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Make the cuts, and live within your means


Date published: 3/31/2013

Make the cuts, and live within your means

I started school in 1963 at Little Falls Elementary. We had a wood stove for heat, we opened the windows for air conditioning, and our bathroom was an outhouse. Through 12 years, I never attended a school with air conditioning and the teachers never cried about their salaries. Our Founding Fathers attended schools with dirt floors and wood stoves, and did their homework and studied from the light of a fireplace or oil lamp. Amazing, they learned and built this country from scratch with that education because they wanted to learn!

These "educated" teachers can learn about teacher salaries via the Internet before they decide to make teaching a career choice. If they can't live on these salaries, with step increases, a good retirement plan, and free insurance, then choose another career path!

I worked in private industry for a local company; we did not receive a pay increase for seven straight years. The company did not turn enough of a profit to give us raises, but we bit the bullet and kept working. It's the same with Stafford County residents. The majority of us are living on fixed incomes and cannot afford higher taxes for schools or teacher salaries.

Schools and teachers must live within their means and stop trying to rob county residents for their benefit. Schools are meant for learning, not for sports or other extracurricular activities. Teach what the state mandates, and get rid of the rest of the stuff, and there will be no money issues!

Look it up: The average teacher salary in Stafford County Public Schools is $52,945.

Stafford Sr. High students: 1,851.

Full-time certified teachers: 108 (a 17-to-1 ratio).

Make the cuts and live within your means.

Paul Shelton

Stafford