Letters to the Editor

Lawmakers' actions to blame for teacher stress

If anyone is surprised that Cedar Rapids teachers and the board of education are at odds over contract negiotiations, they should not be. The Iowa Legislature made sure of what was to come when they trashed collective bargaining rights for public school educators and thousands of other public servants.

For those with short memories: Collective bargaining became law in the early 1970s due to bipartisanship, led by Republican Gov. Robert Ray.

Iowa has always paid lip service to the claim that the state respects and promotes education as something of which to be proud, but never backed it up with salaries and benefits for educators. Spoiler alert! We are right back there in spades. Not only with shrinking financial support from state and national government, but also in light of schools across America becoming killing fields.

Ask teachers how many hats they are wearing each day while dealing with overcrowded classes. Teachers are raising kids, their own and a whole boat load of others, working before and after school hours with kids who need extra help or ears to listen to them. The political crazies leading us are telling teachers that it would be a great idea and a money saver to have them carry guns.

All of the public school teachers in West Virginia went on strike. If that makes you angry, it should not. You should cry. I am afraid this is only the beginning.

Jack Pilling

Cedar Rapids

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