FLC has quality teachers
My name is Josh Thacker, and according the article titled “Board Tables Discussion on Lincoln Building,” I am the community member concerned about teacher quality. While I admire the ability to paraphrase the concerns I raised with the board in such a succinct manner, the spirit of what I said is completely missing. I thought it best to address this before anyone got the wrong idea about where my family stands on this matter.
My son has a speech delay, and is a student at Family Learning Center. Before enrolling him at FLC, he knew less than a handful of words and was almost completely impossible to understand. He has made incredible progress after less than a year in the program, and his mother and I could not be happier. His teachers are amazing people, and the work they do is miraculous.
Allow me to take this opportunity to paraphrase what I said at Wednesday’s meeting for myself: with the budget that the superintendent presented, the amount of money allowed for hiring instructors is going to affect the quality of the teachers that we’re able to find to fill these positions. According to the material provided at the meeting, it will cost TCS $185,694 (not including benefits) per year for teacher salaries at the preschool.
While this sounds like an incredible sum of money to most of us living in this area, it does not divide very well. If the board hires eight people (to equal the eight teachers at FLC), this amounts to $23,211.75 per year. Does the board of education really expect to find qualified professionals to fill these positions at this salary? The best that can be expected is that we would fill these positions with young teachers fresh out of college, with little to no real-world experience in dealing with special-needs children. This is an unacceptable replacement for what we have with FLC. Every teacher employed there has an advanced degree in his or her field, and many of them have been educating our children for 20-plus years.
In the long term, it would be a wonderful thing for TCS to open our own preschool. However, the manner in which our school board is going about this is completely wrong. Why the rush? Why can’t we plan this properly instead of rushing into it?