Pay Raise for Local School District
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
PALM SPRINGS - It's been about six years since any desert school districts have received a pay raise. In fact, it's been nothing but budget cuts; but that is changing. It's part of a budget proposed by Governor Jerry Brown that will increase funding and compensation to school districts where poverty is high. Palm Springs Unified School District will be one of those districts receiving pay raises. Thought, not all agree public school teachers should be getting pay raises-- at least not without proof they're actually doing their job. "I don’t feel our public schools are now educating our children, they are more indoctrinating. So no, I do not think they need a raise,” says resident Peggy Jager. Others say the pay raise is much deserved. "They teach people’s kids where they don’t get a lot of the learning at home because they have parents that work and so everything they're getting is pretty much at school,” says vacationer Shirley McCaslin.
Nonetheless, the Palm Springs Teachers Union says giving teachers a minimal salary only hurts the kids.
They say they've lost or let go more than 300 teachers since budget cuts ripped through the education system. "It's the children that have suffered through all of this. Our students have less time with their teacher especially in first and second grade. It takes a lot of individual instruction and our teachers do the best they can but when you have 11 more students in the classroom, that creates more struggles,” says President of the Palm Springs Teachers Union Beverly Bricker. Bricker says regardless of your stance on public schools, the fact remains that teachers are paying for supplies out of their own pockets. "They'll go buy paper, pencils, crayons; those things ad up to about $1200 a year, is what the average teacher will buy with their own money to support what goes on in their own classroom,” says Bricker.
Some say asking parents to donate supplies would solve that problem and add giving teacher’s raises won’t solve the dilemma of bad public schools and low test scores. "I’ve had some teachers growing up that should not be teaching and it's virtuously impossible to get rid of them. Employees should earn their keep, not be entitled to it,” says Jager. Others insist being a teacher is the hardest job in the world. "I could never be a teacher but I praise them and I think they are great,” says McCaslin. All employees of the district will be entitled to the pay raise. Union officials say the pay raise will, most likely, go into affect on July 1st. They say the specifics of how much the raise will be, will be hashed out in the next ten days.