A few months ago, during the Education Demonstration, I wrote an Op Ed piece talking about funding schools with a real testimony from the perspective of an educator, the spouse of an educator and the son of an educator. After much has settled and a 10% "raise" was issued, I think its important to expand on this testimony.
As a teacher of one of the local school districts, we did receive the full amount as given by the state to the school districts dedicated to teacher pay, I think that is important to note, because other districts were not as lucky. While I would love to say it made a huge difference financially for my family with my gross pay increasing for myself was a $64.82 per paycheck, it actually has left me taking home forty cents less at the end of the day.
I could break down the paycheck for you and show how there were some choices on my end that impacted the check being less, like having a deductible I can actually afford if something should happen to my kids, or how the state retirement system is taking out more money to counteract the teacher shortage and pay stagnation, but the matter of the fact is, the additional $128/month is not going to cover my student loan payment, so despite loving the fact that I get to inspire students to come to school everyday, I am having to leave education and go work elsewhere.
The fact is, teachers are still living paycheck to paycheck with no hope of getting out of it anytime soon. The fact is, most of middle America is in this boat as well.
Why am I writing this? Because we need to stop voting against ourselves. I am not calling for anyone to vote Red or vote Blue, as to do so is part of the problem. I am calling for residents of San Tan Valley (and everyone else) to do their research, vote for what you want to see and stop with partisan crap. If you truly hate the negative ads being played almost none stop now, email the candidate and tell them. Do your own research, find out your own information and have a conversation with your neighbors, not an ignorant name-calling battle. Not one person fits a specific mold.
I believe in social programs and responsible spending. I believe in promoting community interest over-self interest. I believe that we as a society have forgotten how to have a disagreement and that we need to stop compromising morality so that we can continue to claim the label of conservative or liberal.
November matters. Every election matters. If you are a citizen of the United States and at least 18 years of age by Election Day, you better be registered to vote, you better be casting a vote. If you can't get a babysitter that day, request to be on the Permanent Early Voting list. My wife has tech rehearsal until 9pm that day in Maricopa, she will be sending her ballot in before election day. There is not an excuse. I truly hope you do your research and vote what is best for you and your own.