Local Teachers To Work For Free To Keep Summer Program Alive

MIDLAND (KDKA) — The Midland School District, K-8, is housed in a single building. The Beaver County school was honored by the Department of Education as a “Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.”

But that carries little weight in a struggling economy.

Midland schools were hit harder than most. The district faces budget cuts averaging $1,300 per student – that’s the fifth-highest in the state.

Superintendent Sean Tanner and school employees took voluntary pay freezes. That’s not all. When funding for a summer program was eliminated, 12 teachers said they’ll teach the 4-week camp for free.

“I didn’t anticipate this from them, but certainly wasn’t surprised because I know the character of the people,” he said.

Jennifer Hankey, a literacy coach, helped spearhead the group. Erika Kopsack, a kindergarten teacher, was quick to join her.

“We decided without hesitation at all that we needed to step up,” Hankey said.

The whole idea caught the kindergarten by surpise.

“I didn’t know you could work for free,” one student said. “That’s very generous.”

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Comments

One Comment

  1. TAXPAYING MOM says:

    THESE TEACHERS SHOULD SET THE EXAMPLE TO ALL OTHERS. IF EVERYONE WOULD VOLUNTEER SOME OF THEIR TIME, SKILLS AND TALENT TO THEIR LOCAL DISTRICTS THEY WOULD BENEFIT THE STUDENTS, THE STUDENT’S FUTURES, THE LOCAL COMMUNITIES, AND THE SCHOOL’S BUDGET.
    DISTRICTS NEED TO LIGHTEN THE TOP HEAVINESS OF THEIR EMPLOYEES. FOR EXAMPLE, AND NOT TO OFFEND THOSE IN THESE POSITIONS, SUPERINTENDENT’S ARE VERY CAPABLE OF ANSWERING THEIR OWN PHONES, FILING THEIR OWN PAPERWORK, SCHEDULING THEIR OWN MEETINGS, ETC. SUPERINTENDENTS DO NOT NEED TO HAVE A PERSONAL SECRETARY. IF THAT MEANS THAT THE SUPERINTENDENT WOULD NEED TO SPEND A FEW MORE HOURS EACH WEEK TO MAINTAIN THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES, THEN SO BE IT. THERE ARE MANY MORE PARENTS OF STUDENTS IN EVERY DISTRICT THAT WORK MORE THAN 40 HOURS EACH WEEK TO MAKE ENDS MEET WITHOUT RECEIVING OVERTIME PAY OR A PERSONAL SECRETARY TO TAKE CARE OF THE “LITTLE THINGS”

    MY UTMOST RESPECT FOR 12 TEACHERS WHO UNSELFISHLY HAVE SACRIFICED THEMSELVES TO BETTER THE STUDENTS THEY SERVE.

    ISN’T THAT WHAT A SCHOOL IS SUPPOSED TO DO? SERVE THE STUDENTS, NOT YOUR OWN POCKETS!

  2. LET'S OF COURSE BLAME THE TEACHERS says:

    To Tax Paying Mom,

    Sure, It is absolutely what a teacher should do, BUT, do those people who work 50 hours a week do it for free? Do those people bring their work home with them? ALSO, I don’t see any other state funded programs working for free. I’m not saying you haven’t made a valid point, I’m just saying, don’ t put it all on the teachers. They work hard, bring work home with them and work many extra hours each week that is not even recognized.

    1. I Recognize says:

      I recognize good teachers and I have learned not to bash teachers I know a bunch that are awesome just like those listed in the story.
      I also know one that makes 90,000 dollars to much and it’s teachers like this that fuel the kind of comments you see here , I know this from personal experience.
      I think that people need to recognize the good ones though and just maybe hope for the best for them in times of budget cuts.

    2. TAXPAYING MOM says:

      I didn’t mean to sound as though I’m putting it all on the teachers. Everyone needs to pitch in. You, me, our neighbors. The fact is there are budget cuts going on because of the lack of funding. If we all pitch in it could lighten the load. Think back to the old days and how school was then. Kids were able to get an education. Parents were involved. The demands of extracurricular activities have out weighed education. So my child won’t get to go on a field trip to the Science Center. Or, my child won’t play sports in high school. There aren’t many kids who Letter and get a scholarship by being great at sports. So why not take the schools back to the basics where kids go to get an education and focus on that only. When budgets and deficits are no longer a problem then bring back some extracurricular activities…..like that field trip to the science center.

      As far as what a teacher drives to school or the size of the house they may live in, I can’t comment other than that, perhaps, they know how to budget wisely. Teachers being paid $100,000 is on the district for allowing the salaries to go that far. But, in defense of the Teachers, how many years did they spend in college, did they specialize in an area of education… there’s too many questions to consider before throwing stones at them. If I went to school for four years to get a degree, spending 30,000 a year, I’d value my skills and talents at more than $40,000 salary.
      To answer your question – No. Those working over 50 hours a week do not do it for free. But typically they are paid hourly and overtime isn’t authorized – like truck drivers – or they are working multiple jobs to equal the hours and overtime is not required. I used as an example a Superintendent putting in extra hours each week, that is no different than you or I taking on a second job. Our taxes will inevitably go up, I will need to get a second job to cover those costs and I am ok with that. If the districts can consolidate positions or eliminate unnecessary positions for the better of the schools budget and child’s education, then why not visit that thought.
      I certainly don’t blame the teachers on this at all. We all need to pitch in to make it better.

  3. Zoeyzotron says:

    While I agree with MOM that this is admirable, I still have to come back to the fact that teachers in PA are paid a wage that is equal to a full years pay in PA. I have news for you, a starting salary of $40,000 is well above average in PA for a YEAR ROUND JOB. And lets not kid ourselves, many many teachers in PA make well in the $75,000 – $100,000 + amazing benefits and a retirement plan that is absolutely off the charts (not to mention unsustainable). Some teachers may not realize it, but they are paid WELL above average for a 12 month job, let alone 195 day (7.5 hour a day)job. (please save the “teachers work when they go home” comment, we all do.

    I just have to ask if teachers are really this out of touch with the job market???

    1. Sigh says:

      Every time I read a comment from you in regards to a story about a school district, such as the story about North Allegheny posted in April, I just get angry. You’re really irritating. We get your point. Come up with a better argument against teachers. Instead of complaining about how much they’re paid and seeming, well, envious, perhaps you should have become a teacher. If you don’t like what teachers are paid, run for your school board.

      1. Zoeyzotron says:

        SIGH – I am not against teachers, I am against a system that is financially broken and is an increasing burdon on the taxpayers. You seem to want to ignore the fact that school districts have lived outside their means for 25 years. My point is that the money tree (taxpayer base) is almost dead and something has to be done. Every other business has cut spending, why not the govt.? that is whats irritating.

  4. Andrew Gray says:

    Them there are some true teachers, i am so glad to have been able to go there for my whole elementary and middle school years. Every single teacher there are really great and really care about each and everyone of their students. having the honor of going there for more than 10 years of my life, i have go to know every single one of my teachers there not like how high school is not. there you get to grow attached to your favorite teachers and they grow attached to you. I think it is so great that i can say that them are my teachers who are making a difference in the time of the budget cuts so that the kids can still be able to go to the summer camp. I think it is horrible that the state government would choose to have a budget cut for schools when there is so many other things that could have a budget cut. I guess they dont care that our future CEO’s and government officals will not be able to have a good education because of stupid mistakes.

  5. Mayor of GBD says:

    teaching = the best paying part time job.

  6. Mayor of GBD says:

    a full time job is 2080 hours…at 181 days x 10 hours a day they are short 270 hours…or 27 more 10 hour days.

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