Letters to the Editor

Paying teachers not to work

Instead of paying teachers not to come to work, we should eliminate 14 of the 19 days from the local supplemental contract, the so-called TRI-Days, and use those existing $2 million in K-12 education resources to pay for more tangible items such as textbooks, transportation, technology, building maintenance, capital projects, utilities, a restored 30-minute longer middle school day, an actual 180-day student-in-attendance school year with all full-schedule days, or perhaps, also, five entire school days if the state eliminates them as is being discussed.

Last year, the local teachers’ union retained every penny’s worth of 14 days of TRI-Pay in their local “supplementary” contract, while, in response to a minor funding reduction from the state level, the local school calendar was reduced by eliminating 30 minutes from the middle school day and, yet again as has been done at other times in years past, some school days were devolved to half-days.

TRI Pay logic: We don’t have dollars to pay teachers to come to work, but we have enough dollars to pay teachers not to show up for work!

A report posted at the state Board of Education’s website concludes: “The state should eliminate the salary schedule and TRI structure.” Our state Legislature should act to do so. Local school boards should act to eliminate TRI-Days from contracts. Voters should withhold all school district levy dollars until all dollars for TRI-Days are instead all being used for actual school days. We should do this for the kids.

William Burnett
Oak Harbor


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