I am a sixth-year teacher at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford. My fiancee is a multiage, second- and third-grade teacher. We’re getting married this summer. We are excited to expand our family and add onto the house where we live.
We both freely chose our careers, and could both leave our careers, if we chose. That’s what makes the governor’s proposed budget difficult for us to accept or understand. It creates a disincentive for teachers to stay in the classroom.
In particular, the required 2 percent payroll tax would cost my fiancee and me, conservatively, $900 a year each for the rest of our careers. We will lose about $58,000 during the life of our careers simply because we are public employees. That’s an addition for our home, or maybe a few years’ tuition for a child to go to college in the future. But it will be gone.
Please understand, I don’t mind paying taxes. I tell students in my government class all the time, “If it weren’t for taxes, I wouldn’t have my teaching job.”
But, I think it's only fair that the governor be honest about the fact that he is raising taxes, and then ask everyone to sacrifice, not just those of us employed in the public sector.
Teachers are willing to pay their fair share. I just don’t think Gov. Paul LePage should balance the budget on the backs of teachers, who already give so much to their communities through their efforts in the classrooms.
Jarrod Dumas, Rumford