide education supporters. We have administrators against teachers, school district against school district and schools within a district now pitted against one another.

They have us exactly where they want us, as we struggle to protect our students.

How many school employees have taken the time to go to Topeka and personally meet with their legislator?

How many parents?

How many students?

The answer.... not nearly enough. I would encourage all to take the time over spring break or another day off from school to head west and make your demands heard!

An e-mail or letter is much easier to brush off than a constituent in your office.

The solution to our problems is in the hands of 165 legislators at the State Capitol!

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rehab1976 4 years, 1 month ago

Teacher's are having sex with students, who know's what else, I raise my children, I teach them right from wrong, I don't put teacher's up on a pedestal or think they are our future. Most do drug's, drink, and think we owe them a life style, above what they work for. What responsibilities do they really have. With no child left behind, they just pass their problems on to another teacher.

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mom_of_three 4 years, 1 month ago

the last time I checked, Lawrence had higher fees than johnson county schools. Would be interesting to verify that.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 1 month ago

I was a bit stunned knowing the environment of out Kansas legislature that Supt. Doll was started at $174,000 in not so good times? It seems that $85,000 would have been plenty.

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grammaddy 4 years, 1 month ago

As a fast-food manager, 10 years ago I made $27,500 annually. At that time, it was right on par with teachers and police officers. I thought that was crazy then and I still do.We trust our children's futures to teachers. Shouldn't we pay them more considering they handle our responsibilities for us for an average of 13 years?

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Pywacket 4 years, 1 month ago

Yes, the pay of ADMINISTRATORS, from the top down, should be cut if that's what it takes. That was the question, right? Because that's the obvious thing to do, right?

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rehab1976 4 years, 1 month ago

kugrad, What a bunch of BS. So some got 10% and so got 2% we can't help you have this much greed in your system. sound's like someone should be checking on how this was done!!!l I have family in administrative, they don't make any were near what a teacher makes.

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kugrad 4 years, 1 month ago

Consumer wrote: "After the school closures in 2003, in 2005 the teachers were given a 8.1% raise." Put some context with this please. During a 10 year period of economic expansion, only 3% more money had been added to the teacher salary scale. In other words, times were good, but no raises for teachers for a decade. Then, following 3, yes 3, studies by the legislature themselves, it was determined that schools were underfunded and teachers underpaid. Still no action. Then the court case clearly establishing that the legislature had failed to fulfill its constitutional duty to adequately fund public schools was won by the plaintiffs. More money came into the school systems, and teachers were given a raise. It was actually over a 2 year period. Now, it is incorrect to say that teachers were given an 8% raise. What actually happens is that 8% of new monies is added to the salary scale. What is the difference? The difference is this: Saying teachers got an 8% raise means that each teacher got 8% more money. Adding money to the scale means that teachers on different parts of the scale got different amounts. The scale ranges from people with Bachelor's degrees to people with PhD's plus hours. So the percentage range and dollar amount vary depending on where a teacher is on the scale, whether they are moving up a year or at the top (where a majority of Lawrence teachers are), moving horizontally for experience or so on.
Now consider benefits. As copays and prescription costs regularly rise, and rose during those years, teachers 'raise' is reduced by those amounts. This is particularly true for teachers because their insurance tends to be poorer than what is commonly found in the business community and at KU or for State employees. So, yes, teachers did get some long overdue relief following a period of time when they were falling further and further behind comparable districts and surrounding districts in the state. What is more interesting is how administrative pay rose a much greater percentage than teacher pay and now accounts for roughly 1/3 of the entire district payroll!

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phoggyjay 4 years, 1 month ago

Legalization and taxation of cannabis for those 21 and up would cover any budget deficit. The time is now to save our communities. l welcome all ignorant responses on how this would not work. We tax and regulate alcohol (a drug that could kill you if you consumed too much), so what's wrong with cannabis (a drug that, no matter how much you consume, will never cause you to overdose). Seems like a pretty simple solution…

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rehab1976 4 years, 1 month ago

Home schooled kid's study and have class about 3 hrs per day. Your kid's spend more than 3 hrs standing in line waiting their turn, inline for lunch, bathroom, gym, library. All our system does is teach them to stand in line and wait their turn. If you look at the bank and McDonald's, they have rope's up to make you stay in line and wait your turn. High school kid's shouldbe at home having classes on computer, by one teacher, and cut out the other 300 teacher's we don't need. cost saving's on an avg teacher, per year is 14,280,600 dollar's not counting retirements, ect,ect, I need to be your school superintendent. Vote for me!!!!!

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canusayduh 4 years, 1 month ago

I have to agree with think_about_it. $47k and 3 months off doesn't sound bad to the average Joe. Yes, they have responsible jobs, but so do many other people that don't make that much. I work for the state, and we're going on 2 years without any raise or additional compensation. This summer will mark the 2nd summer in a row where no raises have been distributed. Why can't teachers to do there part as well? The plight of "teachers not getting paid enough" is not new to our society. Those that chose that profession knew what they were getting into. Yes, it may possibly be a calling for those that chose it, but they did voluntarily choose it.

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rehab1976 4 years, 1 month ago

So if I got my number's right, a work year is 2040 hrs, a teacher work's only 1530 hrs, that's 20.75 per hour. How many people in Lawrence make 20 dollar's an hour, legally??? That's a starting teacher, an avg teacher make's 31.11 per hour worked. They also get an hour off per day free time., to make phone call's, grade paper's,ect,ect, Now you see why they don't leave.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 1 month ago

"The USD payscale is public. Page 54 of the Master Agreement, at http://usd497.com/Employment/

To wit, a starting teacher with a Bachelor's only will make $34,430 a year in Lawrence. A PhD, maxed out on seniority, makes $58,830."

In Douglas County, the most expensive place to live in Kansas.....

The teachers may as well become like Wal-Mart employees and head for the food stamp assistance program.

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think_about_it 4 years, 1 month ago

So the average teacher salary is over $47 k and they get 3 months paid vacation huh?

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notjustyoureverydayaveragetrol 4 years, 1 month ago

Yes cut their pay, they are some of the highest paid people in lawrence, plus they get three months off a year, the auto workers dont

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notjustyoureverydayaveragetrol 4 years, 1 month ago

Yes cut their pay, they are some of the highest paid people in lawrence, plus they get three months off a year, the auto workers dont

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average 4 years, 1 month ago

@farva -

The USD payscale is public. Page 54 of the Master Agreement, at http://usd497.com/Employment/

To wit, a starting teacher with a Bachelor's only will make $34,430 a year in Lawrence. A PhD, maxed out on seniority, makes $58,830.

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remember_username 4 years, 1 month ago

Ask the teachers, and administrators, if a temporary pay reduction (to be reinstated, if and / or when) is an acceptable alternative to layoffs and other cutbacks. Any salary reduction should be part of a compromise package that includes finding alternative sources of funding. Make it clear that no position is protected by seniority or need, and personnel will be moved to new duties as required. I wonder what the consensus would be.

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BABBOY 4 years, 1 month ago

I am surprised by the result. If this has been asked in Topeka (or Google), my home city, those cheap bastards would have overwhelmingly said yes.

Teachers are under paid.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 1 month ago

The Walton family of Wal-Mart fame were working with GW Bush behind the scenes. The family and their money are not truly a friend of public schools.

Privatization is more about large profits by way of big government tax dollars. Brownback is a backer of private charter schools also.

Marketing, rather than educational improvement, becomes a central focus. Do we need more commercials in our lives paid for with big government tax dollars?

There is nothing fiscally conservative about private tax dollar funded charter schools.

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rehab1976 4 years, 1 month ago

Sound's like teacher's are in the wrong union. Maybe they can transfer. I'am a union pipefitter,I make more then both, the teacher's and car folk's . If not for the auto worker's union, Most people would be still doing slave labor. It all start's in Washington D.C. .They put a democrat in office, with no experience, never had a job out side D. C., and has no plan's but to tax you more!!!!

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 1 month ago

There is a movement to privatize public education. Which explains why so many politicians and public school industrialists start misinformation campaigns aka "public schools are evil" or public schools are not getting the job done. What a load of crap!

Charter School - a privately operated school holds a charter that allows it to receive full public funding without being subject to many of the regulations and decisions that apply to public schools. A more expensive school funded with big government tax dollars.

Simply put Charter schools don't encourage system reform and improved quality.

Most of the people who choose the alternatives are from high socio-economic status. They want their children in schools with similar students and have the time and money to ensure that their children can make it to a school from outside their neighborhood.

An important historic role of the public school has been to provide a meeting place and common experiences for students from a variety of cultures and homes.

One charter school in the U.S. is being promoted by promising parents that they will teach creationism through the school's distance education program. Charter schools make a priority of the private benefit determined by the parents, rather than balancing and accommodating both the individual and public good.

The theory put forward by many charter school advocates is that the competition of charter schools will lead to reform and improvement to the mainstream of the public schools.

In the U.S. most of the charter proposals have been for "niche schools" that serve a particular special population. Charter schools end up serving special interests, rather than creating programs that develop alternatives that would be offered to most students.

They divert money and attention from improving all schools to enhancing a few. Charter schools don't reduce spending on administration. While some have argued that administrative efficiencies will be improved with competition, experience doesn't bear this out.

In a system based on an educational marketplace, students with special needs may detract from the marketability of the school. Marketing strategies would go something like this:

  1. to recruit more students who are likely to perform well academically, and
  2. exclude students who are likely not to do well academically."

If charter schools become part of the school system, some existing schools would be converted from neighbourhood schools to charter schools. This would mean that the neighborhood public school would not necessarily be accessible to everyone who lives in the neighborhood.

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anonyname 4 years, 1 month ago

Merrill: put some new people on the payroll? GREAT solution to the budget problem!

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mom44 4 years, 1 month ago

I have an even better idea. (note sarcasm) Why don't we ask all of the parents of students who attend Lawrence schools to take a 6% cut in pay and donate that money to USD 497? Or better yet, $5million divided by 10,000 ( number of students ) = $500

Why don't we just ask parents to offer to pay $500 for each of their children to attend public school next year? THAT seems only fair.

Do most people know that we already pay up to 30% LESS than Johnson County school districts, while the cost of living here is higher?

What a mess.

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walkthehawk 4 years, 1 month ago

and avoice, the percentage of the state budget allocation devoted to education says more about what the state chooses NOT to fund than it does about actual education spending in the state. recent estimates suggest that as of this summer (and after nearly half a billion dollars in cuts), education funding in KS will be equivalent to 1992 levels. scary stuff, for a state that has traditionally prized its public schools.

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fan4kufootball 4 years, 1 month ago

Pay cuts are a practice used in the private business world all the time to get by in lean times. I am not sure why there are huge gasps when this is a topic is brought up in the public sector.

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beawolf 4 years, 1 month ago

This is for the State of Kansas, I believe Lawrence averages are slightly less.

Average Beginning Teacher Salary: $31,753 Average Teacher Salary: $47,602 Average Administrator Salary:$77,740 Elementary School Principals:$82,414 Middle School Principals:$87,866 High School Principals: $92,965

The averages are slightly skewed as those with a masters degree earn about $10,000 more per year. My guess is that a 1st year teacher with a Bachelors degree would start around $28,000- $29,000. Consequently, in order to attain a position as an administrator, a masters, PhD or Ed D. is required. On average, Administrators will earn around $30,000 more each year.

The average starting wage for auto workers is $28.00/hr ($60,000) per year. Per union classification, the guy who cleans the toilets earns the same as those on the assembly line.

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rehab1976 4 years, 1 month ago

Almost all my teacher's during my time at West JR. High, and Lawrence High School, sold real estate, sold insurance, painted house's, so not only do they draw a full pay check, they also work other job's, like during the summer month's while still drawing full pay from our school system. I'd like the summer off payed, woundn't you????????? Lets here from teacher's out there.. Tell us the real truth!!!!!!!!!

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avoice 4 years, 1 month ago

beawolf: What do you think is the ultimate purpose of education? It is not an end in itself, but a means to train a society to do a number of things, one of which is build transportation. Try to imagine a society where everyone grows up to be a teacher. While teaching is a worthy profession, there are a lot of other professions (including autoworker) that actually add just as much to the economy, infrastructure, and daily life of a society. A little less self-importance on the part of the entire education system might help us maintain a balanced society, one where the group that is already getting 60% of the State budget isn't wanting to take more away from all the other sectors, both public and private.

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walkthehawk 4 years, 1 month ago

I think part of the reason this question is even coming up is that teachers themselves are having very real conversations about whether a pay cut is a viable option, and for whom (ie, should there be a hardship waiver; what about families where both parents teach, etc.?). I don't know whether teachers should take one in the teeth on this or not (on principle, I would say 'not,' but unfortunately the job losses without a pay cut may hurt even more).

It's definitely the stand-up move to at least consider taking a pay cut to save jobs overall, and I commend our local educators for being brave enough to discuss it (unlike, for example, state employees, who by and large went ballistic when the possibility was even broached a few months ago).

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farva 4 years, 1 month ago

what do starting teachers typically make in Lawrence? How about one with 25 years experience or so?

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grammaddy 4 years, 1 month ago

N ot the teachers, since they don't make much anyway, but perhaps the administration.

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rehab1976 4 years, 1 month ago

Beawolf-- Why do they stay in a no-paying deadend job? Most teacher's make a lot more then you think. How many day's a year do they work? How much sick leave? Full retirement after 30 year's. What retirement amout do they get 80% of pay? Just look at the snow day's, and partial day, holiday's ect,etc. How many have left their job's in the last 5 year's???

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texburgh 4 years, 1 month ago

edson443 says: "the budget cuts they should remember it is their actions that helped to bring this on."

This is the most ignorant posting I have ever seen on the LJW and there have been plenty.

The TEACHERS' actions brought these budget cuts on? I guess the nearly $12 billion in corporate tax cuts enacted over the last decade had nothing to do with it? I guess the elimination of the corporate franchise tax and the estate tax for millionaires had nothing to do with it? I guess the de-regulated greed of Wall Street and the foolish invasion of Iraq for no good reason that pushed us into this economic mess had nothing to do with it?

You blame the TEACHERS for causing these budget cuts? Lawrence teachers - some of the best of whom are being recruited away by Blue Valley and Olathe because of the non-competitive nature of teaching salaries in this district - are the cause of the budget cuts?

You are in serious need of a basic course in economics and perhaps another in current events.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 1 month ago

Here are the other answers to the problem: Save Our Neighborhood Schools has identified cost savings of over $5.5 million. There are many ways to bridge the budget gap and these are just a few suggestions. We hope the board considers cost savings that protect students, teachers, schools and neighborhoods.

The budget outline: http://www.saveourneighborhoodschools.com/budget-outline/

The preparation of this budget overview is extraordinary. Put these folks on the payroll!

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beawolf 4 years, 1 month ago

"Unlike the Ford workers who helped save the company which is now #1 and extremely well respected." ... If teachers made as much as auto workers, I'm sure they would be willing to take a pay cut. And you wonder why our society/economy is a mess. We pay more to have people build our transportation than we do to educate our children. It's obscene.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 1 month ago

Be bold and close down the admin building instead of closing educational buildings. We need schools for education. USD 497 can live without their Taj Majal to transact business.

The admin building is the building to close.

Administrative Services Expenditures
http://www.saveourneighborhoodschools.com/documents/

Close down the admin building, reduce the numbers at Administrative Services Expenditures and move the admin into an existing USD 497 structure such as the current virtual school location.

Anything that is being done at the current admin building can be done in any basically vacant school building. Let's be real.

Sell the admin building,apply those funds to the cost of the new sports facilities and the admin building goes back on the property tax list all of which is a plus for WE USD 497 taxpayers.
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rehab1976 4 years, 1 month ago

Look at the car's they drive, look at the home's they live in. Tell me they need a raise? Also look at the retirement they will receive. Most are overweight ,lazy, and don't care about your kids! Try and talk to a teacher before or after school. They get to school about 5 min's before class, and run out the door faster then your children. Lawrence sucks more now then 20 year's ago when I lived there. If not for KU, Lawrence would be just another Stull. Why don't you people get smart and move.!!! No let's just build another Wal-mart, because that's the only store's you can afford to shop. Move , Move Now !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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sunny 4 years, 1 month ago

I didn't get a raise! As a matter of fact, my paycheck is less due to more federal taxes taken out. How do you suppose that is happening? Could it be that Hussein lied? He said no raise in taxes.....

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yankeevet 4 years, 1 month ago

Teachers should be given a pay raise at once................and a free lunch....

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goodcitizen 4 years, 1 month ago

I can only speak for myself, but I am a teacher in another district and I took a union survey just a day or two ago. In the "additional comments" section of the survey I volunteered to take a pay cut in order to maintain services for our students. In my district I would like to see an across the board cut in progressive tiers starting with the highest percentage cuts where people can most afford them--the 6 figure folks and above folks. But then again, I also think the health care system in this country needs reforming, so we don't have to come up with 3-5 million more in premiums every year in our district. So LM, at least where I am concerned--a card carrying union teacher of 10+ years, who cares about the job I do, the students I teach, and the future for all of us, you don't know what you are doubting. (And AMEN to that HP--I would add health insurance CEO's).

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Mike Edson 4 years, 1 month ago

It is because they were so hell bent on getting their 1.27% raise that we have to cut more than what we would have to if they just agreed to stay at the same rate. When the teachers complain about loosing their CL support staff because of the budget cuts they should remember it is their actions that helped to bring this on.

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Matt Needham 4 years, 1 month ago

Why didn't we ask the bankers and wall street shysters to take a pay cut?

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LogicMan 4 years, 1 month ago

"Why ask about something that is not legally possible?"

Sure it is. Contracts are changed all the time, usually by both parties agreeing to the changes. Or by court order, bankruptcy proceedings, etc.

But I doubt the teachers' union will voluntarily tighten their belt to save the jobs of some of their own and to save our neighborhood schools. Unlike the Ford workers who helped save the company which is now #1 and extremely well respected.

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commuter 4 years, 1 month ago

The board can not change their contract but in a few months do both sides start negiotiating?? I am guessing there will be no raises for teachers over the next few years.

After the school closures in 2003, in 2005 the teachers were given a 8.1% raise.

There are people who work at the district office that are not administrators and are underpaid. What if the board board decided to cut their pay and raise fees for their kids, is this fair??? No but that can be done if you look at some of the proposals from the different groups.

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Boston_Corbett 4 years, 1 month ago

Why ask about something that is not legally possible?

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jabbachef 4 years, 1 month ago

Absolutely not! I can't even believe this is a question. Teachers get so little anyway and many are parents themselves.

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