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LETTERS: Teachers need more incentive to stay

To the editor:

In response to Trevon Milliard’s article on pay raises for teachers (“District, union reach tentative deal,” Sept. 24 Review-Journal):

So after five years of some teachers receiving no pay raises, teachers will be given a 1 percent cost-of-living raise. Yet Mr. Milliard wants to focus on a lack of incentives for new hires?

How about the lack of incentive for any teacher to remain teaching in the Clark County School District? Would you move your family to a new state knowing you would have to fight for five years for a 1 percent raise? How about questioning how CCSD went from offering 9 percent more than Salt Lake City schools 20 years ago to now offering 9 percent less? Salt Lake City had the highest pupil-to-teacher ratio and paid some of the lowest salaries; CCSD has now taken its place.

Twenty years ago, CCSD attracted and held onto top teachers from everywhere because of higher salaries and affordable living expenses. Now, we offer our teachers lower salaries than our neighboring states and give them some of the largest class sizes and greatest challenges. Why isn’t Mr. Milliard questioning why the politicians, the public and the school district aren’t demanding pay raises for new teachers? Why isn’t Mr. Milliard questioning why the Clark County Education Association should even have to negotiate more money for higher salaries to pay new teachers?

The teachers union is and has been the voice working for our students and our teachers, fighting for better salaries and better teaching conditions, because it knows that for our children to be successful, they need quality teachers who enjoy being in the classroom. Mr. Milliard needs to focus on the lack of other voices supporting our teachers and our students. When a district does not offer competitive salaries, when teachers can’t reach students in the way they once dreamed of because the numbers are too great, when teachers realize they will fight for five years for a 1 percent pay raise, a district simply cannot attract nor retain the number nor the quality of teachers we need for our children to be successful.

The teachers union has fought time and time again to avoid having the district end up where it is today. Unfortunately, we need more voices, more support and, yes, more money to attract and retain the new and experienced teachers that used to be drawn to our district.

MICHELE SALAS

NORTH LAS VEGAS

Unnecessary attack

To the editor:

I read with interest Barbara Holland’s column regarding the Nevada Supreme Court decision on superpriority liens in homeowner associations, in which she wrote a nasty personal attack on Jonathan Friedrich, the Common-Interest Communities and Condominium Hotels commissioner (“It’s about time our communities caught a break,” Sept. 27 Review-Journal). All Mr. Friedrich did was have the nerve to voice his opinion.

In this country of free speech, many of us living in HOAs happen to hold similar opinions. But most importantly, we are of the opinion that one should not be attacked for voicing an opinion. This is especially so when the governor of our state has appointed Mr. Friedrich as a homeowner advocate. Mr. Friedrich said he feared that banks might not want to lend money for mortgages now that an HOA could wipe out their first position with a forced sale for unpaid assessments.

As a past HOA president, I agree that the banks should, and most likely will, step up to the plate and pay what is due on their foreclosures. The owners in these communities should not have to look at dying properties or bear the weight of added assessments for people who no longer pay their share.

However, I am of the opinion that the Legislature should pass a bill requiring HOA assessments become an automatic deduction into an escrow account, as are mortgage payments for most people. I am surprised that Ms. Holland is not promoting this idea, which provides more protection for the association and the mortgage holder.

What should never be allowed in the Review-Journal is a personal attack from a columnist with no chance for rebuttal. We are all entitled to our opinion; that is what makes this country a wonderful place to live, even for Ms. Holland. But that attack was totally uncalled for and served no purpose.

RANA GOODMAN

HENDERSON

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