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Students are the big losers in Dixon strike

Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

First, I pay my fair share of school taxes, currently have six students from my family in the school system, and have lived most of my 69 years in the school district, which doesn’t make me a expert on anything.

I think it’s crazy to hire two Chicago lawyers at $250 an hour from the time they leave Chicago to negotiate this school contract.

Rather, couldn’t we find local people with a vested interest in our school system? There must be a few more Carolyn Brechons out there with brains and common sense.

I also don’t blame Mr. Juenger and other administrators for their huge salaries. The Dixon School Board voted to give them the money (an unpaid board, by the way).

Teachers numbers are cut back, more students per classroom, less supplies, etc. Why aren’t administrative positions being cut? A salary of $200,000 and a 6 percent raise for each of 4 years in today’s economy? Is there some reason the board can’t say no to renewing some of those administrators’ contracts? Why can’t we promote local people instead of importing an “expert”?

Regarding teachers and their tenure, just because people have taught for years doesn’t mean they are better teachers every year. I liken them to athletes who may get better until they are 35 or 40, then lose some skills.

There has to be a better way to award excellence and evaluate teachers’ worth than step raises. Math, English and science teachers should be paid more than P.E. and driver’s ed teachers.

Yes, I realize a union is important to bargain for benefits and protect jobs, but the union needs to see that teachers are not all the same. There has to be pay differentials and accountability.

Ultimately, the kids lose on this strike, regardless of who’s to blame.

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