* Re “Lots of Talk, No Negotiating Means No Deal for Teachers,” Sept. 26, and “Clinton Finds Metaphor for School Plea,” Sept. 28:
As I understand it, the Orange Unified School District discontinued offering its lifetime benefits package for teachers in 1992 because the district couldn’t afford it, and a few years later gave the teachers (who were in the program before it was discontinued) the option of voluntarily relinquishing their benefits in exchange for $30,000 over five years. Now those teachers who opted to stay in the benefits program and take less pay because they realized the benefits would be worth more are told they cannot get the benefits after all.
Recently, I read that President Clinton is once again having to fight the Republicans to use our tax surplus, among other needs, toward improving our school buildings and providing money for additional teachers and other educational improvements. It seems the Republicans want to cut spending and give us a tax cut, and they do not want a sufficient amount of our surplus funds to be used for our schools, for our children, for our future and our children’s future, for health care or for our Social Security.
What is more important than the welfare of the people of the world? If our children are precious to us, then their teachers are invaluable to us and should be given every aid available in this rich country.
When we get to retirement age, each and every one of us in this rich nation should be able to live as worthwhile and respected people with a place to live, food to eat, clothes to wear and medical attention as needed, at the very, very least.