Letter: Kansas teachers need more help

In this file photo, teacher Diego Marquez, right, is pictured in a Topeka USD 501 classroom. (File photo/The Capital-Journal)

As I understand it, teachers in the metro areas of Kansas normally have between 20 to 30 students in their elementary school classrooms. The average teacher’s salary is in the $40,000 to $50,000 range.

I have also heard that, including state, federal and local taxes, our Kansas students are each supported at about $13,000 per year. If one does the simple math and takes 20 students times $13,000 per year, that means this teacher’s class costs the state $260,000. For 30 students, it would be $390,000. Granted, the school system has to pay a teacher’s salary plus a part of Social Security, health insurance and KPERS, so let’s say the average teacher’s pay is about $50,000. If we divide $260,000 by $50,000, we see that the average teacher of 20 students gets only one-fifth – or for teachers of 30 students, one-eighth – of the money that those students are supposed to be given. Something does not sound right for a teacher who spends 40 to 50 hours per week either teaching, supervising, preparing class plans or grading papers to get only one-fifth or one-eighth of the tax money we provide for the teaching of our children.

I would think a teacher should get close to half of the money we provide for our students. Yes, I know there are building costs, maintenance, principals and superintendents to pay too, but somehow $210,000 or $340,000 for each classroom for those items seems excessive to me. I think the school system needs to explain this to us, especially since they are demanding more tax money from us this year.

GARY GRIMES, Tonganoxie



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