Why would you teach in Pasco?
Teachers pushed off fiscal cliff
Pasco public schools are in year six of no raises for employees. Milk has gone from $3 a gallon to $3.75, an increase of 25 percent due to inflation. How is it that teachers and school workers in Pasco are expected to survive with no cost of living raises?
Federal government workers have been getting raises plus cost of living. U.S. senators and members of Congress been getting raises, but not teachers whose wages are near poverty levels. Now add that the state of Florida is balancing the budget with teachers' and other public employees' 3 percent contribution to retirement. Add in that they just lost 2 percent more to Social Security and now it is a 5 percent cut in take-home pay and no raises for six years.
Think of how much your groceries, gas, electric, and insurance have gone up in the last six years? Imagine taking a 5 percent pay cut and still trying to make ends meet. Keep in mind teachers have a four-year degree and their pay scale tops out at less than $55,000 after 30 years of service.
If you started in 2006, you have seen pay cuts and no cost of living raises. You now have six years of service but are making the same as a new teacher with no experience. Where is the incentive?
Those who stick it out, hoping for change, do it only for your children who they love to watch learn. However, daily, we are losing awesome teachers who have to change careers in order to support their families. There is only so much employees can take and I think most of them have reached their cliff.
Carolyn Gump, Trinity
Nugent's "no" vote a troubling | sign Jan. 18 letter
Nugent right not to back relief bill
The Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill is loaded with pork that has nothing to do with any relief to victims of Hurricane Sandy. Some 80 percent of the bill's funds will be spent after 2013. The baseline relief in the bill is $17 billion, on top of the $9.7 billion already passed by the House on Jan. 4.
More than $33 billion of the bill is nothing but pure pork. And of course there is no offset reduction in spending elsewhere to cover the cost of this bill. The bill allocates billions to dozens of federal agencies, including the National Park Service, the Smithsonian, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Secret Service, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Of the 180 "no'' votes, 179 were Republican, including Rep Nugent. Only one Democrat voted against it. The letter writer considers this "no'' vote by Rep Nugent as a demonstration "that he no longer posses common sense or any sense of compassion for his fellow man" who "no longer represents the hard-working common man in his district."
Seriously, you've got to be kidding. Rep. Nugent's vote absolutely represents common sense and the common man! This bill is just another shameful piece of unpaid-for legislation crammed down our throats by Congress. Anyone who voted for this pork-laden bill should be ashamed. And now we'll have to borrow more money from China to pay for it, thus increasing the never-ending annual trillion dollar deficits and growing $16.5 trillion national debt of the Obama administration.
Rep. Nugent, contrary to the letter writer's opinion, does in fact possess the independence to make his own judgement. He votes his independence, not his party lines. He votes what is best for his constituents, even the ill-informed constituents, as well as what is best for the country.
Frank S. Fischer, Spring Hill