Budget, Teacher Shortage, Vision: 2020

The Math is Wrong

Dear JCPS,

I’m praying that my letter stays anonymous as indicated. I’m a new staff and I do want to keep my job.

I want to address the suggested salary freezes. I’m a bit confused as to why the salaries of JCPS teachers are being threatened. The suggestion is to freeze the salaries of those who make above $14.00 an hour. I’ve reviewed the grid submitted by the school board. The standing grid and the proposed grid and no one in my JCPS circle makes the money that is classified or described for their job description; not even me. Since the targeted range is $14 per hour, let’s use that number.

JCPS employees operate on a salary schedule just as the students do. However, we are termed by the number of days we work per year. 187, 230, 260. 260 is considered year round. 260 are not subject to escrow. If you are a 187staff, you are subject to escrow that takes about 20% give or take of your income to pay you during the summer months; snow days, Christmas and Fall Breaks.

If a staff works 187 days a year at $14 per hour; their yearly gross salary is a grand total of $20,944 per year. Let’s say this staff works 260 per year: That is a grand total of $29,120 per year.

For the 187 staff, every 2 week paycheck takes 20% of their salary to supplement the days off. This is a mandated escrow after a snow storm kept schools closed for nearly one month and teachers had no pay. So if a 187 staff makes $14 per hour, their 2 week gross pay check is $1120. Before their check is even taxed with the regular taxes, 20% of their income is used for escrow; leaving them with $896. Total taxes, health insurance, life insurance, long term disability and retirement payouts may leave them with a little over $500 per pay check; give or take.

So a full time 187 staff making $14 per hour will possibly bring home $1000.00 per month as their take home pay.

And the board wants to freeze salaries. I challenge them to live off this amount for one year.

I support and agree with the letter submitted by Ms. Adelmann. When this initial study/investigation/audit began, I CLEARLY remember the outcome as stating that the administrators making $100k per year were excessive and too many. Clearly I remember this statement because my colleagues and I discussed this at length. How this turned around to target teachers in the classroom is beyond anyone’s realm of reasoning. At a time that classroom teachers, students and parents are in higher need of support; the board drops the ball again.

The board also hits the district with a double whammy; let’s put in a new code of conduct. If they want this level of the new code of conduct to work; their needs to be support systems in place. There are no proposed support systems in place to administer this level of decreased discipline. Without this support in place; I am concerned this will lead our schools into war zones. There needs to be knew levels of training in order for this to work.

There has been a revolving door and continuous circle of funds being depleted, programs, assistances being removed from schools and classrooms that have helped to increase the growing concerns in our schools. You have parents that have to work 2 and 3 jobs in TWO parent homes; let’s not image the struggles a single parent is having. You want parents to be involved that live 20 miles from the school with no transportation. You have elementary school students who ride a school bus for 2 hours to and from school and then wonder why they struggle to sit still and learn in the classroom.

One thing that may come from this is teachers and parents will unite to have their voices heard at the board. Parents and teachers want the same thing for their children and students and that is to be successful in the classroom.

A new task force needs to be created with the appropriate persons represented; new and consistent pressures need to be made on our elected officials who represent US to do something!

It saddens me that we can’t give our children the kind of education they deserve or the support to our teachers, staff and admins that they deserve.

Newly Hired

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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