Culver City Observer -

By Letters 

Reader Defends Teacher's Pay


November 30, 2017

Dear Editor:

Culver City schools are consistently rated as among the best in the state. This is due, in large measure, to the dedicated and talented teaching force, staff, and administration and Board, in that order.

Therefore, to encounter more whining from Neil Rubenstein (11/16-22/-18) about compensation for Culver City’s public schools teachers is astonishing.

Providing a safe, effective, and enjoyable education for our children is more than a generational obligation. We also reap huge benefits: Our children are much less vulnerable to crime, drugs, and gangs. Our streets are safer. Our property values remain stable and even grow as young buyers seek the best schools for their children. Mr. Rubenstein and all of us who live in Culver City share these blessings, but they have their costs.

The average Culver City schoolteacher is paid $67,270.00, not including the cost of paid benefits. Rubenstein’s citing of a handful of teachers whose salaries and paid benefits exceed $100,000 is intentionally misleading and scapegoating.

This is not surprising from someone who has continually complained about the costs of our police, fire fighters, and teachers, and who has suggested that their defined benefit pensions are too costly and should be replaced by unstable, unreliable 401K-type savings accounts.

Sorry, but if we want effective police, firefighters, and teachers, we are going to have to pay them a living wage, one commensurate with their talents, risks, and the extraordinary effort to do their jobs well. That will include the promise of health insurance benefits and a modest pension. How the costs of these are shared is a valid topic for discussion; taking them away is not.

Rubenstein should try to teach a class of 26 squirmy middle schoolers for a week (26:1 is the teacher/student ratio at Culver Middle School) to test his assumptions about the “very generous raises” for Culver’s faculty. By-the-way, the “generous” raise for fiscal 2017’-18 is a mere 3% cost-of-living.

Bruce Lebedoff Ander

Culver City


Reader Comments

Webstirrer writes:

What BLA forgot to mention is that the over the district's 5-year plan the district staff, including teachers have received a cumulative 30%. That's just the negotiated part and is not counting the Step and Column increases for those teachers in the program.


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