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Published: Sunday, 3/21/2010

Unfair to ask teachers for more

Your March 14 editorial "Step up, TPS employees" suggests that Toledo Public Schools teachers and staff embrace a reduction in earnings. This concept is incredibly flawed.

It is inappropriate to castigate the rank and file without addressing the top-heavy administration. The money going to this group of people is well out of proportion to that going to those who are working in the trenches.

More pointed is your disregard of the requirements teachers must meet to be eligible to work in their profession. Doubtless, many people would love to work for more than the median earning level in the area.

You irresponsibly neglect to acknowledge that teachers must hold various degrees and certifications to earn their salary. I am certain that many and likely most of those who earn an income below the line have not made the investment of time and money in their education that teachers have made.

To disregard that component when discussing the earnings question is disingenuous and unfair.

S. Scott Schwab

Brookside Road

The writer of a letter suggesting that parents pay tuition to send their children to Toledo Public Schools, and that teachers take a pay cut and pay more for health insurance, does not know anything about teaching ("Charge a fee for public students," March 9).

People do not enter the profession to get rich. Teaching is one of the lowest-paying professions. Starting teachers in public schools earn between $28,000 and $32,000 a year. Teachers in private schools make even less, without the advantage of a pension. Educators see increases in their health-care costs just like people in other companies do.

Education is a year-round profession. Many teachers go to school for professional development and attend educational seminars. There is no way to put a dollar sign on how much time teachers spend in school, and before and after school as well.

Asking teachers to take a pay cut and pay more for health care when they are already so underpaid for the time they spend doing school-related work is absurd.

Kristin Wroblewski

Sugar Maple Lane

Every time cuts have to be made in schools, the children are made to suffer the consequences, and the unions are made to look like the bad guys.

If it weren't for some very lucrative school sports teams, the budget deficit would be far greater than it is now.

I get sick and tired of hearing members of the Toledo school board and Superintendent John Foley sobbing about the unions not cooperating.

Parochial schools make do with what they have, and they can't run crying to the voters every time there is a shortage of funds.

But public school systems run to voters, rattling sabers, and saying they will make deep cuts in an already overtaxed school system.

My wife is a former high school teacher, and I have moved out of the city. When will school board members do the jobs they were elected to do?

BILL NAUMAN

Upper Sandusky

The Toledo Board of Education and the Toledo Federation of Teachers are both guilty of being fiscally irresponsible and steeped in myopic mediocrity.

TPS turns out a mediocre product because those in charge of curriculum are clueless. It's criminal that to get a diploma, Toledo public high school students aren't required to take four years of English, at least three years of computer science, math, and natural science, and no fewer than two years of U.S. history and government.

Art, music, and humanities are nice, but those who think they'll find meaningful employment without a college education are deluded beyond reason.

Catholic high schools are so far ahead of TPS high schools at every level that advanced calculus is needed to measure the gap.

James A. Adams

Carleton, Mich.

The Toledo Board of Education has had years tonegotiate buyout packages with experienced teachers who are close to retirement.

The board wouldrather take away two of Toledo's shining stars, Toledo Technology Academy and Toledo Early College High School, close multiple schools, dismiss hundreds of teachers, and do away with extra-curricular activities vital to the community ("Top-rated technology school on list of cuts," March 15).

Perhaps inkeeping with today's trend of blaming teachers for the problems of the system, we should fire the teachers who taught TPS Treasurer Dan Romano how to do math.

Chuck Hage

Sylvania

Members of the Toledo Board of Education estimate that closing Toledo Technology Academy would save $1.3 million. They should check their math.

As a career technology school, TPS receives about $9,000 per TTA student from the state instead of the standard $5,700.

Closing the school would mean a significant loss of extra funds to the district. Because at least 50 students come from other communities, it would mean an additional loss of revenue.

A significant amount of TTA teachers' salaries is paid to the district through career technology funds. This revenue would also be lost by closing TTA.

Under President Obama's "Race to the Top" proposal, $3 billion would go to states that accomplish what TTA and Toledo Early College High School are already doing. Cutting these schools would cut any chance for these funds in the future.

Through internships with local firms such as GM Powertrain, Dana, and Teledyne, TTA students have shown problem-solving skills that have saved these companies hundreds of thousands of dollars. They also have secured numerous grants for the school and scholarships for themselves.

At a recent meeting of TTA's faculty, parents, and students, there was overwhelming agreement to be part of the solution instead of part of the complaint. Solving real-life problems through teamwork is what this school teaches its students.

Tom Kozak

Bellevue Road

The writer of the March 12 letter "Solar power is trendy" said that unlike coal, oil and nuclear power, the solar power industry cannot compete without subsidies from state and federal governments. Subsidies are in the eye of the beholder.

Tax policy has always been designed to aid and encourage all energy producers. Half the defense budget, including the two current wars, centers around the safe flow of oil from the Middle East.

Every time a coal company is permitted to blow the top off a mountain to mine coal more easily,the lack of environmental regard should be considered a subsidy.

The long-term cost of climate change for two centuries of burning carbon-based fuel is just starting to be understood. The writer also did not consider the long-term health effect of post-production toxinsfrom carbon fuels on health-insurance premiums.

In the short term, at the user end, solar power still is unable to compete. But to scorn President Jimmy Carter for thinking long-term is ridiculous.Imagine what it would be like if this country had adopted some of President Carter's ideas 30 years ago.

At the very least, we would be energy-independent today.

Lawrence Koosed

Perrysburg



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