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updated: 6/17/2011 7:23 PM

Reasonable pay cuts will forestall strike

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As the mother of four children attending Cary District 26 schools, I am extremely concerned about the impasse that has developed over the next teachers' contract.

I fear we are on the brink of another strike that will continue to diminish the education of our children.

Do teachers need to take a pay cut? Absolutely. Should it be $2.2 million as the school board has demanded? No. To get $2.2 million would require a 20- to 40-percent pay cut from teachers. That's unreasonable.

How about this: Cut teachers' pay by $1.2 million; all administrators and support personnel must take pay cuts of equal value; eliminate administration positions that do not directly impact our children; don't replace the vacant curriculum director position.

Along with closing Prairie Hill School, saving $1.4 million, this proposal would provide significant savings while averting a teacher strike and maintaining some semblance of a good education for our children.

The state of Illinois will not take over a financially troubled school district that is making progress. By passing a referendum, closing schools and cutting dozens of teachers, Cary has clearly shown progress.

I implore the school board to come down off their unrealistic salary cut demands that the teachers won't accept. Please negotiate in good faith. Our children have suffered enough with closed schools, huge class sizes, and the loss of band, music, art, gym and gifted classes.

Please don't make them suffer anymore.

Michelle Carter