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Voice: Where did the governor's money for teacher salaries go?

May 24, 2001

While reading through the May 14 San Diego Union-Tribune (I read the Imperial Valley Press also) I came across a surprising advertisement. I was disappointed to read that the El Centro Elementary School District was advertising for people to become substitute teachers in the event of a teacher work stoppage or strike. I realized that the school board and superintendent are proceeding in the wrong direction and that they are not working toward a settlement but toward a strike.

Why won't they settle with the teachers? It isn't a money issue — Gov. Gray Davis has already provided funds for teacher salaries and the money is with the district. Certainly money can't be an issue when the district has hired two attorneys and a consultant and (according to the advertisement) are willing to pay $250 daily for substitutes, plus mileage (during a gasoline price increase) and $75 a day for lodging.

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A regular substitute for the district receives $85 to $90 daily. What is the El Centro school district doing with the governor's money for teacher salaries, and what are they doing with our money? Is our money being spent wisely or selfishly? Maybe the time has come for us to review the budget and expense reports of the school board and the district.

JERRY RICHARDSON

El Centro

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