Ronald P. Goebel's letter “One-room efficiencies” (March 25 and TribLIVE.com) completely distorts the teacher compensation issue. As a former school director, he would be aware that teachers are paid for a contracted year, usually 190 days or more.
There is no teacher paid “to sit at home” for 14 weeks as he indicates. Although teachers in many districts have the option to take their contracted salary over 10 months, most have the salary divided over 12 months, simply for budget reasons.
Also, during summers, most teachers take continuing education credits at various schools. A master's degree takes at least two years to achieve. With 180 hours of professional development required every three years, many teachers simply elect to continue their education through various community college courses.
He states a salary of $78,000. The minimum salary for a beginning teacher in Pennsylvania is $18,500. Salaries in the range he mentions often take 15 to 20 years to achieve. That salary assumes at least a master's degree.
Finally, I'm sure Mr. Goebel is painfully aware of the cost of supplies like textbooks. Often, science, math and literature texts exceed $100 each. This does include the CDs that accompany the various publishing houses' programs. These textbooks must be adopted by school districts. These are significant factors when the cost of education is calculated.
The writer is a retired Wilkinsburg School District teacher, department chairman and assistant principal.
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