Letters to the Editor

Tacoma teachers: Pay them fairly by being adaptable

This former Tacoma School Board member remembers well what it is like to tell teachers “no.” It has had a way of resonating within me over time.

It’s good to reflect and learn from the past. I’ve learned you can make changes as needed. You can eliminate administrators if you want to. You can change your budget to pay for teachers in the coming years.

You can eliminate testing, data collecting and data sharing. Yes, you can even change your goals without looking horrible doing it.

Board members, you can switch gears. It’s a lot like building the plane while you are flying it. If you are worried about saving face, you might want to start with making teachers a priority. You may want to give them the competitive pay they deserve.

Tacoma will receive $14,381 total state and local funds per student for the 2018-2019 school year. That’s $1,806 more per student than last year.

Tacoma’s budget is increasing, and the district should be prepared to make adjustments and appropriately compensate teachers. If it looks like you can’t possibly pay teachers what they deserve, then you haven’t done your job to make it so.

(Golding was on the Tacoma School Board during the 2011 teachers strike.)