Education Does Deserve and Need a Lot More Funding

RECEIVED Mon., Aug. 22, 2005

Dear Editor,
    Wow, Greg. There's so much wrong with your letter I don't know where to start [“Postmarks,” Aug. 19]. My wife is also a teacher. She has taught kindergarten and first grade for 10 years. She also didn't become a teacher for the big bucks since that's impossible. She did it because she loves children and wants to help them achieve their goals and dreams.
    First, with their long days, nights, and weekends, teachers actually average about the same number of hours per year as a 40-hour-a-week job in the "real world,” whatever that is. They deserve a break to refresh themselves – although lots of them have to work summers anyway to supplement their income.
    Second, education majors put in the same amount of time and money as other college majors, but then find out they've hardly been prepared for the classroom, since teaching book knowledge is such a small percentage of their responsibilities. Every year their workload increases with more administrative duties, and their accountability is based on unrealistic numbers rather than children's improved lives.
    Third, what kind of solution is kicking out the "kids who don't want to go to school"? Most kids struggling are the ones who need it the most, many of them not getting support from their families. The hard truth is that education does deserve a lot more financial backing. What's more important than a good education? Teachers need help with hands-on assistants or fewer kids per class and financial incentive to keep doing the difficult job they have.
    Mack Brown is a teacher. He teaches young men to play football. His yearly raise alone is triple the amount of an elementary teacher's whole yearly salary. Whose job is more important to the future of our society? Can we even the playing field a little?
Jeff Farris
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