Dozens of teachers flee the Harrisburg district during tough times

Aug 13, 2013 by

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Parents and students in the Harrisburg school district recently learned a lot about the teachers who have staffed their schools in recent years.

There are a lot of committed educators in the group, and they will be present when the fall semester begins. But there were also quite a few quitters who won’t be around to answer the bell.

A week ago the Harrisburg Education Association and the Harrisburg school district inked a new collective bargaining agreement that included a 5 percent pay cut for teachers and increases in their health insurance contributions, the Patriot News reports.

The move saved the district substantial money, but it also cost the district dozens of teachers. According to the news site, dozens of educators resigned in the wake of the deal and many of the city’s classrooms will be staffed with subs as school starts this week.

Harrisburg Education Association President Sherri Magnuson tried to put a positive spin on the situation.

“The great thing about the teachers in the city is we are resilient,” she told the News. “No matter what is swirling around us, when the children arrive on Monday, we will be ready.”

Substitute teachers will be ready, but every logical person realizes that substitutes are rarely as good as the real thing. The approximately 30 HEA members who resigned abandoned their students, plain and simple, but there is a positive outcome parents can appreciate.

Many Harrisburg teachers who viewed their positions as mere jobs with a paycheck are gone, opening up an opportunity to bring in fresh teachers who are committed to changing students’ lives, much like the employees who remained when times got tough.

Teaching is a profession that requires a great deal of passion and commitment. Clearly, the teachers who hit the road didn’t have the requisite amount of either.

The Harrisburg district starts classes weeks earlier than other schools in an attempt to give students extra learning time before they take their state standardized tests. The district is obviously committed to ensuring students receive the type of education they deserve.

The city’s students and parents can now rest assured that those at the head of Harrisburg’s classrooms are there because they share that same focus, and not because they’re looking for an easy pay day.

Dozens of teachers flee the Harrisburg district during tough times – powered by Education Action Group Foundation, Inc..

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