Budget, Teacher Shortage

Deplorable Truths of JCPS

Dear JCPS,

I have been praying that somehow, someway, the public could see the corruption within this district. It is only now, through this website, and only because we can remain anonymous that we are crying out for help and sharing our deplorable, abusive, and medically alarming work conditions. Everyone within this district is scared to death to speak up because there positively will be repercussions, we’ve witnessed it and experienced it repeatedly. I am so glad that my voice can finally be heard! Thank you so much for this website, and for reading my letter. Please help us!

My own children and I are hungry. If I buy a lunch at school, I have to pay $4.25, which I can’t afford, so most days I don’t get to eat. Luckily, my income level is so low that my children qualify for free lunches. Family members generously take us to the grocery store to buy food when there is no money left to buy necessities. I feel like a failure as a parent because I can’t give my children things they need or want. We have to sit in a freezing cold house in the winter and a miserably hot house in the summer because I can’t afford high electric bills. I work every day to make the lives of my students better, but I can do nothing to make the lives of my children better. I have to work all summer, and search for extra work after teaching all day just to get by.

I have worked for JCPS as a teacher for 5 years. We are underpaid and overworked. We don’t get the planning period we are supposed to get because we are required to attend PLC meetings 3 times a week. We are required to attend a staff meeting after school for 1 hour each week. In order to meet deadlines and job responsibilities, we have to haul our work home, which takes away from our own children and their academic needs. Good teachers that care about their students work from home for no pay every night and all weekend to plan lessons that meet the needs of our students. We have to grade papers and provide feedback to students on their work to help them grow academically. We have to enter grades into the online grade book, Infinite Campus. We have to complete exhausting report cards that provide parents and families adequate feedback to help their child succeed.

I am a single mother raising two children on my own. If you think a living wage is bringing home $1, 098 every two weeks, I’d love for you to show me how to live on that. If you think that amount is over paid, you are drastically mistaken, or as Dr. Hargens says, misinformed. My tax return says I make $36,000 a year, but in reality, after all the necessary deductions (health insurance, life insurance, union dues, Kentucky Teacher Retirement dues, escrow for summer pay, etc.) I bring home $28,000 a year. Trying to live on $2,200 a month is very challenging. I rarely get to buy new clothes, but when I do, I shop at Goodwill, which I haven’t complained about until the public was informed that I am overpaid. Not to mention the fact that I have to buy my own supplies because the new JCPS “Fundamental Supply List” doesn’t require many necessities needed in a real-life classroom, and we are not allowed to ask parents for any other supplies. Sometimes, I have to buy my students shoes when theirs have holes worn on the soles. I buy them coats so they don’t have to stand at a bus stop in a t-shirt during the bitter cold winter months. It sickens me when Dr. Hargens acts like JCPS has extra money for supplies etc., and announces that there is no reason to increase taxes to help public schools, when every year, our students lose more and more resources.

My body literally goes into shock after returning from the summer because I am not able to drink water like I do during the summer because I don’t have time to even use the restroom at work. We do not get breaks like employees get at other jobs. We do not get a lunch break. I am constantly told by my principal that I need to do more at our school. I help with several after school activities throughout the year. I get to school early every morning. The fact that I have children to get home to does not matter to my principal. The fact that I am the only parent that my children have does not matter to my principal. I am required to attend several after school events for no pay, and with no consideration for my children, or the fact that I live almost an hour away from the school I work at.

It disgusts me how unappreciated and disrespected JCPS administration has made me, and most other teachers, feel. We are treated like dirt and emotionally abused daily from our administrators all the way from the top down. Several people at my school have developed serious medical issues due to our treatment. Most of our staff has been put on anxiety medications just to function and deal with our working conditions, which is unacceptable. JCPS administration does not want us to voice our opinions or concerns, they just want us to keep our mouths shut and deal with it.

I hope these things give the public a small glimpse into the lives and mistreatment of many JCPS teachers and employees.


Mistreated JCPS Teacher

NOTE: While the author’s identity is protected here, they are not anonymous to Dear JCPS. Any board member wishing to address the concerns shared here can contact our administrators to make a connection.

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