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January 27, 2015

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Two generations of teachers say enough is enough


Steve Marcus

Geoff Walker, an English teacher and assistant football coach at Foothill High School, and his wife, Shelby Walker, a geography teacher at Mannion Middle School, stand outside their home in Henderson Thursday, June 2, 2011.

Teachers - The Walker Family

Geoff Walker, an English teacher and assistant football coach at Foothill High School, looks on as his wife Shelby Walker, a geography teacher at Manion Middle school, plays with twins Colbie, left, and Kenna, 3, at their home in Henderson Thursday, June 2, 2011. Launch slideshow »
Dwight Jones

Dwight Jones

Life in the Walker family revolves around the Clark County School District.

Between retired teachers Bill and Denise, and current teachers Geoff and Shelby, the Walkers have a combined experience of 75 years in the district.

They’ve seen it deal with rapid population growth, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and far-reaching education reforms. With all these tumultuous changes, some are giving up on the district.

The older couple said they had enough and retired early. And the younger couple? They are contemplating not sending their children to Clark County schools -- or maybe moving out of Nevada altogether.

If they stay, this is what the younger couple will have to brace for: The School District faces a record $150 million budget deficit next fiscal year. To bridge the funding gap, officials are seeking concessions from the teachers union: furloughs and pay cuts.

Further, more is expected of teachers under the leadership of new Superintendent Dwight Jones. Teachers are expected to deliver higher test scores and graduation rates under reforms that make student performance a major part of teacher evaluations.

Denise Walker had enough. The 59-year-old Foothill High School English teacher retired this month after 27 years with the School District.

She could have stayed on for 29 years, like her 62-year-old husband Bill Walker, who retired four years ago from Silverado High School. However, with a looming pay cut and increased demands, Denise left the district two years early.

“I just felt worn down by the lack of respect and the way they’re chipping away at our livelihood,” she said. “Teaching has been a really rewarding experience … but I feel it’s my time to go.”

Denise’s 34-year-old son, Geoff, is considering leaving the district as well. The Henderson native is an 11-year English teacher at Foothill High School and an assistant football coach.

Geoff had planned to raise his 3-year-old twin daughters with his wife, Shelby, 32, in the Clark County School District, but with looming pay cuts and education reforms, Geoff is having second thoughts.

“In the back of your mind, you’re thinking, is this the right place to be?” Geoff said. “If it comes to the point where financially, it’s untenable to be here, where we can’t save or make a living, I don’t know what other choice we have.”

Geoff and Shelby are considering moving to the Northwest, where they feel teachers won’t be “under attack.”

“Teacher morale is at an all-time low,” Shelby said. “There’s more and more asked of us, but we have fewer resources, more kids, more standardized tests and curriculum changes.

“We have to do more, but we’re getting paid less.”

Emphasis on testing

When Bill and Denise Walker began teaching here more than three decades ago, Las Vegas was just a quarter of the size it is today. The Northern California transplants moved to the valley, enticed by the prospect of teaching in a growing city.

“There was a flood of teachers at the time in Northern California,” Bill said. “There was no opportunity there so we came down here.”

It was different then. Teachers were given more autonomy with their lesson plans and how they structured the curriculum, Bill said.

“You were told what was in the curriculum, but it was up to you how to teach it and when to teach it,” he said. “Now the measure of a good teacher if whether they can bring home test scores. That wasn’t a factor in the old days.”

The elder Walkers began to see an increased emphasis on testing after the passage of No Child Left Behind in 2001. The law instituted a standards-based education reform, which tied federal education funding to how students performed on state assessments.

This increased accountability for school districts such as Clark County, which had never kept as stringent records on its students and how they performed as they do today. However, all the new record keeping also meant more work for teachers, Denise said.

“We’re at our computers, double-checking attendance, posting weekly lesson plans with standards, tracking grades … it’s a lot of extra work,” said Denise, who in her last year taught English literature to 180 students. “You’re not just teaching all day — you’re bookkeeping. It’s an overwhelming job.”

For Bill, who taught English at several high schools, the passage of No Child Left Behind changed teachers’ relationship with administrators.

“All that matters now is if kids are passing the test or not, and it’s pitted the teachers more than ever against the administration,” Bill said. “Administrators are pressured to bring in test scores and raise graduation rates, and teachers are trying to enrich kids and prepare them for the future … You can hammer that test day in and day out, but nobody’s enriched.”

Under Jones’ new reform proposal, teachers would be evaluated less on seniority and more on their students’ performance on standardized tests. Teachers such as Geoff and Shelby said they generally support new education reforms, they are unsure how this particular change will work.

“There’s a lot of anxiety there. How are you going to evaluate an art teacher versus a science teacher?” said Shelby, a world geography teacher at Mannion Middle School. “You can’t hand a kid a test, and then have our livelihood, our mortgage, our families riding on it.”

“That’s the kind of thing that’s scary to all of us,” Geoff added. “You have absolutely no control what’s going on with these kids.”

Pay cuts

Geoff Walker was drawn to teaching “because it allows you to have a nice family life.” The 1995 Cimarron-Memorial High School graduate grew up watching his father teach English and coach track and field at his alma mater.

“My parents were always there for all the things that I did, and I’d like to do the same for my kids,” Geoff said. “You’re always on the same time with your kids. That was one of the most important things for me” when choosing a profession.

Click to enlarge photo

Geoff Walker, an English teacher and assistant football coach at Foothill High School, looks on as his wife, Shelby Walker, a geography teacher at Mannion Middle School, plays with twins Colbie, left, and Kenna, 3, at their home in Henderson on Thursday, June 2, 2011.

Following in his parents’ footsteps, Geoff started teaching in the School District soon after he graduated from UNLV. He began with a $26,000-a-year salary, but between working more than a decade in the district and getting his master’s degree in education, Geoff is earning about $58,000 annually teaching English to seniors at Foothill High.

Combined with his wife’s salary of about $56,000, the younger Walkers are making a comfortable living. They don’t drive luxury vehicles or splurge on expensive vacations, opting instead on camping trips at nearby national parks.

But like many families in the recession, the Walkers have had to scale back as they pay down their mortgage on a $225,000 Anthem home they bought through foreclosure in 2008. Their monthly mortgage payment is $1,800.

The Walkers’ twins, Colbie and Kenna, were born four months premature, and although the teachers’ health trust saved the family from bankruptcy, they are still shelling out thousands of dollars in doctors visits and procedures for their children’s residual health issues.

“They shouldn’t be alive, but they are,” Geoff said. “We shelled out $10,000 last year in co-pays for medical expenses. If you’ve got little kids, they get sick and if you’ve got twins who were born premature, they get even more sick.”

Next year, the Walkers want to send their daughters to preschool, which costs $1,300 a month for both children. “It’s almost like a second mortgage payment to put your two kids in preschool,” Geoff said.

This summer, the School District plans to negotiate with the teachers union for concessions to plug the $150 million budget hole. The concessions might include a combination of freezing step increases, establishing furlough days and having employees pay more for their retirement. If an agreement isn’t reached, 800 district positions could be in jeopardy, officials said.

Click to enlarge photo

Geoff Walker, an English teacher and assistant football coach at Foothill High School, and his wife, Shelby Walker, a geography teacher at Mannion Middle School, at their home in Henderson on Thursday, June 2, 2011.

It’s the worst financial situation Bill and Denise Walker have seen for teachers in Southern Nevada, they said.

“We didn’t have to worry about missing out on our step increases,” Denise said. “We got what we were promised. Now the district is reneging on those promises for longevity pay, step increases and increases for advanced degrees. They have chipped away at all those negotiable elements of our contract.”

The younger Walkers are feeling the financial squeeze. They are looking at household budget cuts of about $700 a month next year, they said.

“We didn’t get into this profession to make a mint,” Shelby said. “We knew we would have a modest salary, quality health care and a decent retirement plan, but now all three entities are under attack.

“For the first time in my career, I’ve thought of what else would I want to do,” she said. “I love my job and it’s not that I want to do anything else, but I feel as if there may come a point financially where I have to look for another job.”

The younger Walkers are also considering moving to Oregon, where they hope to find stable teaching positions. Moving out of state is an option other teachers are thinking about as well, Geoff said.

“If you make it to the point where it’s sort of unlivable to be here, what sort of person is going to be in the room teaching your kids?” he said, explaining his worries about the future of his profession. “Who’s beating down the door to get in?”

Seeing his son — whom he raised in Clark County — move out of state would be bittersweet, Bill said, adding he would miss his grandchildren.

“It makes me sad,” he said. “I hope he doesn’t leave but I understand that people have to do what they have to do.”

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  1. I am all too familiar with the problems that CCSD employees are going through. I live with one. And while I agree that teachers universally never get paid as much as they should, am I supposed to feel bad about a couple who make over 100k combined? Get real.

  2. Put the money in the classroom. Teachers have been taking it in the shorts for a long time. When more than half the CCSD employees are support staff you have a major problem. Cut 50% of the admin. and pay the teachers.

  3. Cry me a river! 140,000 Nevadans have had their paychecks slashed or cut off completely and I'm supposed to shed a tear about government employees getting laid off? No way! The state should get out of the "education" business altogether and make way for private enterprise. They'd be more efficient and would give parents the opportunity to select a school they believed would do the best job in educating their children. No more "indoctrinating" instead of "educating." It would also end the power bureaucratic drones now hold over the "education" of American children and we have all seen just how "great" a job they have been doing over the past 5 decades.

  4. This is the tip of the iceberg. As soon as the contract talks are finished, there may be a mass exodus of experienced teachers as they leave Nevada seeking better opportunities. If the exodus happens, it will be very difficult to recruit new teachers, resulting in many classes with long term subs in the classrooms.

    Very few people realize it, but No Child Left Behind requires that all children will be proficient by 2014. How do you set up a program to evalute teachers when a percentage of their students don't care about school? How do you change a culture that doesn't value education?

    Look at the report in this paper today about Nevada's ranking in a CNBC poll. We are near the bottom in which states are friendly to business. Look at what is happening with the Plaze job fair. Thousands are applying for 800 jobs.

    @LVfacts101. How do you propose to turn education over to private enterprise? Kids don't do work when they are in school, so how do you expect them to do work on a computer?

  5. My father retired teacher for a small private school, didnt make near the salary current teachers make. He painted houses and did landscaping in the summer, and had a small evening janitor job in the evenings (year round).

  6. "Summers off"...
    Ha ha ha ha ha!!!
    Hey, Ref, I'll wager that a classroom teacher works at least the norm of 2080 hours per-year that an 8 hour a day, 52 week per-year "standard" employee does.
    Poor FINK, the man has NO CLUE. It's like the Sun's Daily Humor...

    And the only thing that the majority of Sun commenter's will take from the article is that "they're complaining about MONEY?!?!"

    This is why a good education is SO IMPORTANT.
    Reading comprehension, along the journey of life, is an invaluable resource.

    Testing, testing, testing, and MORE TESTING!...
    And furthermore, having Teachers administer the tests and prepare for the tests and evaluate tests and BE PAID on the results of testing is making a lot of teachers VERY TESTY...
    and rightly so.

  7. Hey Juan...
    You might want to check your "facts" before posting your comments;


  8. You know, as I spent almost 3 weeks at the legislature this session and watched as the unions hauled kids in and out, made their commercials, as I watched all the dribble about the cuts in education, not once, never, did I see any teacher or teacher organization stand up and say, "we think that "no child left behind sucks", that I work beside a person that is a lousy teacher, that we have too much in administration that does nothing, that if you would let us, we can teach, that instead of adding, we can go back to the basics and get these kids educated." Not once. I have always been of the opinion that somewhere, sometime, these individuals would stand up, but they can't, they even prefer to place a blame on others, NOT the union. I am tired of the saying "it is for or about the kids", it is not, it is about power. Teachers, take a stand, we are behind you, tell your unions to get real, quit protecting bad behavior, quit promoting bad behavior. Click on the State of Nevada School Districts and read. Ask your self why out of a possible 10, Clark County is a 5 and Douglas County is a 9? You see, we can fix this right here in our own state...we really can.

  9. LVFacts, the issue is not that we can't all sacrifice. The issue is WHO is sacrificing. Where I teach, at CSN, I will take a five percent (approximately) pay cut. Fine. I CAN afford it. But administrative assistants can't, and some of them I know are going on welfare programs WHILE they work for the state. Others who can afford to give up far more are taking only five percent, if that. Furthermore, consider the issue of teaching: we want kids to know more, so we create standardized tests to evaluate BOTH them and their teachers? Great. Now we'll have kids who know how to take tests. Will they know how to deal with everyday life?

  10. I feel badly for any person who agrees to talk to the LV Sun, or any Nevada newspaper, about their experience as an educator in this state. They are setting themselves up for ridicule and hostility from bitter commenters who have no clue what they are talking about, but enjoy bashing education and educators so much, it doesn't matter. And for its part, I truly hope the Sun does due diligence by forewarning any educator that agrees to speak with them that they will be publicly skewered by readers, and that Sun staff won't care enough to monitor the comments.

  11. 1. There are people who CANNOT learn math, no even the simplest Algebra. They reject it for a wide number of reasons. I have tried to remove those reasons but it is not possible. Math is ONLY logic, but many cannot handle logic. Why blame the teachers?

    2. There are many children who don't have a home environment in which to learn: no peace, no quiet, poor meals and useless parents. Why blame the teachers?

    3. There are those who are told at home that science is bad. Their parents teach them that scientists make bad decisions because they don't ask God for guidance. The Church has fought the use of logic over belief since it was created. Why blame the teachers for parental destruction of education?

    4. Education is not emphasized at home. Instead, sports, guns, games and video games galore form the overwhelming time consumers at home. Commercial interruptions abound; no continuous concentration time is found.

    5. Distraction is at an all time high. Blue tooth, iPods, video encounters on laptops in between lessons - interruption and distraction destroy any lesson plan. Why blame the teachers?

    The Country is Hyper, cannot concentrate and has lost value systems that should be taught at home and cannot (are not allowed to) be taught at school. Change that first before blaming the innocent.

  12. Math is so simple that most of it, including Calculus through the Bachelor's level in College can be easily learned by reading the book. Teachers aren't necessary. Biology, quantum mechanics and statistical thermodynamics are perhaps one of the few areas that require teaching assistance - but those don't occur in High School. What is all the fuss about?

  13. The median income of all Nevada households is about 50,000$ This undoubtedly includes a great amount of low paying jobs in the service sector. Apparently we want to pay our masters and doctorate educated teachers an hourly wage. It seems odd that all professions are paid an amount commensurate with their education except teachers. If the households of Nevada want to increase their income may I suggest a college degree.

  14. True,however I think you will agree that the service sector jobs greatly outnumber the high paying professional ones. How long will it take Nevada to realize that you get what you Pay for. CNBC ranks us last in education and almost last in attracting new business. All I hear is that more money won't solve the education crisis in this state, how do we know ,we have NEVER tried that approach.

  15. Denali, Maybe the massive amounts of money technique for education hasn't been tried here but it has been tried. I imagine if it worked well we would have heard about it.

    The biggest hurdle to education is the teachers union. But its the TEACHERS UNION so u would think that TEACHERS would handle that problem on their own.

  16. Thank you for an enlightening article Mr. Takahashi. I am not a teacher but I do sympathize with the Walkers and all of Clark County teachers. They have a very difficult job, parents on one side and administrators on the other side while having to focus on how best to teach children the basics. All this for very little pay that is dropping, benefits that are disappearing while having to endure the wrath of those idiots out there that think teachers are in it for the money. This is not the state in which to have a career teaching. Nevada cares nothing about public workers, children or the homeless and Nevada cares nothing about the working class.
    Those right wing tea tards have focused thier hatred on anyone who earns a legitimate living in the public sector all because the Koch Bros, Fox News and Right Wing politicians tell them that only enemies work in the public sector.
    I wish the Walkers luck in persuing their careers in Oregon where the State Government is not so full of haters.

  17. Common sense,the states with the highest funding for education such as New Hampshire and New York also have the highest graduation rate. The exception is DC. I'm not advocating an increase in teacher pay, I think it iis below par,but not by too much. I think an increase in funding to implement innovative programs and to reduce class sizes woul be a good start. As a teacher with 20+ years experience I can say that class sizes does matter. Each year we are expected to do more with less. As for the pay, make no mistake most teachers care a great deal about the job that they do and kids in general,however at the end of the day it's a job,it's how we support our families.

  18. The median income includes ALL workers. Show me the median income for white collar, college educated workers before you all go ranting about how much this family makes...also, in order for the husband to make extra money...he coaches. He works OUTSIDE of the school day to supplement his income.

  19. @RefNV. For a family of 4, 114K is not outlandish. Remember, if the CCSD board has it's way, the pay for all teachers will be reduced by pay cuts, increases in retirement and payment for insurance. Teachers have advanced degrees, in some cases equivalent in time to those earned by doctors, lawyers, or engineers, so why do you not expect to pay them as educated professionals, and why are they not treated with the same respect given to a doctor, lawyer or engineer?

    FYI. "Their" is not the correct word. I believe that the word you wanted to use is "they're" which is a contraction for "they are".

    If you look at the report from CNBC ranking the states on attractiveness to business, Nevada is once again at the bottom. We are ranked last in education in this report.

    What do you want the future of this state to be? Are we going to remain a service state, or are we going to become a state with an economy that can survive the bumps in the road? Are the citizens of Nevada willing to make the hard decisions needed to make those cultural changes. Are we as a state, willing to agree that education is important and hold all parts of society, the parents, the schools, the students, and business responsible for making those changes.

  20. Denali, I would advocate an increase in teachers pay. A good teacher is hard to find and that has been shown in studies to increase student achievement.

    New york and New Hampshire are very expensive places to live. The average income is much higher and the cost of living is much higher. I havent seen any study that took this into account but it seems to be a false study that didn't if all ur talking about is money.

    Also I would like to point out the 100million dollar facility in the south west. Seems to me that money would have been better served paying teachers and buying pencils. If you haven't seen it please do. The auto shop dwarfs every dealership in the area. It also has better equipment.

    Just saying if u are talking cuts i think giving teachers the shaft is looking in the wrong place. Gota save those union construction jobs though right!

  21. Wage and Salary Administration: (Lesson for those who do not have a clue):

    You take a job,
    -list down its duties and responsibilities
    -the educational requirements for it to be done effectively
    -the effects of error the person who holds that job make, to the company, to people, and to the community
    -the availability of qualified people in the market
    -the decision-making skills required
    -the supervisory responsibility required
    -and many other inherent duties.

    Wage and Salary administrators PRICE those elements and give a DOLLAR AMOUNT. That's how a salary comes about. Those are in college courses in Economics, Human Resources Management and Administration, Policy Studies, Business Finance and Administration, COLLEGE AND MBA COURSES.

    The teacher's pay, base on those elements is WAY lower as it should be anywhere in the US except for a few states.

    One of you said, it is too much pay SIMPLY to teach math, science, English, etc. OK - CAN YOU DO IT? Try! You do not simply go in front of children: You have to be prepared to MODEL the skill, to provide guided practice, and to provide independent practice and continuing activities and assignments to ensure mastery. THAT REQUIRES BRAIN POWER, SKILL, AND EXPERIENCE. Not even GATES can do it. CAN YOU? Why don't you try? I did not even include preparation time, grading papers, classroom management, administrative butting-in, know-it-all parents, etc., etc. ad nauseam.

    Compare that to the requirements OF ANY JOB in Las Vegas. Now think about it, if you CAN, think that is.

    UNLESS you have been in a teacher's shoe, DO NOT EVEN attempt to comment. Or, you end up sounding REALLY IGNORANT.

  22. "UNLESS you have been in a teacher's shoe, DO NOT EVEN attempt to comment. Or, you end up sounding REALLY IGNORANT."

    This sadly is the worst comment in the whole section.

  23. The fact that they're even considering spending $1300 a month on PRESCHOOL says that they are making plenty of money. In a family made up of teachers, those kids have plenty of opportunity to learn before they get to kindergarten. BTW, $58,000 is plenty of money for a teacher. My PH.D. wife is an adjunct professor for three different colleges and makes about that money, without any benefits -of course!

  24. Chunky says:

    If the Walkers are in a 30% tax bracket that gives them roughly a take home of about $7,000 mo of which their mortgage is > 25%. Now they want to spend $1,300 month of what is left over after the medical bills for private school.

    These folks need a financial check up from the neck up, a budget and a money make over so they can get debt free sooner rather than later.

    There are tens of thousands of Nevadans who would love to make 1/4 to 1/2 of what they make and there are families in similar circumstances who live on a whole lot less.

    We're not living in the good old days of yester-year anymore; today is the current reality. All of us who still have work are working harder and doing more with less with few exceptions. Suck it up and get on with it!

    If Oregon or any other place is calling your name and you think the grass is any greener in other school systems, go for it! Don't let the door hit you in the rear on the way out; someone else will gladly take your jobs for the same or less money and be thankful for it.

    That's what Chunky thinks!

  25. We are talking about the value of a teacher, and why they are paid the way they are.

    I am not talking about good teachers or bad teachers. I am talking about how jobs get their "price."

    Many parents said, "I won't do your job for a million bucks." These are parents who are in school every day volunteering - who see what we do every day. They see what a really good teacher does - and they are right. Good teachers are worth a million bucks. After all they teach would be doctors, lawyers, congressmen, senators, CEOs, and Presidents.

    Once again, please do not include bad teachers in this category, because THERE ARE BAD teachers, and I support wholeheartedly that they should be fired!

    As usual, you take arguments and apply it to yourselves. Teaching is not for everybody. If you comment how easy it is, why don't you try it. Get at least a four-year teaching degree, take the professional exams to get a license, apply for a job, and do what is expected of a GOOD teacher. Then tell how much YOU should be paid. Tell, after you teach for at least a few weeks, if you agree to be paid what teachers are paid. Until you do that - you have no right to denigrate teachers. Got it?


  26. The money is gone for many reasons, one being that oil companies which make $30 billion/year in profits expect the US Government to subsidize their exploration, and their Lobbyists make good money by being at the doorstep of the Legislators as much as needed. They also want further reductions in their taxes, which will be sent off the to owners, stockholders and investors. They all come first.

    Shock and Awe also made several billionaires, like Erik Prince of Blackwater (now Xe) and the expenses to make billionaires, who don't like paying taxes, went onto the Debt. (Erik, a very devout Christian, is so proud of his company he changed it's name.)

    Conservatives are so worried that the National Debt will "destroy our children's future" that they are attempting to defund the schools to solve the problem. I personally think the Greeks might have taken the right path, as the streets are the last resort...

  27. Nevada has a revenue problem,one that has festered for over 100 years now, thanks to NEVADA LAWMAKERS,"kicking the political can down the road," and NOT effectively addressing meaningful TAX RESTRUCTURING OR REFORM for the MINING, GAMING/CASINO/RESORT, AND BIG BOX STORES, or created a broad business tax.

    Yes, Nevada has grown, from a tiny ranching population state to a gigantic multimillion person state in the last 25 years. But NO changes to fix the way it gets REVENUE/INCOME to run the state.

    And ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION has flooded our state, counties, and communities, and has adversely impacted them economically by ADDED expenses for services. Immigration laws that are on the books have NOT be enforced to balance this at all.

    Now, we have teachers, unions, state workers, ...people, good and bad, not wanting a handout, but to work for a fair living to support themselves and their families. And we have NEVADA LAWMAKERS who have been elected to do a job, and have FAILED both the voting citizens and the innocent children who depend on them to watch out for their care, welfare, and security that is afforded to them through the laws and paid for by STATE revenue/ taxes.


  28. I guess the teachers mentioned in this article themselves do not believe in the school district. They want to send their kids to a private school. What I take from that is they do not believe in our education system, but will collect over 100k a year in salary teaching in it, but will not send there own child there. I feel for them having children with medical conditions, and I pray for them to get better. With that being said, why did they buy a expensive house knowing that their children need special attention. Sounds like they put the house before the children. Very very selfish.

  29. As a state employee who has already endured two years of unpaid monthly furloughs and is on the verge of two more with reduced benefits, doubled health insurance premiums and increased retirement contributions, I find it difficult to be very sympathetic. While I understand and appreciate the plight of the teacher couple (in part because I have already been living it), the fact is that education is the single biggest item in the state budget. To exempt education because it's "for the kids" would have meant that an even larger burden would have been put onto state employees - one that undoubtedly would have thrown my home into foreclosure and probably sent me to another state to find a job I could afford to live on.

  30. StarAli,

    I agree with most of your posts. However, it's not the states job to take care of children. It is the responsibility of the parents to do that!

  31. The majority of the people leaving comments seem to think teachers are just glorified baby sitters.

    Most have no idea how much preparation it takes to actually be a GOOD teacher. In some schools, the majority of children have absolutely zero help at home or come from a household where only the child speaks English. And then we set expectations for teachers to increase test scores or face dismissal. It's actually quite ridiculous.

    Are there some bad apples? Sure. But it's unfair to say that someone who put 8 years into their college education (Bachelor's and Masters) isn't worth the $50,000+ he makes after putting in more than a decade with the school district.

    If teacher's aren't worth the $26,000 starting salaries... who is worth it in their minds? I could easily use the same "logic" as some of these posters to come up with an excuse not to pay someone as high of a salary.

  32. The whole issue here is the one nobody talks How much of what is taught in schools could be done digitally and through use of teleconferencing? Most if not all courses beyond say the 7th grade level.

    Why are young people who are very tech savy, sitting in classrooms listening to teachers when the whole exercise could be done at home? for peanuts to what it costs taxpayers now? Well we know why don't we.

  33. Jerry Fink

    Privatize education? Surely you jest. The so-called geniuses behind various private sectors are largely to blame with the economic downfall in nevada in the first place, and your prposed solution is to privatize more?

    Look no further than the shoddy private health care (i.e., hospital,) market in Vegas to get a glimpse of how well that approach is working out.

    No oversight, and at the end of the day the only thing that matters is profit for the fat cat investors who don't even have any stake in our locality and in some cases even in this nation.

    Slash, slash, slash. Poor quality outcomes. Hiding quality statistics from the government, you the consumer, and from the media.

    Healthcare? Education? meh, let them eat cake!

  34. A combined income of over $100K while working just 180 days a year?

    Suddenly I don't feel so sorry for these poor complaining teachers.

  35. Chunky says:

    Regardless of their tax status and tax rate whether it's $70k or the full $114k it's more than many have. Having a job is more than many have.

    Chunky says the state and Clark County cannot continue to spend more than it has in revenue and the people are already taxed to death with fees, licenses, registrations, surcharges and tariffs; all just another word for taxes.

    If they don't like our school system why don't they home school their kids? Is what they shovel out every day not good enough for their precious little ones or are they admitting that their colleagues are not performing at an acceptable level?

    Please, do us a favor and move on or accept what we have to offer for your profession!

    That's what Chunky thinks!

  36. This article really is a big slap on the face of everyday tax paying Nevadans struggling to raise a family. I mean we are all faced with the same issues and hardships. Struggles of this Walker family is no different than mine or anybody else. What sickens me is we are wasting $114k of tax payers money on these ungrateful public employees who feels they are entitled to more. House in Anthem, private education for their kids.... I mean these folk live better than 80% of the tax payers in this state that are actually contributing to their lifestyle!!

  37. @ Mr_Boston: A slap in the face?? Really? Wow! You are talking about 2 college educated with masters degrees educators, and you think that $114k COMBINED is too much? Ungrateful? NO......I think they want what they deserve!! Have you ever taught? Do you even know what it takes to be an educator? Until you walk for some time in an educator's shoes, ZIP YOUR LIPS!!!!! Did you not read that their house in Anthem was a foreclosure? $225,000 mortgage...Do you think that's extravagant? Private education....Green Valley Lutheran gives the most bang for your buck in terms of preschool. Daycare costs just about the same. Do you expect them to leave their twins at home to fend for themselves while they work? Is it selfish of educators wanting to get their children off to a fabulous start? That school only goes through kindergarten. PLEASE WAKE UP AND QUIT BEING I.G.N.O.R.A.N.T.!!!
    When this state was booming, did you see educators cashing in? No....Just about everyone else did, though! Now that we are in a recession, leave education funding alone!!! Our children and employees do not deserve to suffer when they had absolutely nothing to do with this economic mess. Please, Mr_Boston, think before you speak.

  38. I have a nightmare every night. I see Nevada in 5 years. The higher education system is destroyed, as well as K-12. The K-12 classrooms are filled with 50+ students because CCSD can't hire teachers because no teacher will move to Nevada, and the qualified substitute teachers aren't enough to fill all the vacancies. Schools are closed and standing empty. Crime rates are jumping and the visitation to the strip has dropped to record low levels. No high tech businesses have moved to Nevada and in fact, businesses are leaving because they can't find qualified workers and anybody who is qualified won't come to Nevada. Unemployment is Nevada is triple the national rate, which has dropped as the recovery has taken hold. All along the strip, casinos are closing towers. The long shuttered construction projects are still waiting for completion, and more and more strip malls are empty of stores. The foreclosure rate has doubled as more and more people lose jobs or just walk away. In some blocks, the number of vacant homes outnumber the occupied ones. The population of Las Vegas has dropped by half as people leave to search for jobs. Is it a nightmare or will it become reality? I am afraid that we are well on our way to finding out, and that makes me terrified for this is my home, my children's home and my grandchildren's home. Is this the future you want for your state and city? Because if it is, you are well on your way to getting it, be careful what you wish for, you may get it.

  39. I have a question for all of the posters who think that teaching is a "great gig" with summers off, good pay, etc. If you think that it is such a good deal, have you applied at CCSD? Why not? Don't meet the educational requirements? Go to college and go in debt. Bashing is easy, time to walk the walk, and get in a classroom. Hey, it's easy, give it a try.

  40. Many of the angry trolls that post here personally resent an educated couple making a decent living by dedicating themselves to public education. The anger, jealously, and hostility toward these two professionals and their modest middle class lifestyle, is simply astounding! Discourse in Las Vegas is increasingly dominated by broken,depressed, and hopeless people who realize there is no future for them here. They are made doubly angry because the low-skill/no-skill formula which employed them and formed the basis of the Nevada economy for the last 30 years has collapsed. So they lash out at members of the educated class like this fine couple, who, in any other state, would be considered community treasures. Can you imagine a tech executive or aerospace facility planner reading this piece trying to decide about a new plant location: "Well, if these are the type of families leaving Las Vegas, do I want my employees there ..?" Widespread, blatant resentment of public educators is a significant part of what keeps this state down with a socioeconomic boot on its throat.

  41. Desert Vu Outstanding post!,

  42. Off topic somewhat, but I also have to add, I think it's hilarious and arrogant as well that some of the teacher/govt haters automatically try to sing the praises of the for-profit/private sector and suggest that all govt services are wasteful and should be privatized.

    Yet its somehow ok or logical that when various private companies go under they can treat themselves to a government sponsored bailout.

    Is the dog wagging the tail, or vice versa, and which one is which?

  43. @ Desertvu

    I don't "personally resent an educated couple making a decent living by dedicating themselves to public education." However I have a serious issue with educated couple making a decent living off the tax payers and complaining it's not enough.

  44. A 50k Annual Income is not much for a person that spent at least 6 Yrs to get a Masters degree. At a good University its 25-40k per year. Take the lower amount of 25k and its 150k for the University Education PLUS at least 100k for what they lost by not working for six years. So they begin their job at a 250k deficit compared to someone that quit at the eight grade and took a minimum wage job.

    In the Future. How or Why would anyone go after an Education Degree when they have other options.

    Republicans want to dismantle the Public Education System and advocate a new source of revenue for Wall Street firms. Fire and Police Departments aren't far behind. Get Services based on your ability to pay and profit motives of Wall Street Bankers. Third World America is their goal.

  45. The stink of entitlement in this article is amazing. How many teachers across the country live in one of the nicest areas of their city? When they chose to be teachers they should expect not to be rich, $114K a year as a family, a foreclosure purhcase (profited from anothers misfortune). I just dont feel for these people. Things are tight for my family and I would be embarrassed if the Sun did an article about our dire straights. The civil servants should be ashamed of their entitlement.

  46. Teachers acquired a college degree for a front-line value-creating job. In most organizations, you have visionaries(CEO, president), aligners(vice-president/directors), tactical leads(division/department managers) and value-creators(those who actually create value in an organization). Value-creators achieve the expected outcome(produce a product or provide a service)while everyone else creates the environment necessary for value to be created. Unfortunately most value-creating jobs do not require degrees yet teachers desire to be paid the same as aligners and tactical leads, positions that also require a degree. Its quite a conundrum.

  47. Tanker hit the nail on the head. Teachers have no control over the quality of raw materials being given to them with the intent of producing a top-notch product.

  48. Tank- The collective job tasks a teacher performs are value-creating with the outcome being to educate students. Organizations cease to exist if there is no benefit(value) to anyone. The level of thought is value/benefit, not entity specific(government service, business, non-profit organizations,etc). If your stating that a teacher doesn't create value then we agree to disagree. The main point I was making is that teachers perceive a portion of their worth through the degree they attained and their salary level yet the tasks performed are not perceived as unique by the powers that be/the public to warrant a pay level achieved by professionals with a degree in the private sector. How do you close the perception gap?

  49. @Tanker:

    So what you are saying is teachers can't be accountable for anything that happens in their schools since they have no control over anything. They just provide "instructions". But you think its right that they think they can control how they are compensated and hold tax payers accountable to pay for their entitlement?

  50. Can someone explain to me why an average $52K for 180 workdays a year is NOT enough money?

    The average college-educated wage earner in Nevada with two weeks vacation and about five paid holidays a year works 245 days a year, and makes about 52K.

    52K for 180 days worked is equal to 70K for 245 days worked.

    Why is 70K a year not enough? $70K is a pretty good mid-career salary for a college educated worker in the private sector.

    So the answer is the same remedy as everything else right = throw more money at it.

    The teachers union, like all unions, is only happy when you are shoveling more and more money into its slavering maw.

  51. To AnthonyJoeVegas, who responded to my post, stating, "However, it's not the states job to take care of children. It is the responsibility of the parents to do that!"

    Sir, I couldn't agree with you MORE!

    The sad and unfortunate truth is that we have "safety nets" or systems in place to protect children under age 18/legal minors, when their 'parents/guardians' are not adequately caring for them. Thankfully.

    In a perfect world, where the parent is the 1st teacher of a/their child, it is the sole responsibility of that parent to watch for that child from cradle to grave. In education, parents partner with educators planning and implements their child's education. It rarely happens anymore, compared to 20 years ago. There are plenty of reasons why.

    There have been times, when students were not experiencing success at school, that me and another teacher would visit the neighbors and homes of our students. The outcome was amazing: increased student engagement and motivation while at school, less behavior issues, more parental concern/checking on their child because they felt welcomed and invited and valued, less absences, better CRT scores! With all the positives, one would think that should be going on more.

    BUT:Why isn't it? Ask Administration.

    A few years ago, CCSD made a big deal (2008) of the male Teacher of the Year, even rented the Orleans Arena for ALL CCSD employees to hear and be motivated and learn from that model. What happened?

    The vast majority of teachers are terrified to publicly speak out for fear of their positions, jobs, and harrassment. That is only 1 reason why you do NOT see or hear of teachers en mass discussing their issues with the school district or the union.

    The whole world seems to be about WHO is in POWER. Those who are in power, typically have the voice, political and financial backing, and can pretty much do what ever they want. Just look at Nevada.

  52. @ Mr_Boston--Who are you to say that masters degrees aren't what they were? Your qualification is.........?? Online? Laughable....Most teachers do not have online degrees!!

    The Walkers may live above the standard, but they have earned every right to do so. Sounds like you're just jealous that they bought a FORECLOSURE for dirt cheap, and they are sending their children to preschool. Thank goodness they don't stop at Starbucks every morning!! Geez......please, if you are jealous they are living "above most standards", then go get a teaching degree. Your tune will change real quick!!

    The Walkers will have definite "struggles" if their pay is cut. The medical needs of their children will be ongoing.

    Educators did not enjoy extravagant pay increases as those in many other professions did. Do your research before you say educators cashed in during the boom!!

  53. dear all teachers,

    please feel free to quit your jobs and leave for another state if you think that will make you happy. don't burden our state, stir political dramas, and pawn our kids. i'm 100% sure there are plenty of qualified candidates willing to take your $50k-$60k salary and be glad they can support their families.

    i really do hope you can find that "noble" position somewhere else that doesn't require putting in extra hours, doesn't create stress, is recession proof, give you every dime that you think you deserve, and drives up your standards of living meanwhile the rest of the reconomy suffers. because as a "public servant", thats exactly what you have signed up for and should deserve!

    thank you,


  54. Airweare-

    I know exactly what teachers make, and how much they work, here in Nevada - I am married to one. My wife is an elementary school teacher and my mother is a retired teacher.

    Most of what you and others have said is true, especially with regard to the administrative headaches, the poor parental support, the complete mess NCLB has become, the swelling class sizes and the increasing demands placed on teachers.

    That said, a few of your statements are way off:

    10-12 hour days is an exaggeration. Teachers have 5 hours of instruction plus 1 hour lunch/prep period. Working extra all depends on the teacher - some are very dedicated and put in many extra hours, some are lazy and put in almost none.

    Teachers work 180 days a year, the average full time worker 245. Even the most dedicated teachers do not even approach the number of hours worked per year as the average college-educated non-teacher.

    Teachers could not be making "bank" doing somthing else. An Education Degree does not translate into a big Private Sector salary in any way. The only way teachers can make significantly more money is if they move up the bureaucratic food chain in the Public Sector - become administrators, college professors, etc.

    As I said, my wife is a teacher. Yes, they are treated extremely poorly by ungrateful parents and demanding tyrant administrators. It is a thankless job to be sure. The many teachers I know are truly dedicated people who genuinely care for the children they teach.

    That said, Teachers are not underpaid, nor are they overpaid - but they do need more help than our current legislature is giving them. I will agree with you there.

  55. Joe-

    I think being married to an elementary school teacher and knowing intimately many of the teachers at her school constitutes a little more than "knowing nothing"

    Extra hours of prep and grading beyond the 6-hour school day are common, but "Most teachers put in a 55hr work week at a minimum" is absolute hyperbolic garbage.

    And whatever extra time teachers put in is more than mitigated by their 2 month summer vacations.

  56. As a former Clark County School District teacher, currently teaching for Chicago Public Schools, I feel the pain of the CCSD teachers. In Chicago, we have yet another new CEO, JC Brisard, who, along with the school board, has already reneged on a 4% contractual raise for the last year of our contract, in addition to lengthening the school day and the school year. Where is the money for that coming from? Teachers and support staff will have to suck it up while the upper echelon administrators and staff continually pad their expense accounts. That accountability quotient--tying student performance to teacher salaries--is fraught with danger. Having had sophomore students this past school year, who did little if anything to earn good grades, and having a principal who wanted a "no zeroes" grading policy, chances for posting accurate "good" grades and being "judged" worthy of a raise would have been slim to none. In fact, without parental support, and student buy-in, all of it is a fictional scenario.
    In addition, to those who think teachers have it so easy, walk a block and a half in our shoes--not even a mile--putting up with recalcitrant, foul-mouthed students with no manners, no motivation, and no work ethic, and parents with the same characteristics, you should be grateful people even want to become teachers at all. Be thankful teachers are willing; the next stop is the law.
    Barbara Yohnka

  57. Joe:

    I wish the opportunities you describe still existed for intelligent, hard-working, educated people, but it's not 1988 anymore.

    It is very difficult even for college graduates to get a decent job these days. Pay is stagnant, benefits are shrinking, and the middle class is evaporating.

    There are not boatloads of 100K jobs out there for anyone who wants to roll up their sleeves and get to work.

    Right now the private sector is blown to smithereens and many of the good middle-income jobs are gone.

    I made it in before the gate crashed, but I know many very bright, skilled and educated people who are earning $12/hr at temp agencies and serving lattes at coffee shops.

    By comparison teachers have it pretty good.

    Which is why you detect a little backlash when the two teachers mentioned in the article start complaining that their 100K+ combined income isn't enough.

  58. Joe-

    You are out of your mind.

    Teachers, not even the "good" ones, work 12 hour days year-round as some sort of obsessive labor of love.

    Your hyperbole is nothing but baseless assertation.

    How much SHOULD teacher's get paid for their 9-months of work?

    A million bucks a year? Perhaps teachers are so priceless to society they should all be billionaires?

    Right the CCSD has a list a MILE long of qualified applicants hoping to become teachers. If it was so awful, you'd think there would be nobody wanting to become a teacher - but that's not the case is it.

    Try telling my Master's Degree holding friends who work at temp agencies and restaurants that Teachers have it so rough.

    Rant and rave all you like - the two teachers in the article earn over 100K combined and are currently enjoying their 10-week summer vacation.

    Compared to the rest of the middle class, they don't have it so bad.

  59. Joe-

    Here's everything you need to know about how much teachers make, and how much they work. Straight from the US Bureau of Labor:

    Turns out, unpaid overtime included, teachers work an average of 24-minutes less per day than the average full time American worker. That's 3 hours less per week, 150 hours per year - and those averages DO NOT take into account the two months LESS teachers work per year, which equals another 320 hours.

    Teachers work 470 hours less a year than the average full-time worker - overtime included.

    Incidentally, according to that report, the average public school teacher in the United States earned $34.06 per hour - 36% more per hour than the average non-sales white-collar worker and 11% more than the average professional specialty and technical worker.

    I believe this pretty much detonates every claim you have made.

    Debate over.

  60. Joe-

    Read it again.
    The study does indeed take into account time spent working away from school and on weekends.

    You are full of it.

  61. Joe-

    I have shown you a definitive government study from the US Department of Labor that cleanly eviscerates every idiot claim you've made.

    I don't know what further evidence you want.

    The study compared teachers to their cohorts in the private sector - including white collar workers with Master's Degrees and advanced-degree professionals.

    The study accounted for overtime worked by both groups.

    On average teachers make MORE money and work LESS hours than their equivalents in the private sector.

    Argue with the US Department of Labor if you like.

    Have a good weekend.

  62. @Airweare- An extra 25-30 hours a week? Divided by 7 days equals 4.28 hours per day or if you divide by 5 days equals an extra 6 hours per day. I don't recall my girlfriend putting in an extra 4 1/2 to 6 hours per day as a teacher.

  63. @Airweare- I'm glad you enjoy what you do, everyone should be so lucky. :)

    My girlfriend is now a school administrator in the same school district where she began her teaching career so I think she did okay(LOL) but no offense taken with your analysis/conclusion. She approximated her total extra hours to be 12-15 per week on average.
    You enjoy your weekend too.

  64. @1776(Matt)-

    Thanks for the link to the study comparing/contrasting teacher work patterns with private-sector professionals. The study period was from 2003-2006 and interviewers collected data in a time diary format from both teachers and private-sector professionals.

    It concluded that teachers employed full time worked 24 fewer minutes per weekday and 42 fewer minutes per Saturday than other full-time professionals. On Sundays, teachers and other professionals worked, on average, about the same amount of time. It also stated that the following percentage of teachers did not work during the these summer months: 19%(June),52%(July) and 31%(August). Regarding summer work, the study didn't define total hours hours worked each month nor activity. But as you stated, your wife is a teacher so I'm sure you could easily estimate those summer hours and activity missing from this study.

    Again, thanks for the link.

  65. What's the prob? Cuts? oh come on now.
    Get used to it, the only cuts you won't hear about are cuts to Israel, am I right?
    Seriously, shouldn'T we be giving more money to Israel? I mean as long as we have credit with china, we need to give more to Israel, we are not doing enough!!! Who cares about our infrastructure or how many fire depts. there are, dig deeper, Israel needs us, now more than ever.

  66. @EH- So based on this teacher/private-sector professional time study, for every 3 weeks of work the private-sector professional works an additional 8 hours compared to the teacher. The conclusion then is that teachers work less hours than a private sector professional both throughout the school year and over the summer as well. That might be part of the reason why teacher pay is slightly lower than a private-sector degreed professional.

  67. Airweare- Good to hear from you and I hope your enjoying your 4th of July.

    I'm referencing the study from ATUS(American Time Use Survey)linked below that compares teacher and private sector professionals. This was provided by Matt(1776). The survey period is 2003-06 and examines work-related hours spent at work AND at home. In other words, it accounts for those hours spent doing work at home in addition to the hours spent at work. In the study, it concludes that teachers employed full time worked 24 fewer minutes per weekday and 42 fewer minutes per Saturday than other full-time professionals. On Sundays was about the same for both groups. It also stated that the following percentage of teachers did not work during the these summer months: 19%(June),52%(July) and 31%(August). So to your point, hours spent doing work at home is an important factor which should be included and this study includes those hours spent doing work at home. The link your referencing on the DOL is not part of the study. Your referencing on DOL the occupational outlook section for Kindergarten, Elementary, Middle, and Secondary school teachers which is an general overview.

    The study of work-related hours spent at work and at home of both teachers and private sector professionals concluded that for every 15 days worked the private sector professional worked an additional 8 hours. That coupled with the fact that teachers as a group work less over the summer than a private sector professional then it is safe to conclude that private sector employees work more hours in a given year compared to teachers. So if we were to factor both work-related hours spent at work and at home for both teachers and private sector professionals the result would be a lower hourly rate for private sector employees.

    What caught my attention was your claim that teachers work on average 25-30 hours doing work at home each week which is an astounding amount if it were true. A teacher working at home an additional 4 1/2 to 6 hours PER DAY just isn't accurate Joe or as you might say "it didn't pass the smell test". I knew my girlfriend didn't put in those hours when she taught at school and she confirmed that on average she worked 12-15 hours doing work at home weekly. Also, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, teachers work slightly more than 49 hours a week during the school year, including 38 hours in school so doing the math that is 11 hours spent doing work at home. Your claim of 30 hours spent doing work at home per week is almost 3 times what the National Center for Education Statistics is reporting.

  68. Joe,

    You never once looked at the link 1776(Matt) referenced in his July 1st post @10:50am did you. Here it is one more time:

    The link above Joe is the study which was conducted for 3 years of work-related hours spent at work and at home of both teachers and private sector professionals.

    Notice how this link is titled as a study called "Teachers work patterns: when, where,
    and how much do U.S. teachers work".

    Here is your link Joe:

    Notice how your link is titled "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition for Teachers--Kindergarten, Elementary, Middle, and Secondary".

    Joe.......your just hoping no one looks at these two links above but if they do they'll see that you completely ignored the study because it didn't support your point. Joe..tricks are for kids.....not adults.

    Enjoy your boat ride and be safe! :)

  69. Aireweare- If you believe that teachers work an extra 4 1/2 to 6 hours each day(25-30 hours total per week) at home then that is your right.

    Below is a link to the National Center for Education Statistics website. Within the link it lists teacher total hours spent on all teaching and other school-related activities during a typical full week. Here is a sample of the data of a few states:

    Missouri 54.0
    Montana 53.1
    Nebraska 54.4
    Nevada 52.8
    New Hampshire 52.6

    As I mentioned, my girlfriend estimates teacher-related work done at home for her is 12-15 hours per week so adding 38 hours spent at school would equal 50-53 hours total per week which is inline with the total hours listed within the NCES for her state. Based on your 25-30 hour estimate, a teacher works 60-65 hours per week which skews much higher than what is reported so that is why I questioned your numbers. No big deal though, we agree to disagree and it won't be the last time 2 people disagree on numbers. LOL

    Anyway, Happy 4th of July to you. :)

  70. Joe-In your July 3rd post you stated "Teacher pay is significantly lower than their non-school counterparts" and I agree with this statement from a total yearly pay perspective(not an hourly rate perspective) AND if you remove the word "significantly". Teachers are paid less due to the fact they work fewer hours in a full year than their non-school counterparts and the teacher job tasks of instructing, grading assignments/tests and monitoring student performance are perceived by those who rate the job and determine the pay as not equal to the work hours and job task/responsibilities of a professional with a degree in the private sector.
    Teachers have greater job security which allows them to earn more over time compared to a private sector degreed professional who on average looks for employment five times during his/her career. The argument that teachers are underpaid is a weak one. Teacher pay is quite reasonable when considered in context to total career compensation(salary & benefits including pension) and total hours worked in a full teaching career.

  71. Joe- Your talking points don't match reality. Data listing teacher-related work hours performed at work and at home are available for all 50 states, but you choose to ignore the results because it doesn't support your premise "that teachers work a total of 60-65 hours per week". I'll include the link to the National Center for Education Statistics website one more time below. Total hours spent on all teaching and other school-related activities during week averages 53 hours per week, not 60-65 as you suggest. Facts are facts Joe.

    Regarding skill level of teachers versus degreed private sector professionals, you'll have to argue that "teaching requires significantly greater skill than counterparts in non-teaching world" to those who determine a teacher's pay. If you can convince them that the job tasks of instructing, grading assignments/tests and monitoring student performance require more skill and higher yearly pay than private sector degreed professionals then good for you. It appears however to be a difficult sell so far.

  72. Good. We shouldn't see anymore articles then about teacher pay. I'm all for it.

  73. Joe- Salary(money)is a factor in choosing a career. How much weight someone gives the factor is determined by the individual. Below is an article titled "Factors to Consider when Choosing a Career" from a site called "College Concerns". It lists salary as one of "the most important factors when considering a job position".

  74. @Air- An article in the Las Vegas Sun dated Wednesday, April 27, 2011 | 4:46 p.m. listed this teacher quote:

    "If we're not going to get pay increases or stable pay, we're only going to work from 7:30 a.m. to 2:41 p.m." as dictated by contract, Harney English teacher and girls' basketball coach Brandi Thomas said.

    And your claiming that teachers aren't in it all for the money? Get real Airweare.