Disheartened over pay for Lindbergh teachers

To the editor:

I want to remind the families of Lindbergh students that the teachers of Lindbergh are going in and working every day, delivering top-ranked lessons and instruction, and fulfilling all the terms of their contract with Lindbergh Schools and with our community at large.

It is disheartening that Lindbergh teachers have to continue their excellent work at a pay rate significantly out of line with their colleagues throughout St. Louis County. It is a disappointment to hear people, especially other teachers, say that Lindbergh teachers should accept less than fair pay for their consistently exceptional work.

It’s also unfair to assume that Lindbergh teachers, or any paid employees anywhere, are tacitly agreeing to be long-term volunteers. Altruism, charity and volunteering are to be commended and encouraged; but teachers already have the demanding job of classroom instruction for well over a hundred students, many have additional low-paid roles like coaching, all while living up to the constantly changing demands of one of our state’s largest bureaucracies, the public schools. Comparisons to other private teaching jobs stretch into unfair and inaccurate territory.

Working to contract is a distress call from teachers, letting us know that they cannot bear the burdens of their inadequate pay any further. The injustice is that their pay ever fell this far behind. It’s even more frustrating in the face of massive new administrative costs, and several years of superintendent pay at the high end of the pay scale. What does it say about our priorities when a superintendent makes over $260,000, a principal over $140,000, and a new teacher makes less than $40,000?

And what more does it say when we demand that the teachers then make more sacrifices of their time, or, worse, shame them for doing their outstanding job?

Ron Parres