How This is Wrong.


After some fireworks and feel good statements from the Manchester School Board, Hillside Middle School teacher Lynn Manning gets fired from her position teaching sixth grade.

This was the teacher that was caught bringing drugs into the state prison.

In addition to facing felony level charges for the narcotics I’m wondering how long it will be before Ms. Manning appears as a teacher in another school. There might be a question as to how she could land another teaching position and there is one answer for this.

Critical need.

Across New England and in New Hampshire elementary school teachers are in high demand. I think the reason(s) for this is apparent: Too much for too little. In addition to the educational experience; an NH elementary school teacher is required at a minimum to maintain a portfolio based certification in addition to continual federal and state requirements such as No Child Left Behind, Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and the rigors of a classroom with 20-30 students some of which are assigned a para-professional. It’s not uncommon to see an elementary school teacher being expected to work 50-60 hour weeks during the school year. It’s true that teachers do get weekends, holidays and summers off but I calculated the salary wages for a starting level elementary school teacher it’s in the area of $14.66 an hour on a 40 hour week pay basis.

Schools are having a hard time filling elementary school positions even with this economy. I understand that in Maine this situation has reached critical mass where it’s not uncommon to see long-term substitutes and retired teachers in elementary classrooms as the positions remain unfilled. I can’t imagine school districts cutting budgets helping this situation.

So I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that if Ms. Manning worked at it she could land another teaching position, even with the felony level drug charges. This is clearly wrong. But I think it’s a reality that goes unnoticed and unreported in the educational system in New Hampshire and New England.

To Be Continued…