Indiana, PA - Indiana County

GEOFFREY DIXON: Politicians at fault for cost of education

on March 17, 2013 3:00 AM

This letter is in response to Ms. Nancy A. George’s letter written to the Homer-Center Board of Directors and district taxpayers, posted in the March 3 edition of The Indiana Gazette.

I am a resident of Indiana County, specifically of a neighboring school district. I am a teacher.

While I empathize with residents having to pay increased taxes, I cannot help but point out that Ms. George’s letter places blame for her hardship in all the wrong places.

She, like many other taxpayers, places blame on the easiest target — teachers. In her letter she states, “Let’s make these teachers work for their money and quit bowing to the demands of higher wages, and paid hospitalization.”

In Indiana County recently, nearly every teachers union has conceded both wages and health care benefits. We may not like it, but we’ve done it — so that public education can continue.

Ms. George also refers to people who work in the “real world” and who have different vacation schedules and paid holidays.

What world do teachers work in? There isn’t a teacher in Indiana County who wouldn’t be happy to let people see the real world, as it walks into our classroom every day.

Finally, Ms. George refers to this “new breed” of teachers who want and get anything they want.

I have a laundry list of things I want so that I can offer a better, more unique education for my students. Unfortunately, not all of those things are happening.

But I won’t blame her. It is time that taxpayers stop blaming teachers for the problems in public education. We are doing the jobs we love, jobs that we spend thousands of tuition dollars to be trained to do.

If education is truly a concern in this state, and in this country, it’s time for taxpayers to blame people who write the policies and bills that govern education — politicians.

Call your local politicians, and ask them what they know about educating students in a classroom. When their response is that they don’t know much, you’ll have your new target.

Geoffrey Dixon

Clarksburg

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