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Where Have All the Teachers Gone?

October 13, 1985

I must respond to the writer of a letter in Letters in View ("Teachers and Their Credentials," Sept. 29). The writer said she had a friend who had a degree from out of state and wanted to teach in California. She complained that it wasn't fair to hire unqualified, uneducated people to teach when there were people like the friend who would be better than an uneducated person.

I couldn't agree more. I have a California Credential and a graduate education, but the school districts will not hire me because I cost more. My salary is at least $7,000 higher on the pay scale of the average district. School districts are not looking for teachers, they are looking for bodies--it is just that simple. They continually create high-paying positions for administrative people, but they "cannot afford" to hire qualified, credentialed teaching personnel.

I was always taught that the children were the most important thing in our school system. But the reality is: Children are pawns used in this system to create jobs for administrators and teaching has been relegated to a clerical endeavor. Money is extracted from state, county and federal governments under the guise that it is for education--it is not. It is used to pay high salaries of administrators.

There is no teacher shortage--plain and simple. There are thousands of teachers, credentialed, who cannot find work either in the school system or in private enterprise. There are thousands of highly educated people like myself with advanced degrees, who cannot earn enough money to make a living. It should not come as a shock to the public that so many of our students are dropping out of school. We usually get just what we pay for--we are not willing to pay for the best, and we are getting the worst in our public schools. I am not a case of sour grapes--the reality is that we have people teaching who cannot read or write or spell or reason; so how can they teach the students to read, write and reason?

MARSHA BAILEY

Ontario

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