Re Scott Feldman’s July 31 letter, “Schenectady teacher pay not out of line”: There are a few details missing. Yes, teachers may have an average pay of $70,000. Have you put any thought in to how much teachers do to get to that $70,000 mark? A master’s degree is a requirement. Only 9.3 percent of U.S. citizens have obtained that level of education. This dramatically lowers the pool of prospective candidates for that $70,000 job.
Yes, teachers have the three weeks of vacation you mentioned. But you forgot to add that they are required to complete continuing education every single year. Teachers spend, on average, $479 each year on classroom supplies the school district doesn’t supply or to help our students that arrive without necessary supplies. Seven percent of teachers report spending over $1,000 a year on their classroom. We take great pride in preparing for our students, making them welcome in a stimulating atmosphere, and taking those students without supplies under our wings. Maybe you should have been a teacher, Mr. Feldman, if it sounds like such a great deal. I can assure you a week in a classroom would leave you feeling like teachers deserve a great deal more than $70,000. It’s particularly frustrating to hear sports “stars” making millions, when teachers are shaping the next generation of Americans for $70,000.
We have children to send to college (in our case, we are helping with medical school) to prepare a new generation of professionals -- $70,000 doesn’t go far these days. Walk a mile in our shoes.
P. A. Tayler