A mistake on the front page is never a good thing. Add to this that the mistake mentions teachers and it's worse. In Jake Griffin's "tax watchdog" article on Feb. 13 -- titled: "$277K on food, hotel, travel" with the subtitle of "Taxpayers' burden for teachers to attend conference adds up" -- the teacher part is false.
The annual November conference held in Chicago is a joint one for school boards, administrators and business officials, not teachers. The expenses listed in the article are not from teachers!
What this misinformation has done to public opinion in the area causes me real worry. Why? Because, for over a year now, the public has been hearing about our state's huge debts and teacher pension issues. I'm sure you've all heard already how the teachers have continually paid their large share into their pensions and that the state has never paid its matching amount, even though our state constitution requires it. For some reason, many people still begrudge teachers' hard-earned pension benefits. Now, because of this front-page error, more people may think that the teachers racked up expenses for the public to pay from this event. And it's not true.
I immediately phoned the Daily Herald about this, left a message, and finally, after two weeks, heard back from someone. Apparently a small correction was printed in the Feb. 14 edition on Page 4. Well, that's good. I just wonder how many people saw and read that. I fear the damage has already been done.
Retired Dist. 25 teacher
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