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Teacher Salaries

December 19, 1988

In response to Paul Feldman's account of the first grade teacher's fast (Metro, Nov. 22) and a subsequent letter by Charles Carlton of La Verne (Dec. 8):

First-grade teacher Annya Bell's salary of $42,000 for 10 months of employment is based upon a designated number of days of employment with her school district. The salary she receives cannot be translated into an annual rate of over $50,000 as Carlton maintains. She, like others of us in the employ of public school districts in this state, is contracted for "X" number of days of actual work. For those days she is not teaching (two weeks at Christmas, another week at Easter, and any other non-school days) she is not paid and is virtually on a forced, unpaid leave of absence.

This forced leave also includes the summer months she is not working in her regular position.

Rarely are teachers given the option to work additional days at their per diem rate of pay. If this were so, Bell might possibly be given the opportunity to earn that $50,000 a year.

The more likely scenario is one in which teachers choose to teach summer school at an hourly rate of pay somewhere between $15 and $20 for about four hours a day. Their salary for this period of time is considerably below their rate during the regular school year.

If a teacher decides to supplement his income during vacations it is almost impossible to find any position which compensates him at the rate he receives under contract during the school year.

Wake up, Mr. Carlton!

CECILE MAURICE

Seal Beach

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