As I am writing this, I can feel the emotions wanting to just flow all out into my typing. The most recent results of the 1 cent Fund Proposition brought more than a ‘no new tax’ to the Livingston Parish. This small, literally 1 cent, tax increase was going to do so much for our local teachers. It isn’t just the fact that they won’t be receiving a pay raise, which they most certainly deserve, but its the fact that our community feels that our schools, or students, are not good enough for a penny.
Now what? Disheartened Livingston Parish Teachers
I have not only worked in the school system, but I come from a family of teachers and a school administrator. My mom is actually up for retirement in the next 40 days. I have seen what goes on behind the scenes not only from a teacher’s perspective, but also as a parent. One of my kids was in the early childhood program, ‘graduated’ from his IEP, and I recently met with the school to get a 504 in place before he heads to the middle school next year. I am not a pro, but I consider myself well versed in the school background.
These teachers put in countless, COUNTLESS, hours to not only the school but to these students. It kills me to hear someone say:
I mean, they have it made. They get holidays off and the summers off.
Really? These teachers don’t get paid overtime. Have you every attempted to teach a class of 20 or more students? Not only are these teachers ‘parents’ to their students, but they are trying to equip them for the future. This is not an easy task. Ask someone who is a substitute. They do it for one day and can tell you how hard of a job it is. Probably why it is so difficult to find substitutes.
These teachers love with all their hearts when it comes to their school and their students. My younger two kids go to South Live Oak Elementary, and let me tell you, these teachers know every student. The principal, Amy Savage, makes it a point to know every student’s name in the school. She will have the entire kindergarten class (new students I tell you), names memorized within the first week and a half.
There is much more than the education stand point. Teaching is emotionally, physically and mentally draining. They love those students as they are their own. I know many teachers who will pay out of their own pockets if a student can’t afford a field trip. Yep. When a student arrives to school distraught due to a home life that you couldn’t imagine coming from, the teacher feels it. She takes that pain and tries her hardest to carry it for her student. Y’all, being a teacher is not an easy task. You know what? They love what they do. They love their school and they love their students.
So why is it so hard for our community to acknowledge that? Those who voted ‘No’ against that 1% tax practically said that our teachers and students are not worth that 1 penny.
Oh, we love our teachers. We just don’t agree with paying that 1%. WE need to figure out other ways to support our schools and teachers.
Really? Find other ways? You do realize that our teachers are funded by the parish, not the state, right? It is our responsibility to make sure they are taken care of, and why is that such a hard task? I moved out to Livingston Parish for the schools. I am nauseous thinking about how our parish views our schools and teachers. This fund proposition was going to acknowledge our teachers and all the hard work they put in every single day.
As I mentioned earlier, these teachers don’t get over time. They work many, many hours of the day. This includes grading papers, attending to parents who need to communicate outside of school hours, making sure the classroom has everything it needs for the next day (yes, teachers will pay out of pocket for classroom materials), including worrying about their students. When they are sick, they can’t just call in for the day like most other jobs. They have to completely prepare for that day. Let me tell you, that is practically a day of work for itself.
Teachers are continuously attending seminars and education meetings. Other jobs will give incentives for these types of things. Teachers? Nope.
Don’t get me wrong. These teachers LOVE what they do! It is the fact that Livingston Parish doesn’t want to acknowledge our teachers, our students, and our schools. Teachers are leaving our parish to work elsewhere due to pay. No, it’s not all about the money. Have you seen the cost of eggs? If a job opportunity is offered to you that will pay more for your hard work, don’t you think you would take it?
Livingston Parish, we have got to do better! Our schools deserve this! The community that had me want to move out here for the schools alone is going in the WRONG direction. It is sad to look around and see other parishes stand up for their schools, teachers, and students. Ascension Parish is one example that voted ‘yes’ to funding their schools and teachers.
Not quite sure why 1 cent wasn’t worth giving to our schools.
As Angie Bueche, Special Education Teacher at South Live Oak Elementary, said after yesterday’s vote results:
To the 46%…thank you! Realize of this percentage, a majority are more than likely LPPS employees and family members. With this vote, the people have spoken. the results felt like a gut punch…a slap in the face. The hard words written about us on social media as a whole adds salt to the wound. It feels like a beat down as it all comes across as a lack of respect for what we do for, not only our students, but their families as well. teachers are not worthy of a copper coin that is typically thrown on the ground. What now? #defeated