A Dismal Pay-Back for Excellence

I've been a secondary-school teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District for about 10 years. I worked very hard during eight of those years to get myself to the top of the pay scale.

Yes, I bettered myself, educated myself and played by the rules, because I wanted to improve my skills as an educator.

In 1991, I returned to Cal State Northridge. My tuition increased about 60%, and my pay was slashed 10%.

While at CSUN I earned my credential as a specialist in learning disabilities. By December I will also have earned my credential as a resource specialist, a person who works with students with special needs.

Teachers with these credentials are in great demand.

Am I more educated? Yes. Am I more trained? Yes. Am I more skilled? Knowledgeable? Yes, yes. Are my services/expertise in more demand? Yes, yes, yes.

Am I able to earn more money? No! We get premium pay for additional study only up to 98 units past the degree. I was at the top before I got the additional credentials.

Go figure. But--here you go--there is money available somewhere for teachers from a foreign country (who may not possess similar expertise to teach in the state of California) who will get paid who-knows-what to teach bilingual education--a failing program--to schoolchildren who may not be legal U. S. residents!

No, I'm not on a rampage specifically over bilingual education, but this may have been the straw that broke my back.

Globally speaking, it seems that the educational system has gotten out of control, muddled, nonsensical, illogical--and the list goes on!

I see things falling apart way before they're going to improve, and I don't think that anyone wants to go down with a sinking ship. I'm a young, vibrant and--I might add--excellent teacher. This system has certainly given me an education as well. Some pay-back.

If people want their children to be educated by intelligent, skilled, motivated teachers, the profession needs to be attractive and desirable. We have qualified and very talented candidates right here. What does the public want?

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