Friday, April 18, 2014 2:08 PM
I am a Republican and will be voting for County Commissioner based completely on whether they agree to dramatically increase the county add-on to teacher pay. Perhaps we don't get to Merrill's goal of hitting the national average, but we have to do dramatically better.
[Note: Not voting that way for state legislature or US Senate. Just too scary to think of all the other nutty things the Democrats would do if they take power.]
There's a myth that money is not an incentive for teachers. Sure, they have other motivations as well, but when you can't afford to have kids because of money, or go on a vacation, or. . ., money becomes an issue. And, when over a period of years, you underpay your teachers, they will respond to those incentives. They will find other teaching gigs (like 114 of those teachers did), leave teaching entirely (like 77 did), or take advantage of the state employee pension system and retire (like 142 teachers did).
Unfortunately, the teachers who find it easiest to leave will also be the ones who the district should most want to keep -- the highly-effective teachers who will have no problems finding jobs in any district. Their replacements will largely be a potluck of 23-year-old kids straight out of teaching school. That's hardly a good trade.