Elementary school project questions teachers' salaries
Penn Valley - February 16, 2011 (WPVI) -- A school assignment at Penn Valley Elementary School in the Pennsbury School District is raising a lot of eyebrows.
The question is, whether the teacher was trying to teach students more than just good reading and writing.
Is this an innocent reading assignment, or is it "teachers' union propaganda?"
Pennsbury School Board Director Simon Campbell makes no bones about what he thinks.
"I think it's extremely poor judgment. It's in extreme poor taste," said Simon Campbell, "and that type of propaganda does not belong in our classrooms."
Campbell is talking about a 5th grade assignment, written in the form of a letter entitled, "It's time to pay the price."
The letter is supposedly written by a school-age child, and repeatedly cites teacher salary statistics.
It then bluntly states, "We don't pay teachers enough for the very important job they are doing."
The lesson is then followed by a list of questions to test how well the children comprehended the letter.
And this assignment was given as the Pennsbury teachers union remains at an impasse with the local school board over a new labor agreement.
Several parents voiced concern over the assignment, including Mike Giosa.
"My concern is really about the kids," said Mike Giosa. "Leave them out of it. That's between the Board and the teachers."
Officials from the Pennsbury School District say the assignment came from an old educational activities booklet.
They sent us a statement saying, in part, "The administration is investigating the situation and will arrive at a determination and take the appropriate action, as warranted."
Many of the parents we spoke to say they agree that the assignment was inappropriate. But many other say, it's really not a big deal.
"If it came out of a text book, I guess it would be okay," said Melissa Ervin.
"As far as the quick read-through, I didn't see anything wrong with it," said Jeff Moretti.
We tried reaching out to the Pennsbury School District Union, but our phone calls and emails have gone unanswered. Right now, they are working without a contract.
The average Pennsbury teacher currently makes more than $81,000 a year.
pennsylvania, teacher contract, local/state
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