Friday, January 30, 2009

A teacher who gets it.....

but will she be blackballed by the "comrades" at the public school where she is a teacher?

Yahoo I love it when I can use my post label Teachers Who Get It.

The following piece appeared as an LTE in the Concord Monitor.


Income tax? In this economy? No thanks!
Now is the time for the state to back off

By PAMELA EAN For the Monitor
January 30, 2009 - 12:00 am

In the Jan. 18 Sunday Monitor, Jessie Osborne laid out a proposal for financing public schools and state government ("In taxing times, two proposals to raise some revenue"). That yet another Concord state representative has proposed an income tax did not surprise me. What was appalling was that this legislation shows no regard for the citizens of New Hampshire, nor for the state constitution.

Part 2 Article 6 of the New Hampshire Constitution enumerates what government may tax. Income is clearly not in there. The people of our state, as well as our government leaders, must realize that the constitution places restrictions on what government may impose on its citizens.

Osborne speaks of "the tough fiscal times facing New Hampshire state government." What about the tough fiscal times facing the citizens? Some of us have lost a large part of our pensions and retirement funds. Others have had to endure pay cuts. The price of basic necessities continues to rise. The last thing we need is for government to take more of our hard-earned money away from us.

Osborne says that during this economic crisis we should be changing our state's tax structure. I do not see how taking away more of my income is going to help me survive the rough times ahead - or how creating more government bureaucracy with the imposition of this income tax will benefit anyone.

According to Osborne, these new taxes she is proposing are all in the name of education. I have been a public school teacher for the past 23 years, including 12 in New Hampshire. As an educator, I am getting sick and tired of the tax-and-spend crowd belittling our education system, and using it as an excuse to tax the citizens more.

New Hampshire citizens should celebrate the fact that our students consistently score higher than those in most states that spend more per capita than we do. I am the first to admit that there are many problems with our public education system - not just here, but throughout our nation. We used to lead the world in education. Our educational policies over the past 30 years have proven disastrous to our students, and the problems they have created will not be solved by throwing more money at them.

The focus of public education should return to academics and citizenship - nothing else and nothing less. Our highest-achieving students are not being challenged enough. At the high school level, those who wish to succeed should be in classes with others who wish to succeed. Our lower-achieving and less motivated students are being pushed along in elementary and middle school without being held accountable for the core knowledge they need to be successful in high school. This is setting them up for failure. Parents have abdicated their responsibility of being the primary educators of their children. We parents need to take back ownership of our children's education.

I am proud to be a teacher and proud to be a New Hampshirite. We enjoy more financial freedoms and less tax burden than any of the surrounding states. Those states that have chosen to overburden their people with income and sales taxes are hurting as badly, if not more, than we are. So why should we follow their lead?

The resourcefulness of our citizens and our spirit of individuality will see us through the hard times ahead. New Hampshire is not like other states. Long live the difference.

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