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Jeromie Whalen: Northampton pays its educators poorly


Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Northampton should pay teachers more

As both an educator and resident of Northampton, I want to bring to your attention what I feel is a growing cognitive dissonance between the perception of Northampton’s educational well being and the reality of our position with respect to the rest of the state.

In conversations with individuals in Northampton and surrounding communities, the general impression is that Northampton’s “economic affluence” extends into its educational system and, consequently, into budgetary items such as teacher salary. Taking a look at the most recent 2016-2017 data made available by DESE, however, Northampton Public Schools ranks the 19th lowest for average teacher pay (Smith Vocational ranks 22nd).

While the economic situation regarding our public schools is exacerbated by the siphoning of funds from nearby charter schools, this is just one component of a larger institutional problem that we face as a city. Consequently, the district has suffered by losing some truly great educators in need of better wages.

We have seen movements across the nation successfully highlighting the need for more support of our school systems and those that work every day to educate our youth, and I believe it is time for Northampton to be a leader on this issue as it has done on a multitude of other issues in the past.

Jeromie Whalen
Northampton