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Jan. 31, 1997

By Mac McKinnon

Restructure pay scale

to reward good teachers

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I recently attended a conference in Dallas for the Texas Press
Association. Part of that conference involved a trade show where the
latest equipment for newspaper work is on display by manufacturers and
dealers, and various groups have their lobbyists present to give
information to the press about their situation.

People were there from the prison system to tout products now being
made by prisoners, power companies had people to protest the possibility
of people being able to choose their power provider, and the list goes
on and on.

There was also a representative of the Texas State Teachers Association
with whom I got involved in a number of lively discussions.

I'm rather opinionated on education, and TSTA members also have some
strong positions on education. We really weren't that far apart of most
of our opinions. One of the best discussions involved teacher pay.

In the past many teachers have expressed the view that I am against
them. Nothing could be further from the truth. I really value teachers,
but that doesn't mean I agree with everything they do, just as I'm sure
they don't agree with everything I do and say.

I believe a lively dialogue is the way to expand thinking on various
subjects. I've always believed that teachers don't have enough support
from parents. Without that, a teacher can't get much done. With that
support, the sky is the limit.

One of my main topics with the TSTA rep was teacher pay. She of course
believes more pay is needed for teachers. I'm not opposed to that. But
my belief is that teachers should get rewarded as time goes along and
the top pay should be much higher than it is.

As the pay scale now exists, teachers start out straight out of college
at a higher rate than for any profession I know. I don't believe it is a
good idea for people to go into a profession strictly for pay although
that has to be a consideration.

Any and all professions demand dedication in order for a person to be
good at what they are doing. The true professionals in any line of work
have to pay their dues. And when the dues are paid, the pay should be in

I'm not sure teacher pay can be restructured so that starting teachers
don't get as much and those who have been in the business longer can get
that extra pay. But that's how it should be done.

I also believe many administrators are overpaid because of state
guidelines. It is obvious that a superintendent or principals of a small
school shouldn't get near as much as those of larger schools. There is a
great disparity in this pay category.

It would be nice for career teachers to be able to stay in the
classroom and be able to reap the financial rewards without having to go
into administration in order to make more money.

But, that's the way things are now. Obviously, there will never be
enough money available to pay most teachers what they are worth, but
that's true in many fields.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Mac McKinnon is editor and publisher of the Pecos
Enterprise. His column appears on Friday.


Anti-abortionists go step too far

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The campaign of violence against abortion clinics was cranked up a
notch last week. In suburban Atlanta, at least seven people were hurt
when the second of two bombs exploded, a terrorist action apparently
designed to cause the maximum number of deaths and injuries.

It's possible - but at this stage it is unlikely - that the timing of
the second explosion was a mistake; that the device was supposed to
explode earlier.

More likely it was a callous and murderous attempt to claim as many
lives as possible - not of those working at the clinic, or visiting the
clinic, but of firefighters and law enforcement officers.

How despicable of the bombers to take aim at those whose goal is to
help and protect others. And how hypocritical it would be if this
atrocity was carried out in the name of opposition to legal abortion.
But that has always been the Achilles heel of the radical
-- The Blade of Toledo, Ohio
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Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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