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Teacher Concerns

May 14, 2000

* What an insult! I read "Teachers Mass at Capitol for More Funds" (May 9), about the teacher rally in Sacramento on May 8, with astonishment. There was only one motive ascribed to the effort to increase school funding: "Teachers also want the state to give school districts more say over how they spend their money, believing that as districts gain discretion, teachers will be able to win greater pay increases."

Were we at the same rally? The speakers (which included legislators, lobbyists, teachers, students, administrators, school board members and aspiring teachers) addressed more basic needs for our schools, such as roofs, windows, books, desks, security, bathrooms and additional classrooms. The consistent theme of the rally was that California should at least fund the students of the seventh-largest economy in the world at the average for the nation's schools, especially in a budget surplus year.

I didn't take a day without pay from my teaching job to travel to Sacramento because I want a pay raise and neither did any of the 8,000 to 10,000 other people who were there. We paid for the plane fare out of our own pockets to emphasize that "you can't have a Nordstrom's education at Kmart prices." I am getting tired of being the scapegoat for all the problems that California's schools face.

ADRIENNE M. KARYADI

Los Angeles

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