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Letters to the Editor

Mon., March 3, 2014

Teaching still adds up

Conveniently absent from Robert Archer’s Feb. 15 discussion of teachers’ purportedly low salaries was the fact that teachers work, on average, roughly half the time of most other full-time professions.

Using Archer’s figure of a statewide average $52,232 per year for 180 school days taught (per state law), assuming the workday standard of eight hours (potentially six or seven actual in-class hours per Shadle Park High School schedule), wages equate to roughly $36 an hour. Perhaps some additional hours are spent on curriculum preparation, conferences, or grading. This still results in a fair salary. Extrapolated to a true full-time basis of roughly 2,000 hours per year results in a salary of around $72,000.

Further, teachers’ time off of work, including summer vacation, winter holiday, spring break and other national holidays, is more generous than many professions.

Simply stated, the almost sacrosanct perception of educators baffles me. While it is admirable that Archer chose to teach, it is no more “noble” than many other careers that provide a much-needed service to society.

Hopefully, Archer realizes his straits are not as dire as he would have us believe. His perception of “financial sacrifice” may be just that – a perception.

Brett Delegard

Spokane Valley

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