Teacher pay too low to attract the best
        Letter to the Editor                            July 22, 2000

In its recent editorial diatribe against the National Education Association, the Registerís long-established anti-teacher bias and its lack of in-depth analysis once again produced a discourse devoid of objectivity and accuracy.

I quote, "The delegates also zapped endorsement of recruiting bonuses for math and science teachers, even though there is a national shortage of these teachers." 

Recruiting bonuses are not the solution to teacher shortages.  Nor is merit pay, but thatís a subject for another day. 

In an economy that has boomed for 17 of the past 20 years, teacher salaries have failed abysmally to keep pace. 

A case in point is my neighborís daughter, bright and motivated.  Her dream was to become a math teacher.  After her sophomore year, she changed her major to computer science and robotics. 

She graduated last year and soon took her first job.  She was a bit disappointed that it took her longer than many classmates to find a job and that she had to settle for less money.  Her starting salary was $50,000 per year with a $3,000 signing bonus, $9,000 toward paying off her college loans, and relocation expenses.  Gosh, I wonder why she didnít become a teacher? 

One of the oldest facts of life is, "you get what you pay for."  If you want the best and the brightest, you have to pay for them. 

Jonathan M. Brooks,  Branford 
Editorís note: Connecticut public school teachersí pay is the second highest, after New Jersey, in the nation.