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School Cuts Demonstrate Warped Priorities

The other day, a friend of mine from high school who is now a teacher in another state posted on his Facebook page that while teachers in his county are losing eight work days next year, and with it, eight days of pay, high school athletic directors and football coaches will receive pay raises.

The raises could amount to up to twice the amount the teachers are losing in the same calendar year.

He asks, “What’s wrong with this picture?”

In business, you reward those who bring in the revenue. That’s why companies can have a bad year that results in layoffs, but executives that make the board of directors happy can still get bonuses.

It’s injust, but that’s life.

But that’s the business world. Public schools should never be that way.

The revenue that high school athletics bring in, first and foremost, should benefit the teachers who are educating the students. I’m not saying that sports don’t build teamwork and integrity. But I am saying that a well-rounded education is more important.

If you’re making teachers work a shorter school year for less money, then athletic directors shouldn’t get one dime more. They should have to work less, too. When you can afford to pay your teachers, then your athletic directors — who likely make more money to begin with — should get their raises, too.

But if we’re going to elect leaders who place sports above an education, then we have a responsibility to stop complaining about how bad our school system has become.

If we’re serious about improving things, it’s time to start looking at how our school leaders are voting for key issues.

And it’s time to start voting out those whose priorities seem to be anything other than improving conditions inside the classroom.

After all, isn’t that what it’s supposed to be all about?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.