Comment history

Tuition decision reversed

This continues my previous comment. Guess I ramble . . .

I 100% agree with you about separating kids according to ability in the education system. It would be great if kids who are college material could follow that educational path while those who aren’t follow a vocational path. The problem is that plan would invariably conjure up nasty social, racial, and economic discrimination issues, something that is acceptable in other countries - not in the United States. I don’t know why you insist on blaming teachers for what Washington does. Public schools are at the mercy of bureaucracy.

One more note – I work in a technical field that requires me to have 10 hours of continuing education every two years in order to keep my certification from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. I have an Associate’s degree and earn more than a Tongie teacher with 20 years of experience and a Master’s degree. I just completed my continuing ed. hours and not only did my employer pay my expenses, they also paid me to attend training. Too bad teachers can’t get the same deal that wastewater treatment plant operators get!

May 14, 2010 at 8:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Tuition decision reversed

It’s true that teachers get raises for years of service – usually. However, you are mistaken when you say they automatically get raises each year. For this school year and next school year the board of education has frozen wages. No raises for years of service. None. The only way for teachers to get raises is if they earn 10 college hours. That means my buddy who just earned his Master’s degree did get a raise - $950 for his $10,000+ investment. He does have his summers free again which is good because he is working a second job this summer. He tells me that nearly every teacher he knows works a second job.

You are dead wrong when you say teachers only work 9 months of the year and you insult those in the education field when you say that. When you look at the time teachers put in from an hourly standpoint (assuming a 40 hour week), they actually work closer to 13 months! And you are wrong when you say “If a teacher is spending their own money then they are outside the approved curriculum, it is for personal satisfaction. They have received their reward.” My nephew’s teacher (not in Tongie) had to buy her own copy paper last year because the district ran out of paper – and money. Where’s the reward in that?

You can find the salary schedule for Tongie teachers on the school’s website at

As for our superintendent. He doesn’t have a Doctorate degree like many of the other superintendents whose wages you reported. Nor is he as experienced as many of them. A Tongie teacher with the same years of experience and level of education as Mr. Hayden would make about $46,000 a year according to the salary schedule. Far below the “average” you quoted. In addition, Ms. Phillips is not an assistant superintendent. She, according to the Mirror, is the “director of educational programs and student services” whatever that is. Rather ambiguous title don’t you think? You think the teacher’s union knew about the raise for Ms. Phillips. According to my source, the union has never been involved in deciding administrative pay. They find out at the same time everyone else does – when it comes out in the paper. I guess I just don’t understand how and why you think so highly of these two people and so little of teachers.

May 14, 2010 at 7:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Tuition decision reversed

Teachers spend way more than 40 hours a week working to educate students. They spend time after school, in the evening, and weekends working on lesson plans and grading assignments. They spend their own money to buy things for their classrooms and students. And do you honestly believe teachers get to spend their summers goofing off? Teachers get to spend their summers continuing their education at their own expense. No company to reimburse them for their expenses. I personally know a teacher with the Tonganoxie district who has been an educator for nearly 15 years. He just completed his Master’s degree at his own expense and during his “summer vacations.” That’s what teachers do – they work to improve their own education so that they are better prepared and qualified to teach students. And his pay? Less than $44,000 a year. A person working in a non-education field would make at least twice that with a Master’s degree and, if you count up hours worked, would work a comparable number of hours. That person would also most likely be reimbursed for at least a portion of his education. Having said that, those that understand teachers know that they choose to do what they do because they love teaching.

You are right in that “not every child is an "A" student.” However, saying that education is the responsibility of the parents is unrealistic as well. Most parents trust that they send their children to school to get the best education possible. That is the responsibility of those trained to provide that education. Don’t blame teachers and school districts for what those in Washington decide.

What started this whole line of discussion is that the school board gave one administrator a $14,000 raise for 5 more days of work. The teacher I know hasn’t gotten a $14,000 raise over his entire teaching career! In this difficult financial atmosphere, teachers are taking on more responsibilities but without additional pay. Administrators should as well.

May 13, 2010 at 10:48 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Tuition decision reversed

Superintendent Hayden and our school board gives Ms. Phillips a $14,000 raise for FIVE MORE DAYS OF WORK while NOT giving raises to teachers for the SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR, while eliminating paras who have DIRECT DAILY CONTACT with students, while eliminating coaching and other positions, while adding responsibilities to staff who are left, and while eliminating summer school for middle and high school! The middle school has to share a nurse with the high school and a librarian with the elementary. Parents are forced to pay even more in fees. What are they thinking! Sounds like we need to clean house come the next election. In fact, sounds like we need to clean out ALL of the current administrators as well! Very poor decisions all around.

May 12, 2010 at 5:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

New fees coming in 2010-11

Check out the cuts planned for next year. Go to the district’s website, look at the Supplemental Contracts link. You’ll see the district, led by Mr. Hayden, plans to cut nearly all of the assistant/B team coaches at the middle school leaving only one coach per grade, per team. They’re doing this while keeping FIVE high school football coaches, THREE high school coaches each for golf, girls and boys basketball, soccer, softball, baseball, cross country, volleyball, and wrestling, and SIX track coaches! They’ll also put a cut policy in place. So, the middle student who maybe matures a little later may not get the chance to play a sport, be a part of a team. Getting cut from a team in middle school may prevent a talented future athlete from trying to be a part of a team in high school. For some students athletics is a great motivator that helps them be more successful. Not only that, but most of the middle school coaches are also teachers. Not so at the high school. Therefore, not only will teachers not get a raise for the second year in a row, but many will actually see a cut in pay because they will lose their coaching pay. Sad, really sad.

April 20, 2010 at 9:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Board approves fee increases

Outrageous! The school board has no problem increasing parent fees for a “free” public education, making parents pay to have their kids ride the bus, cutting down on the number of teachers, and firing local people who work for the district. Then they turn around and hire ANOTHER administrator?! I say again. Outrageous!

May 17, 2009 at 2:09 p.m. ( | suggest removal )