HomeHaddonfield NewsIn our opinion: raises for teachers finally getting back where they should...

In our opinion: raises for teachers finally getting back where they should be

Teachers are the backbone of a school. They are the people who shape our children’s education, who help guide them through their formative years to bigger and better things.

A school, or school district, is only as good as its teachers. Shiny buildings, the latest technology, extra-curricular offerings, a forward-thinking administration and a supportive community would be meaningless without good teachers.

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Good teachers are the reason why our school district is high performing, which, in turn, is why families move to our town.

Good teachers are the reason for success at the next level, too. New Jersey universities scored high in recent national and regional rankings, and their teachers are a main reason. Princeton University was named the №1 university in the nation, according to the U.S. News & World Report. In the North Regional rankings, the College of New Jersey was №5, Rider University and Rowan University tied for №18, and Rutgers University-Camden was №24.

Because of their value, teachers deserve to be treated well. They deserve to be thanked. They deserve that apple the kids bring them. They deserve to be recognized and honored.

They deserve to be paid fairly, and that’s exactly what is happening lately.

The New Jersey School Boards Association recently reported that the decline in pay raises is leveling off. For settled contracts as of last spring, the average pay increase for teachers was 2.25 percent. That’s slightly less than the 2.37 percent average increase for the 2012–2013 school year and a lot less than the 4.5 percent average of five years ago, but it’s still solid and much higher than the historic lows of the last few years.

It’s good to see the teachers get what they deserve. They deserve raises higher than the current 1.4 percent cost-of-living increase. They deserve to be taken care of, as long as it’s not out of whack with the rest of the working world.

It’s unfortunate that people and health benefits are one of the biggest costs of running our local school district, and therefore, are one of the biggest drivers of increased taxes.

But that’s not their fault. Teachers can’t be punished for that, and more importantly, our children can’t be punished for that. We need good teachers.


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