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Letters to the Editor 2/19

February 20, 2001

Letters to the Editor 2/19



W.Va. teachers need $5,000 raise



To the editor:

There are many on the front lines of education who have dedicated their whole lives to the success of countless hundreds of students that pass through their classes each year. The teachers in West Virginia deserve a pay increase so that we will be able to maintain qualified teachers in the classrooms of our state.

There are literally hundreds of hours that each school teacher spends without pay outside of the classroom grading papers, attending school functions, answering the questions of parents at home, PTA meetings and serving the community in promoting our schools.

After one sees first-hand the amount of planning and grading of papers that each teacher does, one would have to promote a $5,000 across-the-board pay raise for our teachers. As you look to the counties that surround the Eastern Panhandle, by comparison, our teachers are being grossly underpaid. The lawmakers are concerned about this problem in salary compensation, but they have not moved the salaries in the state to a level where they are compatible with the surrounding states.

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This is a particular problem in the Eastern Panhandle because we are sandwiched between Virginia and Maryland, which, I might add, pay salaries in the thousands of dollars more per year than here in West Virginia.

I meet with the educators from several states and the educators in West Virginia do indeed need a pay increase. The lawmakers ask, "Where are we going to get the revenue to pay the $100 million that we need to give each teacher an across-the-board pay increase of $5,000?" There are several avenues that we as a state could follow to stimulate this tax base.

Governor Wise is taking a long hard look at one of the options. I have talked to business leaders and they agree with the majority of the citizens that indeed we need to raise the salaries in public education or we are going to continue to experience a mass exodus of teachers due to the state's lack of appropriation of funds to keep these qualified teachers. Business leaders from many walks of life are luring a large amount of the teachers to private industry because in actuality they will work fewer hours and be paid more to join their work force.

Call your lawmakers or write them and ask them to approve a $5,000 across-the-board salary increase for all the teachers in our state, thus stimulating the academic achievements today for a brighter work force for tomorrow. If we do not appropriate these funds for education, we are in essence objecting to the proper education that all West Virginia students deserve and need to be the leaders in this new world of technology, industry and professional service.

Ron Payne

Hedgesville, W.Va.

More than a choice



To the editor:

To: Lori Amatucci

Dear Lori - I agree with you. Jesus is the answer. He is the light and my salvation. But, I don't follow your logic as stated in your recent letter to the editor.

As I read it you started your article by saying alcoholism causes problems. Then you went on to talk about alcoholism as a problem. You even referred to alcoholism as a lifestyle. The American Medical Association says that alcoholism is a disease. As such, it is treatable but not curable. It is progressive and potentially fatal and, like many diseases, it causes problems. These problems may include isolation, terror, loss of self worth, pain and even death.

I am an alcoholic and I have this disease of alcoholism. It was not my choice to have this disease. For some reason, my body does not process alcohol the way it does for most people. Consequently and unfortunately, my body craves alcohol once it is ingested, and I become addicted if I continue to drink. It is at this point that problems arise.

I believe God has given me free will to choose between good and evil. When I am sober, (free of alcohol), I follow the light. When I drink I become blinded and shield my eyes from the light. But as you said, there is hope and the answer is Jesus.

I am an usher at my church. I have served on the board of trustees and I am a member of the building committee. Before I got sober I was hopelessly lost. I was a hollow man. I had a hole in my soul. I was at the bottom of the pit. I met the devil.

On March 1, 1982, I went to a program and learned about God's grace. Eventually this program, which held its meetings in church basements, guided me to return to church where I read in the Bible: John 7:37, Jesus is the answer to the questions I learned to ask in the basement programs.

Brent Horney

Columbia, Md.

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