December 30, 2007

Teachers' raises set two years ago

In a Dec. 21 article regarding Superintendent Kevin M. Maxwell's recommended fiscal year 2009 operating budget, Del. Steve Schuh questioned the need to honor negotiated 6 percent cost-of-living adjustments in pay for teachers and principals.

The delegate questioned "the wisdom of negotiating 6 percent pay hikes at a time when the economy is slowing down ..."

As a matter of clarification, the COLA [cost of living adjustment] request contained in the superintendent's recommended FY 2009 operating budget is not being currently negotiated.

It was negotiated by the Board of Education two years ago. As the county executive has maintained both last year and again this year, in difficult fiscal times, "It's important that we prioritize classroom instruction."

The teachers in our classrooms is where the rubber meets the road in education.

They deserve our full support.

Robert C. Leib

The writer is special assistant for BRAC and education for the office of County Executive John R. Leopold.

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