Archive for Thursday, June 7, 2007

Good district signs foster good teachers

June 7, 2007

We're encouraged by a couple of signs from the Baldwin School Board recently regarding teachers, arguably the most valuable asset this district is blessed with.

On Tuesday, the negotiating teams from the board and the teachers came to a tentative agreement on a contract for next year which includes a well-deserved and needed raise for the teachers. We feel the teachers have been very patient, especially in light of the $300,000 shortfall discovered last year in the district coffers that caused wide-spread problems and lots of belt tightening.

That was not only needed, but a necessity -- an unfortunate fact of life left by the previous administration. There was no money, for anything.

But, since Paul Dorathy took over as superintendent, the district has slowly, but surely dug its way out of the hole. The signs are encouraging.

That's why its time to reward those teachers who have been patient and understanding that there just wasn't any money for raises last year.

We can't skimp on teacher salaries. They are who make a difference in our children's lives regarding education.

The other move by the board that we applaud is the creation of a committee whose focus is on teacher retention. What can be done to make that happen, at least for the many good and some outstanding teachers we have?

Let's find out. Let's make it happen.

We lost one of the very best teachers the Baldwin district has this year to a bigger school district. Was it just money that made this teacher leave? Absolutely not. It was other issues and those need to be addressed.

That's where we see this new committee making a difference for the school district. An independent view of the various factors that influence teachers to stay or go is necessary, just as much as the much-needed raises.

What this committee will find or recommend, we don't know. We're interested to see what they learn. We hope that a major emphasis for the committee will be interviewing teachers, even one-on-one, to find out what is and isn't good about our district and what can be done to make it better. That helps everyone.

We need to make sure our teachers are as happy in their workplace as possible. That translates into good teaching for what's most important of all -- the children. All of them.

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