I was deeply saddened by the news of this legislation that I received today. As a 6th year teacher, my take home pay totals 26,000 per year. I work 60 hrs. per week to meet my students' needs, the deadlines of the district, and state grade level content expectations. I love and want to help the children of our area, who are mostly in low income, high risk category. I have several concerns about this legislation. Is it really what is best for our children in this state? Our legislators propose cutting funding, when schools are already having a hard time meeting financial needs. Then they make it easier to take over financially insolvent schools (seems like a conflict of interest?) and fire the staff (doesn't it seem like they are creating the financial hardship?). The students in my school struggle with not having enough to eat, living with single parents struggling on mininum wage, abuse, neglect, and low economic status. I tutor kids after school for free to help as much as I can, but my own family gets less of my attention due to the great need of most of my class. I work a second job for 20 hours per week to make ends meet (for a total of 80 hours per week of work). Several nights per week I get 2-4 hours sleep in order to be prepared for teaching or correct work (there is no time during the school day to do this). I give up my lunch break to take care of behavior problems that occur in class or tutor children. My ongoing education that is required by the state will total 3000 dollars this year alone, not to mention the 30,000 dollars I still owe on my student loan for the five year degree teaching requires. When will the public, and our representatives stop expecting teachers to work to their detrement and treat them as the professionals that they are rather than as if the "emotional reward" of teaching should be enough for any caring person? Yes, we love your children. We put in the hours, sometimes leading to our own isolation from our families, and friends due to our work load. But I ask.....how many of you would like to work 60 hours to bring home 26,000 dollars, then pay out $2000 on classroom supplies because the state underfunds our schools, then pay $3000 for additional classes? That brings the pay down to $21,000 for a college educated professional. Sounds great huh? Now take %5 off that, and what does that leave? ... Talented people leaving the profession. A resentful workforce that feels underappreciated for their sacrifice, that will in turn bring negative repercussions to our schools. They eventually will not be able to attract people to this field. And also.....according to the study I currently read, teachers are paid 4% less than people with the same education in the private sector. Even with benefits included, it was still 2% less. So why is there less protest about this absurd proposal?