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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Winding Roads: Troubling Times

Thursday, April 26, 2007

There are some blessings to getting old. You can do less and get by with it. You can say what you think and folks just let it go. So here's a few more things I'd like to see changed.

We went into this past week hearing more than what we'd like about Imus. He really got himself a lot of free publicity with all kinds of thoughts on the situation. I'm not going there, I used to listen to him for a few moments each day when I drove into work and got a chuckle out of it the majority of time.

There were moments when I'd like to gag him but you see, that's what his task was---to draw in listeners and it made him and those who sponsored him much money. I'm hoping the good of this situation will be to clean up much of the language that our youth should not emulate.

This week we are listening to all the details these national reporters can cough up as they try to earn themselves a reputation for really getting the news out. Indeed, it is a terrible time and gives us all something to think about. Many will not feel safe regardless of where they go and most of us, at least for some time, will be more aware of what is going on around us.

Through both of these weeks, it has taken the main focus of the news off of what is happening in Iraq and Iraq's neighbors. Perhaps this weekend, actually past weekend by the time you read this, the reporters will focus once again on the firing of U.S. attorneys. All in all, the news isn't too rosy.

Statewide, teacher contracts are being issued as local school boards determine what they can afford. I cornered a couple of our state officials during a meeting in Marcus and asked why they voted to raise teachers' pay. You should have seen the looks on their faces and instantly I knew I was labeled as a troublemaker.

After some seconds of being hesitant, they replied there were other things in the bill that made sense. Different types of positions such as guidance counselors and whatever to make sure all areas of learning are being covered. In short, more requirements of small schools that lack the money to do what they now have to cover. The state officials were also proud that the legislature wanted to encourage incentive pay and give more to teachers who do more. Great idea in theory but it doesn't fly and hasn't flown as the burden on administrations to reward some teachers and not others, is too negative to make it go.

It was then that I went on a little tirade as they apparently do not care about comparing apples to apples but rather to oranges. I guess they also thought it would be like going against motherhood and apple pie. Yes, the teachers as a whole make less than those on either coast and elsewhere but their living costs are a great deal less here than there. They also don't have to teach 24 and more in each class period. They also don't have to teach under in the same type of environment such as walking through metal detectors to go in to school. When you can show costs of living and all these other factors taken in, I'd go with it. But this just isn't fair.

Boards have a major headache balancing the budget and it's not getting any easier. Cherokee really had to make huge cuts and so are the other districts. Teachers need to appreciate the job they have. Look around and you will will find Iowa has much to offer. It's a good place to live.