When pay gets pinched
May 29 article
We teachers are not irresponsible
As a teacher in Pasco County for the past 23 years, I thought I could perhaps clarify some things.
My colleagues and I are neither irresponsible nor naive.
We are not asking for a raise, just the step increases already in place on our yearly salary schedule. This is approximately $800 to $850 for the year.
While we do have an excellent, fully paid benefits package, if we must carry our dependents (two or more), it costs $372.08 per paycheck or $744.16 a month. Every year after our contract is negotiated, this rate increases.
Teachers who invest the time and expense to add 18 additional college credits to their certification get roughly $800 more per year. Have you checked the price for university-level courses recently?
If they add on a master's degree level, then it's a little more than $2,000. Again, check university rates.
We have asked the board members only to first look elsewhere in our budget to be disciplined and restrictive. Don't take the "easy" way to cuts.
Teachers do not have summers off. There are both district-level and school based training, coursework to take, math and reading institutes, mandated recertifications, extended school year, and simply reading research and planning on our own.
Did I mention all the wonderful activities many of you are involved in with your children, especially at this time of year? The sports banquets, awards evenings, skating events, choir, drama, dance, etc.? Well, these teachers and assistants do this for you and your children, gladly, on their own time.
Laura Miller, New Port Richey
Crumbley should be on our side
Speaking of fiscal responsibility, Mr. Crumbley, did you get a load of the price tag of LFS, the Learning Focused Strategies staff development program?
In my experience, a member of the county's education foundation should consider advocating for teachers, not insulting teachers.
The teachers of Pasco County will continue to work hard every day for their students and communities. That's the catch. The School Board knows this and continues to take advantage of teachers. I'll keep teaching, it's my passion, and so will thousands of other teachers in Pasco County and throughout Florida.
So, Mr. Crumbley, why don't you just keep your big mouth shut and let us and our union fight for our right for a pay increase, and in the meantime, we'll continue doing what we teachers do best: inspire, motivate and increase student achievement.
Connie Hines, Wesley Chapel
Pittman defends work ethic May 25 article
a well-run office
The newspaper and TV have made this the best retirement roast I have seen yet.
I have known Jed Pittman for many years now, thus, I will start my roast with a thank-you for his service to our nation as a young man in the U.S. Navy. For over 30 years now he has held the office of Clerk of the Circuit Court with not one major scandal or ethics violation. We the public like to read about the political circus, and he gave us a well-run office with national and state awards.
He takes a $136,576 annual salary because the state mandates that salary based on the Pasco population. What nerve. Then he joined more than 200 other elected officials, including a county commissioner, in a double-dipping program set up by the state for elected officials with long service and attained age.
Yes, I would have done the same thing and so would 99 percent of the rest of us. Some of our elected representatives tried to correct this program, but the forces in Tallahassee would not allow the change.
Along with the technical changes he has been putting in place with a thought to the future, he also set up a great staff from the chief deputy all the way down to an entry-level worker to compensate for his medical limitations. He trained a chief deputy to run the office so efficiently that we the people never knew he was not there. What a way to trick the public: a well-run office with or without him looking over their shoulders.
Thank you to Jed Pittman for his service, and let us do what we have to so that he can end his last tour of duty as the old man in proper style.
New Port Richey
Wish Pittman were impeachable
I was appalled to read about Jed Pittman and his arrogance. He seems to be a typical person in office here in Pasco County.
I have lived here since 1968, and I see Pasco County going downhill terribly, partly because of the attitude of people like Jed Pittman. He has become wealthy while the common person loses ground all the time.
Wish he were impeachable.
New Port Richey