<CENTER><B>Letters to the Editor</B></CENTER>
Thanks to all for participating in cleanup
The clean up effort next to the Cottonwood Airport was a great success. I would like to recognize the following individuals and businesses that contributed time, effort and supplies to this project.
Roy Buck, Bobby Florisi, Carol Pruess, Judy Finch, Jeremiah Juhlin, Mountain Waste, United Rentals, Pepsi Cola of Clarkdale, Peter Piper Pizza and the employees of the Cottonwood Police Department.
C. Pat Spence
Chief of Police
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth
I am writing this letter as a concerned citizen and taxpayer. After reading several articles in the paper about comments of certain MUHS board members, I felt the need to address certain issues.
I am fearful that my tax dollars will increase because of the uneducated members of the MUHS board. The concern of triple paying coaches and using teachers as coaches needs to be addressed. The AIA requires school districts to use certified teachers as coaches to limit liability and to maintain quality leadership for the students. A teacher is paid extra to coach students after school hours. This is a small pittance, if the teacher/coach clocked in for all hours spent coaching it would not be affordable.
Classified personnel at Cottonwood-Oak Creek have to clock in and out for the hours worked. It was found that they work more hours than the district pays them. Time and a half or comp time is to be given for hours over their assigned time.
If teachers/coaches clocked in for their hours, we wouldn't be able to pay them within the budget that we have. A teacher/coach that has to leave a class with another teacher or substitute isn't being paid twice but is being paid as a teacher (coaching fees are after school hours). Teachers are sent to conferences where a substitute is required to cover their class while they are gone. Are they being double paid? Conference costs are often paid too. Are we paying too much?
Please realize that teacher/coaches aren't making any fortune because they aren't even being paid minimum wages for the time involved to coach these students. Research has proven that teachers that are involved in their students' lives outside the classroom make a great difference in the improvement of students' academic performance in the classroom.
Are we concerned with monetary issues or student performance?
A teacher was used as an example of exorbitant monetary earnings. This teacher makes a salary that was considered high not because she has worked in excess of 20 years and has sought higher education but because she is a teacher (the salary quoted was incorrect, by the way). She has coached FBLA for many years and is paid an extra stipend that isn't exorbitant. A parent told me she didn't understand how this teacher could and would spend the number of hours at the school working with those FBLA students and not be reimbursed more. The state FBLA competition had to be revamped to help other school districts feel they could compete with MUHS. Minguss FBLA has won state competitions for so many years that other school districts didn't want to compete. Other school districts don't have teachers that are willing to give so much time as our FBLA teacher does.
If we are to have teacher/coaches that are of the quality that we have, we either need to support them with our praise or we will be spending more money than we are presently doing. Get wise board members and realize before labor unions do that you are getting more for your money than you are paying.
Saying a teacher makes an exorbitant salary for working only four and a half hours a day 175 days a year is a crock. I would like to invite any school board member or parent to come visit a teacher and see how many hours they work at school preparing lessons and grading papers let alone teaching students. I don't know any teacher that spends just the allotted time a contract says to spend at school. Most of them are there before time and stay afterward. As the saying goes, "Come walk in our shoes a mile" before you criticize us.
A parent once thought that teachers were being paid too much and was going to pay them hourly instead. When calculated hourly and per student, he realized that teachers aren't getting paid enough. Be thankful that there are people that want to be teachers to work with your students. Remember, there is a teacher shortage and we need the quality people you have hired.
Please help keep my tax dollars down and don't make me pay teachers/coaches what they are worth — we can't afford them.