Teachers skilled professionals, not assembly line workers, reader says

To the editor:

I am not a resident of the Mehlville School District, but salaries and taxes are a concern for every school district.

I want to comment on a recent letter that claims Mehville pays an “annual salary of $73,000 for advanced degree teachers.”

Here are my questions:

• How many teachers actually make this salary?

• How many steps or years did it take to arrive at that salary?

• What advanced degree? Master’s? Masters +30? Doctorate?

• How many teachers are there in each of these categories?

• How much tuition reimbursement did teachers receive?

• Do teachers have student loans for their bachelor’s degrees?

Private sector is a very broad category — skilled, unskilled, college degrees, et cetera. Isn’t it true that those in the private sector with special skills and education get paid more and have more benefits?

Teachers need not only basic requirements for a certificate, but the school district requires them to continue education as a condition of employment. There is usually a probation period of five years.

The reason for early retirement is two-fold.

First, it is cost effective because beginning teachers have a lower salary.

Second, it is assumed — although not necessarily true — that energy, health and rapport decline with age. These are criteria that the private sector uses.

Why is it difficult to get a job over the age of 50 even with skills, experience and a good record? Simple — these workers cost too much.

Comparing unionized teachers with the auto workers union is off base.

Teachers are skilled professionals and not assembly line workers.

Teachers, policemen and firemen are not “public servants.”

This term is used so that those classed as such can be told: Take what we give you out of our generosity, and if you don’t like it, move on.

Finally, if teaching is so easy and well paid with fewer hours of work, why aren’t workers leaving the private sector and going into teaching in droves?

Joe Margraff