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With all due respect to Superintendent Milaschewski and the Reading School Committee (January 20th School Committee Meeting), the foundation to a high-quality education is directly related to high-quality teachers. The question of funding full-day kindergarten should be behind the funding of quality teachers. Why is it that we constantly overlook the most basic and fundamental aspect of our children’s education? It’s obvious, it’s the teachers.
Reading on average pays teachers behind Randolph. It’s listed alphabetically. Average home in Randolph, my husband’s hometown, is 462k, Reading is 751K. Randolph pays teachers on average 81,340; Reading 81,265. Yikes.
Check out even the local communities, Woburn and Wilmington average pay is over 84K. Teachers currently are being paid 20% lower than professionals with similar degrees. That is crazy to me, given the responsibility we put on them. Before Covid, one-fourth of teachers left teaching every year, I shudder to think what that number in now.
Higher pay equals better education, it is that simple. Where we put our money reflects our values as a community. If we want quality education, let’s pay for it. Reading should strive to pay their teachers the highest in the Commonwealth. I am advocating for increasing our current teachers salary before we address expanding any educational programs in Reading.