Today we open with a bachelor and bachelorette party fever dream.
I give a good deal of background regarding the MNPS funding issues to this point.
Jack Evan Johnson of Honkytonk Badonkadonk shares an essay from their June issue. The July issue is out now.
Then I talk with teachers Missy Lindsey and Erin Hunt about what it’s like to work in underfunded school districts.
I have been fascinated by the plight of Metro Nashville Public School (MNPS) teachers, around which there have been a number of actions over the past few months both inside and outside of the classroom. Missy and Erin talk about that here, about their tenure as teachers, and about what being underpaid means to them and to the community. They make a few especially compelling points, the first of which is that it can’t help but feel like underpaying teachers feels especially misogynistic when you consider that the profession is largely one in which men are a minority of the labor force. Second, they detail something I had already heard from teachers, particularly teachers in schools with significant populations of color–which is that because of the lack of competitive pay, there are some school districts that are in or going into their second straight hear in which some class rooms go entirely without science or math teachers. Again, these are full years that these students are missing any education in the stem field. It’s absolutely heartbreaking. They then break down what political actions have been taken, and lack thereof, since.
Finally, they discuss something many might not know, which is that most-if-not-all conversation about elevating teacher pay has done little to address honoring and maintaining step increases, which are incremental increases in pay that were supposedly already in place to maintain some regular increase in wages that makes jobs appealing to those who are career minded, though isn’t necessarily guaranteed in public sector work. So often, what looks like promised pay increases have come alongside an accompanying decrease by way of not honoring those step increases.
At one point Missy and Erin refer to the councilors who did not support amending the budget to provide a full funding increase for the districts and their teachers. These are those councilors:
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