Teacher’s Union Survey Results
Complete with attention-grabbing charts, the Our Town article describes the results of a survey conducted by the local teachers’ union here in Silverton. The survey found that the teachers are so unhappy at their jobs that almost a quarter of them are seriously thinking about leaving before the end of the school year! Some 18% of our teachers stated they have been actively pursuing other career opportunities. They’ve been getting yelled at over mask mandates; they don’t have the teaching tools and resources they need; they haven’t had a pay raise in years; and they’ve got student loans to pay off! And meanwhile, they’re teaching in very old buildings that require serious renovation.
Feedback from a Local Teacher
I wanted to get additional perspective on my ideas about school funding; so I asked a local teacher to evaluate my earlier post. The feedback I received is so well-stated and specific, it deserves to simply be reported to you just as I received it. This teacher told me:
There is money that is earmarked and not available where it is needed. Teachers are one piece of the pie. What about supplies, assistants, and facilities. So many of our Oregon public schools are in buildings that are nearly 100 years old. Teacher burnout has been a thing for a long time and certainly looking at union busting, long hours and community perception all make teaching an undesirable career path. Furthermore even our own high school has many programs to further students career interests. But they do not have child development or any such path for teacher education or human services beyond healthcare. My favorite statement that you made was that we cannot just fund more of the same, we have to use the funding for a quality system. The Band-Aids that we put on our broken education system do not make a lasting difference. We need to look at deeper changes that take a huge endeavor of planning and funding and then an even bigger endeavor of implementation.
Deeper changes, ladies and gentlemen. Deeper changes are required. It’s imperative that we improve Oregon’s public education system. We all depend upon it: not just today’s students, but also tomorrow’s citizens. Let’s educate the people who will be caring for us when we’re in hospitals and extended care facilities. Let’s educate our neighbors and friends. Let’s bring quality education to Oregon; and let’s reward the staff who make it all possible.