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Saturday, May 8, 2021

Why a 20 year teacher got a 15 year pin

For teacher appreciation week and more on that later, the district handed out pins with years of service in 5-year increments on them. This is my 20th year as a teacher, and yet I received a 15 yer pin. You would think it wouldn't matter so much, but it was really a reminder of how little the district appreciates teachers, especially veteran ones.

In 2010, superintendent PrattDannals declared a financial emergency, and the district skipped giving step raises; the district did the same thing this past year for the entire district but then later and again for veteran teachers gave them out and called them raises. 

In 2010 it was later discovered the district had something like 186 million in reserves when the financial emergency was declared, and Pratt Dannals was eventually fired. You would have thought the step raises would have been reinstated, but you would think wrong.

Back then, the step raises weren't all that great, but if you were around year 15 or sixteen, you got the big bump, something like 5k, and I remember talking to a teacher in tears because they didn't get it. 

So, where I have 20 years of service, I am only on step 19, and thus I got a 15-year pin. 

Because of that step loss, some back of the napkin math tells me I am out about 9k (though if teachers were still being paid the same as they were on my first contract in 2000, I am out a lot more). There are 1400 or so teachers on professional contracts, which means we are collectively out millions, but hey, here is a pin and a reminder of what you lost. 

I would say suddenly I don't feel that appreciated, but that's been the district's way for a long, long time.

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