Guest editorial: Park City’s teachers deserve to be paid what they’re worth
I couldn’t believe what I was reading in the article on the front page of The Park Record in the June 17-19 issue, that the Park City School District is considering freezing teacher salaries this year.
Everyone is well aware of the huge tax revenue losses that have occurred in every state, county and city due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the shutdown of the economy, but wasn’t everyone just talking about the fact that teachers should be paid 10 times (or more) what they have been paid in the past after families had to quarantine and parents had to provide the education to their children? As a society, we finally came to the realization of the important functions that teachers perform, similar to humanity finally coming to the realization that systemic racism is still ever present.
We are very fortunate to have the Park City Education Foundation in our town, supporting our students and school district. That foundation has contributed significant financial support to our children and the school district over the years, to the tune of millions of dollars! On their website is the following statement: “The #1 influence on student success is the classroom teacher.” I suspect, if the district makes the request, that the foundation could provide some additional financial support for the teachers in our district.
Also in that Park Record article, Todd Hauber, the school district’s business administrator, states that there are tens of millions of dollars that the school district holds but is earmarked for capital expenditures and that, if the state Legislature granted approval, the district could access about $19 million. I’m thinking everybody in Park City would say let’s hold off on doing these huge capital expenditures at this time and use that money to still provide our teachers with their annual pay raise!
If this isn’t a time when rainy day funds should be used to fund one of the most important aspects of our community (our teachers), I can’t imagine what would be worse than what we’ve just gone through. Do we need to wait for 60 days and 60 nights of rain before the rainy day fund (no pun intended) is accessed?
Finally, if you feel that teachers are one of the most important components in our society, and that they should be compensated as such, please send your comments to Gov. Gary Herbert (and our legislators) and ask them to please not make any cuts to school funding. Emphasize the important role that teachers have not only in our children’s education, but in their lives. Maybe some of the state tax dollars that are set aside for state capital expenditures could be accessed (or the state rainy day fund) to be used to keep paying our teachers a fair wage along with their needed annual pay increases.
Go to governor.utah.gov and navigate to the page where you can add your comments to the governor. This is not the time to turn our backs on our teachers.
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A former Park City Board of Education president says the current school board needs to be reigned in. That’s why she’s supporting Thomas Cooke’s write-in campaign.