As a follow up to the August 14th TVN article “After Long Fought Negotiations, Teachers Feeling Undervalued,” I would argue that not all or even most teachers feel undervalued or under appreciated.
The article further attempts to connect teacher salaries and benefits to teacher appreciation. School board members would like nothing more than to increase wages and benefits for every district employee. Unfortunately, there is a limited amount of state funding money for the district to distribute in the form of wages and benefits.
Currently, Teton School District funds an additional three administrators, 11 teachers and 87 classified staff over and above what Idaho supplies in payroll funding. Fortunately, Teton School District taxpayers have passed a supplemental levy funding these additional positions. I am most grateful to the voters of Teton Valley for voting "Yes" on the supplemental levy.
I do not feel it is justified to pressure the school board for more salary and benefits. I am thankful the school board has struck a balance between payroll increases, the need to remain fiscally responsible, compliance with the state mandates, and answer to the tax payers of Teton Valley concerning the supplemental levy. Simply put there is not money for increases without further increasing the supplemental levy.
I have personally been told by each of the board members they appreciate the work that I do. I am excited to start the new school year with all of the opportunities and challenges in front of us. I am grateful for the opportunity to be called teacher, there are few more worthy titles.
Grateful but not undervalued,