Shenandoah County Supervisor Cindy Baily's letter to the editor in Saturday's paper -- "Teachers don't leave because of money" -- prompted nearly 100 comments online at nvdaily.com by noon on Monday. While there were several comments in support of the letter, the majority -- many from school employees -- were not.
More passionate speeches are expected at tonight's public hearing on the county's fiscal year 2015 budget and a proposed increase in the real estate tax. That meeting is at 7 p.m. at W.W. Robinson Elementary School.
Here are a few excerpts from the online posts -- the letter and all of the comments can be viewed at http://tiny.cc/2dcbex.
Leslie wrote: "It never ceases to amaze me how people who have never spent one day in a classroom teaching a group of children are so quick to judge those of us who do as though they are speaking from firsthand experience. We don't become teachers to have our summers off. We don't become teachers to cushion our bank accounts and spend those summers basking in the sun on some exotic beach..."
Janla wrote: "May I please add a comment to this discussion on behalf of the classified personnel of Shenandoah County Public Schools. I have read the long list of comments from the teachers but no one says anything about the classified personnel which includes custodians, secretaries, bus drivers, maintenance, mechanics, cafeteria staff and instructional assistants. Imagine the chaos that would ensue if these personnel were not in the schools everyday doing their respective jobs. Please keep in mind that these individuals are not paid nearly as much as the teachers and administrators."
Terie wrote: "I agree with you completely, Cindy. Let's start by cutting the salaries of the superintendent and the rest of the bureaucrats. They're getting rich off of the backs of hard the working men and women in Shenandoah County... All jobs have their draw backs and benefits. Once you choose a career don't whine about it. If it doesn't work for you go somewhere else to work."
Jamie wrote: "I am headed to the PMMS Big Give event today (Saturday) so that I can play my small part, alongside many other colleagues, in offering this opportunity to students so they can experience in giving back to our local community. I regularly have meetings that keep me well past the 3:07 dismissal time. I often drop my kids off at daycare on snow days so that I can get my work done and be an effective teacher -- because there is a LOT to do even without students in the classroom. It's time some of our elected officials visit our schools and speak with more of our hard-working teachers to get a true estimate of the time we put in instead of spreading dangerous misconceptions..."
Gael wrote: "Mrs. Bailey, your statement that "Perhaps a survey given to teachers that have left Shenandoah County to teach elsewhere may indicate that the administration is the culprit, not pay" confirms the suspicion that I had when I first met you. You do not do your research. I am a teacher who left after teaching 15 years in Shenandoah County to teach elsewhere. Since I am nearing the end of my career, my retirement income, which incidentally will be brought back to this county, will be significantly higher due to the fact that I am driving a mere 30 minutes more to work for these last years..."
Rebekah wrote: "...Teachers are amazing, and deserve FAR more than what they get. They do not deserve to be publically berated and should NEVER be asked to climb down from their pedestals because that is exactly where they belong. They are shaping our children, our future, providing guidance, education, support, and countless other unselfish acts on a daily basis and are grossly underpaid for the service they provide to our general public... "
April wrote: "Well, Ms. Bailey, I am so disappointed in myself for actually finishing your entire letter. Where am I reading your letter from? From Sandy Hook Elementary, where I am a teacher. I work in my classroom on Sunday afternoons WITHOUT extra pay. So, please do no attempt to guess how many hours I put in! As I look around this building right now, I can count about 11 other teachers who are here.......YES on their legal day off!"
Sherry wrote: "From the comments here, it seems posters are quite eager to attack CB without taking a step back and really look at what whe is saying. She has stated facts here! One cannot deny that! Once again, teachers are insisting they are hailed as heros above others. This discussion has been going on for many decades. Yes, I appreciate teachers and yes, it is a calling..not everyone can teach. It is a public servant position, I respect that. Still not seeing where CB is out of line here...cut some unnecessary administrative positions..period!"
Mike F. wrote: "Mrs. Bailey I may have agreed with you a tad until I started working for the Shenandoah County Public Schools 19 years ago. If you think teachers start at 8am and leave at 3 pm you are misinformed. I'm at my school 5:30 am and not long after that a few teachers start coming in. That's every morning. And they stay till 4-5-6:00 and later depending on what is going on in the school. The teachers we have in Shenandoah County deserve what they get for the service they do plus some."
Tim wrote: "Working so closely with the schools, I see firsthand that teachers do far more than teach in the classroom. Teachers participate in nearly every extracurricular activity including; sporting events, tutoring, FFA, parent/teacher meetings etc. and still have to prepare a curriculum on their own time. If you are going to scrutinize spending, scrutinize each department equally, do not single out the school system."
Todd wrote: "Everyone commenting here should show up at the Board Meeting Tuesday to support the teachers and show Ms Bailey how the voters really feel."
Mike W. wrote: "all of these comments are from teachers or school affiliated individuals. not one of them expresses any concern about the economic situations of the non school employees who will be shouldering the tax increase burden. does anyone think that we work less hours or are getting rich in our occupations? we are all in the same economic boat so to speak, and I know that teachers work hard and do great jobs teaching our youth, but everyone must be considered."