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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Support effort to reduce student debt

Letter to the Editor

Jeanne Shaheen’s recent campaign ad regarding student loan debt (Simplifying Access to Student Loan Information Act) should be taken seriously. Many new teachers’ starting salaries are less than $40,000 a year. Some may think that is a lot of money, given that school is typically “in session” only 182 days (or less) per year, seven hours a day. But that does not account for the countless hours developing lesson plans, correcting papers, after-school parent-teacher meetings and other mandatory meetings, as well as providing time for students who request extra assistance.

At the side of our teachers are our certified paraeducators, who, at base pay, may receive less than $13.00 an hour (less than $16,000 per year) yet they also must know the curriculum. They, too, face enormous debt because it’s their dream to become a full-fledged teacher. ...

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Jeanne Shaheen’s recent campaign ad regarding student loan debt (Simplifying Access to Student Loan Information Act) should be taken seriously. Many new teachers’ starting salaries are less than $40,000 a year. Some may think that is a lot of money, given that school is typically “in session” only 182 days (or less) per year, seven hours a day. But that does not account for the countless hours developing lesson plans, correcting papers, after-school parent-teacher meetings and other mandatory meetings, as well as providing time for students who request extra assistance.

At the side of our teachers are our certified paraeducators, who, at base pay, may receive less than $13.00 an hour (less than $16,000 per year) yet they also must know the curriculum. They, too, face enormous debt because it’s their dream to become a full-fledged teacher.

People who desire to teach are extremely special; to me it’s the noblest of professions. As Jeanne Shaheen puts it, “They should not be burdened with debt; they should be chasing their dreams.”

I urge everyone to support Jeanne Shaheen’s efforts to help our current and future educators by supporting this act.

Penny Arsenault

Milford