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Web letter by Jim McLean: Teachers need to weed out worst of their own

Regarding “Bill on teachers’ union dues another attack” by Nate Schenellenberger (Jan. 14):

Dues deductions through payroll (checkoff) are one of the most-demanded items in any union contract. The union knows that if it gets the deduction, the employee becomes accustomed to the money going out of their paycheck. If they do not have this benefit, the employees quickly learn what the union cost is and stop paying.

There is always a fiscal impact to a school district. The schools must have programs to implement the process, write the checks and provide accounting to the union of the amounts.

When our students are not served, the legislature has to act. This is why we now have state support of private schools, performance testing to grade schools and teachers and get some kind of school financial control.

It appears to me that the Indiana State Teachers Association is there to protect the teachers and the union, not the students, taxpayers or the quality of education. Their concern with this legislation is to protect the union’s ability to keep current and new teachers paying dues.

For years we have listened to rants about class size, art, music, PE, teachers’ salaries and working conditions. Yet the actual level of education has dropped to the point of embarrassment. Teachers complain about lost funding due to the support of private schools but do nothing to meet the challenge of better education of each student to their maximum potential. They think the taxpayers are an unlimited source of money and that money will solve all education problems. Think again!

Show leadership when a school has to reduce the teaching staff and identify those who are not performing. Identify programs that are of minimal benefit to the school. Do not just rely on teacher seniority, which is there to protect the inferior. Get tough on your members to become the best educators in the world.

Real teachers do count. Support them!