Voice of the Community
November 4, 2014
DISAGREES ABOUT EDUCATION RAISES
I read with interest Becky Dodd's letter titled Nevada Needs to Fund Education. I believe Ms. Dodd is confused so I would like to help clarify fact three, in which she stated "Teachers in Churchill County have not had a raise for over seven years while the cost of living has increased over those seven years. "
While the salary schedule for teachers has not increased during this period of time, to state teachers have not had a raise is simply untrue and misleading. I encourage readers to obtain a copy of the "Licensed Salary Schedule", which you may obtain from the district's website http://www.churchill.k12.nv.us under "Human Resources Department."
A beginning teacher is paid $34,506 and for the next nine years is guaranteed a raise of $1,391 each year which equates to between 3.1 – 4.0 percent each year. In addition, as teachers obtains training credits they move across the pay scale.
Therefore, if teachers desire to move up the pay scale they may enroll in classes to obtain credits, either those provided free by the district, or enroll in a class at a qualified educational institution. Teachers obtaining 60 credits would be making $61,619 in their 16th year. Therefore, teachers under the current salary scale, can in their 16th year, be making 78.6 percent more than they were when they began, which is an average increase over the 16 years of 4.9 percent per year. After 16 years the raises decrease, however, this is not unlike other professions where after a period of time the increase for pay for years of service levels off.
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I hope this helps to clarify the fact of teachers' pay. As an added note, my wife is a retired teacher and my father is a retired teacher and school administrator.
ACTION FOR CHCs NEEDED
With all the news lately about health risks, it is critically important that anyone should be able to access healthcare. Access to a primary care provider is just as important as an insurance card. People should have both but that is not always the case.
Community Health Centers (CHCs) greatly help to improve access to primary care. In 2013, CHCs served 70,014 Nevadans and almost half of those served were uninsured. CHCs provide good, effective care that keeps people healthy and out of the hospital. Community Health Centers save Nevada's health care system $80 million a year. Yet even as demand for these services grow, a critical source of funding that helps them meet that demand is set to expire if Congress doesn't act.
The approximate amount of federal 330 funding that Nevada's Community Health Centers could lose would be upwards of $10 million with well over 13,000 patients losing their access to care if Congress does not take action to fix this funding cliff. The impact would be disastrous. Clinics across Nevada would be forced to cut back services and staff. Programs focused on growing the supply of primary care providers would also be hurt.
We are grateful that there are bipartisan leaders on Capitol Hill that are calling attention to the problem. We hope their call does not come too late for the people that are still waiting for care. Please visit Nevada Primary Care Association's website at nvpca.org to learn more.