Education issues are pushing teachers to their limit

Published: Feb. 21, 2022 at 6:32 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Monday, Representative Liz Boldon (DFL) put together a roundtable discussion for teachers, parents and students to express their concerns with the current education system.

“This job is impossible,” said RPS English teacher Peggy Kraske.

Teachers and students alike say they are not getting everyday needs met, especially here in Rochester.

“Everybody is trying to do their level best in a system that isn’t working for anybody,” said Rep. Liz Boldon (DFL).

“As a student, what can you do to help these teachers,” said Mayo High School student Will Laudon. “It’s really sad.”

This is causing a snowball affect of problems, including overcrowded classrooms.

“The more kids you have in a class, the harder it is to get to know all of them,” said RPS math teacher Carrie Sparks.

Underpaid staff is also a huge issue according to those present at the discussion.

“Paying our subs more would be huge,” said RPS English teacher Simon Glaser.

“The most our salaries have ever increased in a given year, three percent, and everybody knows that everything’s going up,” said Kraske. “Our current contract that we just negotiated is nowhere close to the cost of living or inflation.”

These problems are leading to overall mental health concerns with staff and students.

“We don’t have mental health resources in our schools,” said Laudon.

“It’s a hard job and we’re losing teachers,” said Kraske. “We will lose a lot of teachers after this year for a lot of reasons.”

Rep. Boldon has a few ideas up her sleeve though.

“I think the early childhood and education space I am very excited for,” said Boldon. “Student support personnel. So, that touches on a lot of what you mentioned around resources for students.”

“We should be fully funding our public education system,” Boldon said.

According to Rep. Boldon, an education bill will be presented to the House and the Senate soon. Until then, staying connected to educators and students in Rochester is critical to her work.

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