Competitive salaries necessary to recruit, keep best teachers

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As a parent, I have seen first hand the high-quality education Lake Pend Oreille School District delivers. Just this year, the school district was recognized for increasing the number of students taking Advanced Placement tests, as well as the number of students receiving college credit based on their scores. I have seen teachers offer workshops during their summer vacation to prepare students. I have seen teachers come in during their Christmas break to open the computer lab so students could work on their drafting assignments. I have seen coaches put in much more than the expected amount of time to make sure their student-athletes maximize their potential and learn the rewards of hard work.

Providing this level of performance requires talented and dedicated teachers and coaches. Comparing our teachers’ salaries to those in Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and the rest of Idaho shows that our teachers are paid less. If we want to recruit and retain the best teachers for our schools, we need to be competitive with salaries.

Just last year, Bonner County did a similar compensation study. After seeing that salaries were not competitive, the county raised taxes and increased salaries for county workers and commissioners. Supporting those that impact our community through their service in education, extracurriculars, as well as county services is important to maintain the quality in our community.

TOM BOKOWY

Sandpoint

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