SEATTLE — State Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas, posted a scathing indictment of what she perceives to be teachers’ dissatisfaction with a lack of pay increases on her Facebook page — and, as social media is wont to do, the post has gone viral.
On June 21, Pike’s post opened with a statement that she spends a good deal of her mornings answering emails from constituents — and fielding complaints from teachers “about their cost of living increases being suspended.”
In her “open letter to public educators!” (exclamation point hers), Pike congratulates teachers on the last day of the school year, states that if she now had the opportunity to choose her career, she would opt to “get the necessary degree and teaching certificate so that I too could enjoy summertime off with my children, spring break vacations, christmas break vacations, paid holiday, a generous pension and health insurance benefits.”
Pike goes on to explain that she chooses to work in the private sector “so that I could be one of those tax payers who funds your salaries and benefits as a state employee in a local school district.”
Dialing it back for a moment, Pike does thank teachers for their service, but then seems to chide teachers again, hoping “you are one of the excellent instructors who is inspiring our children.” But for those who are dissatisfied with their pay and benefits, Pike says they “should look for work elsewhere so that someone who is inspired to greatness can take their place in the classroom. Our children deserve an exceptional and inspired teacher in every classroom. Don’t you agree?”
From the comments posted on Pike’s Facebook page, it seems that plenty don’t agree with Pike’s position. But, decide for yourself — here is Pike’s post in full:
First, let me be clear, thank you for your service to our schools. I hope you are one of the excellent instructors who is inspiring our children to reach their full intellectual potential and learn the value of true leadership in our community. I hope you are one of the brightest and best in your teaching profession who is willing to raise the bar in our public education system that unfortunately continues to plummet when compared to worldwide education standards. The big difference between the U.S. public education system and others in the world is that we have unions that only care about the adults in the system. Since the rise of teachers’ unions in this nation, our public education system has deteriorated.
I always encourage folks to choose a job they love! If you are uninspired because of the lack of a cost of living increase, I encourage you to speak with your neighbors who work in the private sector. Ask them when was the last time they were guaranteed pay increases that were not based on performance standards. Furthermore, teachers who are dissatisfied with their pay and benefits should look for work elsewhere so that someone who is inspired to greatness can take their place in the classroom. Our children deserve an exceptional and inspired teacher in every classroom. Don’t you agree?
If you look at all the possible things the state can do for its citizens, you will quickly realize there will never be enough money for all of the programs that some legislators want. Just like you and I do in our own household budgets, so must the legislature. For me, it’s all about priorities and spending less money that the state takes in. If we do this, we will have a reserve for emergencies and economic downturns so that we can avoid raising yet more taxes.
I am a State Representative with core values in smaller, more efficient government, more personal responsibility and less reliance on government in our everyday lives. My positions were clearly stated in my year long campaign before I was elected and they should come as no surprise.
To every excellent teacher in Clark County. Thank you for the great work you are doing in our classrooms. Enjoy your summer!
Washington State House of Representatives
18th Legislative District
“Protecting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”