An article appeared in the paper recently concerning the number of sick days allowed for teachers (May 26). Concern was expressed that teachers are allowed too many sick days.

Within five years of starting to teach, 50 percent of new teachers will leave the profession. The article indicated a teacher in Auburn earns $38,000 after 10 years – not a lot of money for the amount of education.

Few teachers that I know end their workday when students leave school. Most remain in the school until late in the day, bring work home, work on reports and lesson plans during the weekends, and take courses during the summer to improve their teaching skills.

Teachers do not receive disability insurance. They are allowed to accumulate unused sick days to a maximum amount that varies by district. In the event of a major illness, these accumulated days become their disability insurance. Perhaps critics would prefer to provide disability insurance in place of the sick-day benefit.

The money spent on substitutes would not change if the number of sick days were decreased. The actual expenditure is made only for days the substitute is required.

In order to retain employees, a business must provide adequate pay, benefits, etc. Regardless of what many may think, teaching is difficult. Many hours are spent working outside of the classroom on behalf of the students. Teachers are not paid a lot of money. A good benefits package gives them an incentive to remain in the profession.

Stanley Tetenman, Poland

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