LETTERS: Addressing teacher salaries requires real-world solutions

One of my daughters is a teacher in Henderson. She is an excellent teacher, and I am very proud of her and the work that she does. The students love her, as do the students’ parents.

It is unfortunate that most teachers are caught up in a bureaucratic and political nightmare. They in essence are pawns in a system, being used and exploited, the same way that factory workers were a hundred years ago. Seemingly nothing goes their way. The reason is obvious: It’s not supposed to.

The motivating factor for the teachers union is more teachers, more members and more dues. Most surveys I’ve read clearly indicate that the best and brightest high school graduates do not seek out a career as teachers.

In the real world, labor is usually paid and given raises relative to productivity. Smaller class sizes require more teachers and more cost. We need to increase class size. Four or five more students in most classrooms will not prevent the children from learning, and it sure would drive costs down. Undocumented immigrants should not be here using our education system, making little if any financial contribution, nor should any children attend school unless they are proficient in English.

As a retiree and a homeowner, a portion of my property taxes goes toward our schools. My wife and I have no children attending school in Clark County. This is not fair. People who live here and have children attending school should be paying a tuition fee to the schools. Public, by definition, does not mean free. It means available. A tuition program would literally force parents to become more involved in the education of their kids and contribute toward their education. This money should go directly and only toward teachers’ salaries. Teachers asking for raises should be openly and vocally critical of and outraged at the huge salaries paid to administrative bureaucrats, principals, vice principals, supervisors and all the desk jockeys in the system who contribute little to justify their salaries.

The reality is that Clark County will never be an area of the country where education is a priority for taxpayers. Teachers here need to understand this and realize that in order for them to achieve their goals, they must do more than whine about things they feel they are entitled to. Teachers must become part of the real world, and it isn’t a pretty one.

Ron Hirschkind

Las Vegas

Tainted water official

The banner headline in the Aug. 19 Review-Journal jumped out at me (“Water chief scrutinized”). When I read the article, I was flabbergasted. Jerome M. Breland, who heads North Las Vegas’ water and sewer system, was convicted in 2001 of poisoning a juice bottle used by his son’s football teammates. His reason was that he was angry because his son wasn’t being treated right.

What kind of adult would take his anger out on kids in such a life-threatening way? They were simply playing a kids’ game.

Apparently, during his sentencing, he apologized by saying, “It is beyond my understanding that I would do something like this,” and then saying he had taken positive action to become a better person and citizen. I guess these statements should make the residents of North Las Vegas feel comfortable when they drink water from their taps. I would be interested in having someone explain to me how this is different than the proverbial fox being put in charge of guarding the hen house.

Since retiring, I have owned homes in Las Vegas, Henderson and now Pahrump. I guess the stars must have been aligned right for me, since North Las Vegas has never been my home. How long will it be before this convicted criminal gets angry again? When he does, we know his game plan.

Corbitte Henry


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