In what universe should a high school teacher earn 50 percent more than a K-8 teacher?
The facts presented in the front-page article in last week's Voice, "MVLA teachers are best paid in state," highlight that average, lowest and highest salaries in the Mountain View-Los Altos High School District are about 50 percent higher than those of the Mountain View Whisman School District and the Los Altos School District.
Why such a disparity? A high school teacher does not work 50 percent more time than a K-8 teacher. Nor does a high school teacher have more experience or longevity, as stated in the article: "It appears that in terms of teacher experience and longevity with a district, MVLA is only comparable, rather than noticeably higher."
Salaries suggest that we value a high school educator 50 percent more than we do a K-8 educator. MLVA's Superintendent Barry Groves states that teacher quality is the chief issue. Can we get the highest quality of K-8 teachers by exploiting the K-8 teacher salary conditions?
Other reasons cited for MLVA teachers being the best paid in the state include cost of living as a factor. Don't K-8 teachers in the same geographic area face the same cost of living/commute tradeoffs? Joe White, MVLA's associate superintendent of business, also suggests that many teachers commute from other areas to work here, which negates the cost-of-living argument.
We may not know why such a discrepancy occurs between high school teachers and those of K-8 servicing the same community. But we the taxpayers, parents, teachers and administrators responsible for this should justify this great discrepancy and/or rectify it.
Blue Lake Square
The times we're in (2010)
We've been through boom.
We've been through bust.
We need to know: who can we trust?
The congressmen have sold their souls
to Bankers with their big bankrolls.
Tea-baggers rant, spew Republican cant
To block all change they shriek and chant.
If the people can't win this influence battle
We're up the creek without a paddle.