Teachers not getting equal chance for pay

Published 2:43 pm Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dear Editor,

The comments I made at the Shelby County School Board meeting (“Board of Education opens line of credit”) regarded teachers who also are paid supplemental pay for extracurricular activities and also are provided special assignments outside the classroom during the instructional day.

By state and local policy, extra curricular activities may not be conducted during the instructional day. The instructional day is first through last period.

My point is that reduced teaching loads through special assignment periods instead of academic courses appear to be assigned to only certain teachers, primarily coaches.

Coaches also receive paid supplements for their after school extracurricular duties.

The Board does not hire coaches or sponsors for extracurricular activities. All of these (athletics, band, yearbook, drama, academic teams, etc.) are covered through an appointment by the school principal.

The Board pays supplements for these after school activities. It is designed to supplement a teacher’s daily rate of pay. Their salary is for teaching classes related to our adopted curriculum.

On a seven-period schedule, a teacher receives one-seventh of his/her daily rate of pay for every special assignment class.

Special assignment periods should be essential to the school and fair to all teachers.

From data provided to the state on all teacher assignments, I feel the abundance of special assignments hurts maximum staff utilization and robs our budget.

It can either force the hiring of additional teachers or overload classes of existing teachers.

Professional teachers should be teaching academic classes, rather than assigning a science teacher to keep lunch room or conduct an elective academic or non-academic course out of his/her field.

At the board meeting, I did not say 240 teachers received extra pay for supervising lunchrooms.

I said 242 teachers had “special assignment” classes during the year. I emphasized that teachers receiving special assignment periods translates to these professionals teaching fewer academic classes.

Special assignment periods do not appear to be openly offered equally to all teachers, but rather assigned to teachers who happen to also be involved with certain extra curricular activities.