I have been reading and watching the debates about education in Maine (“Teacher evaluation reform not just about federal money,” May 16). Some of the ideas sound good. The flaw is, where is the money going to come from?

Evaluating teachers, done fairly to determine who is doing a good job, does make sense. Charter schools do have to be looked at, but carefully. They could compete with local schools for funding.

The irony of home schooling is that teachers in public schools must have certain credentials to teach and pass a background check. What guidelines are in place to make certain home-schooled children also receive competent teaching?

As a teacher, merit pay sounds great, but after seeing all the budget struggles, I don’t see it happening.

Teachers who are doing a good job are still being asked to take pay cuts and freezes and to pay more for health insurance.

Where would this money come from? The towns don’t have it, and even if they did, they are unwilling to spend it on a bunch of uppity teachers who the town believes consider themselves better than everyone else. We are told how good we have it even though three months out of the year we don’t get paid and have to pay out for insurance to cover that time.

To those of you who are about to rebut that, teachers who want to receive pay during the time off have to put away part of their checks to cover for those vacations.

Our hourly rate after that and insurance, taxes (we pay them too) and retirement isn’t much above minimum. This is for a job that requires a college education, a criminal background check and also continuing education just to keep the job.

We all have to work together. Your education and mine was paid for by other people, and it is now our turn.


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