Teachers paid too much? Let's subtract!

September 30, 2004

Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to the letter written by Mr. Matthew Hollins. I want to bring to light what a new teacher can afford on a their meager salary.

Mr. Hollins, if you researched the starting salary for new teachers of Kentucky, I am sure you are aware that they are paid $28,304 (Lexington Herald-Leader). Assume we have a family of one teacher and one self-employed construction worker (same salary), with a young child just starting out with a "gross" income of $56,608.

Now, 15 percent of that disappears straight back to the teacher's employer in taxes, and under the new plan around $390 will be deducted for family health coverage; not to mention the 20 percent of the bill they pay each visit. We have now left this family with about $44,138.80. Since this teacher is working to educate your child, their child must be sent to day care at a cost of $600 a month. Their net income is down to $36,938.80. Surely, you would disagree that "everything is being handed to them," if we allowed them each a car and insurance to get to work. They are now down to $30,938.80.


Now the teacher's husband became ill and was required to use their health plan. They met their maximal out of pocket expenses of $4,500. We are now down to $26,438.80, which leaves them $72 a day. This young couple can now use their $72 to indulge in such luxuries as housing, clothing, food, electricity, water, garbage pickup, air conditioning, gasoline, and yes, maybe even cable television.

I agree with you Mr. Hollins: If I had the responsibility of educating the future of America and this was my family budget, I would not cry. I would have a temper tantrum and then find an employer who values my worth! Mr. Hollins you claim teachers are paid too much. The only teacher you had that was paid too much appears to be your math teacher.

Our communities must support our teachers. The new health plan is a pay cut to our teachers, and not one they can afford.

Eric Guerrant


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