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Issues & Platform

Education

Teachers have lost their voice inside their own classroom to an overbearing administration; we need to redistribute power into the teachers’ favor. Administrators have their role, but it’s the teachers who are in the classroom inspiring and educating the citizens of our community.

We must address teacher pay. Without raising taxes, we can give all new teachers graduating from an Arizona college a starting salary of $60,000. These new teachers can then reach a top salary of $80,000 within 13 years. In addition, we will also move current teacher salary to this new pay scale based on time in the classroom.

Teacher Pay

The State of Arizona provides more than enough money for public education, and we do not need to raise taxes to compensate teachers and staff adequately. With all funding sources currently available, each student brings around $10,000 per year with them to PVUSD.

In PVUSD, teachers can teach up to 40 students per class, which means that each class has a funding source of $400,000 available to tap into each year.

PVUSD starts new teachers at $34,000 with benefits we are looking at a cost per teacher around $40,000 leaving close to $360,000 on the table to use to increase teacher pay and adequately supply each classroom and still have the funds needed to cover administration cost and even offer tax reduction to property owners.

CTSO Pay Like We Pay Coaches

Career and Technical Education (CTE) are classes that help teach a student the skills needed to master a trade or craft and they are sometimes called vocational education. Studies have shown that students have a significant benefit in life who takes more than one CTE class. CTE teachers must run a Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO), and to run a CTSO, a teacher/advisor must spend a lot of unpaid time outside of the classroom.

We need a system that compensates teachers for their time spent building and maintaining a CTSO. To have a certified CTSO, a teacher needs to meet a set of state requirements that will force a teacher to work outside of the classroom. If we require more money for classroom spending, we will have enough money to pay CTSO teachers as we do coaches to compensate them for the extra hours spent running a successful club or student organization.

Smaller Class Sizes

We can help teachers by setting the standard of 28 students per teacher in any public-school classroom. There may be an unforeseen circumstance in student population growth that the district might not anticipate, so there needs to be a policy in place to assist teachers in this type of situation. We need to make sure that if teachers go over the 28/1 ratio, it would only be for a short-term and a stipend will encourage the administration to reduce the class size as soon as possible.

How do we make sure schools don’t slowly increase the class size over time? We need to have a system in place that will make administration pay if they deviate from the proposed 28/1 standard. Any teacher, during a contract year- who ends up with more than 28 students in their classroom will be paid a $1,500 stipend per student over 28. The stipend will also help teachers avoid the administrative abuse of overloading a class out of retaliation.

Teacher Classroom Preparation

For a new teacher to properly plan and prepare for a class lesson, he or she requires about three hours for every hour in the classroom. Teachers spend this time to create their lessons. During this time, he or she is not grading assignments, not communicating with students or parents, not running a club, nor spending time with his or her family. Even veteran teachers still devote time recreating their lesson or making changes to accommodate the students assigned to the current class. The administration usually assigns a teacher more than one subject requiring three additional unpaid hours for every hour inside the classroom to plan instruction for the additional subject properly.

A school may not have an option to have one person teach just one subject, but that does not mean that the teachers should not be compensated for the extra work needed to teach their classes correctly.

The school needs to pay teachers a stipend for all classes that do not have a paid preparation time. Each preparation time over their assigned area per academic year needs to have a compensation of $33 per hour for 180 hours. The extra funds would total out to $5,920 per subject. This stipend will help teachers prep for each of their classes properly, and the compensation should ease the burden placed on them over the non-paid hours that is currently expected of them.

Paid for by Brian Joseph Lesinski