Central Cambria should back teachers

I appreciate that the Central Cambria School Board has not voted to raise taxes in the past several years.

No one likes to pay taxes. However, I want to make sure my tax dollars are not just sitting in a bank collecting interest.

Our teachers have asked for competitive wages and health care. Those are commodities we should all fight for, no matter our profession.

During a school board meeting last week, the Central Cambria School Board members painted a picture that school finances are skyrocketing, particularly when it comes to teacher salaries, health care and pensions.

Here’s what they did not share:

– Teachers agreed to terms in their previous contract that actually lowered health care.

– The state reimburses the school district 51 percent of its pension costs.

– Why some administrators received hefty raises.

Superintendent Jason Moore says he wants to be transparent, but he is not telling the taxpayers the true amount of money the district is hoarding.

Perhaps the board is saving it for a rainy day.

Since 2012, Central Cambria has seen a teacher turnover rate of more than 60 percent. Some left for better pay; others left the profession due to the work environment.

I’m starting to feel some rain drops.

Many taxpayers get upset when teachers ask for a raise, but few question the amount we pay superintendents. Let’s demand more from them.

The board was never transparent about what happened to our previous superintendent.

Let’s stop blaming teachers. It is such an unhealthy attitude. Public education is a community responsibility, and I proudly support Central Cambria teachers. It’s not an easy job.

When questioned about the current contract negotiations, board President Dennis Simmers said they have money to pay the teachers. And they can do it without raising our taxes.

My child has had a wonderful experience at Central Cambria, but under the current climate, I fear many of those talented teachers will seek other opportunities.

When that happens, we all lose.

Chris Miller

Ebensburg

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