In reference to “Study: NC public school teachers absent more than charter teachers” (Sept. 24): I appreciate that the piece mentioned the bias of the foundation that funded that study. I would like to mention many North Carolina schools are year-round schools that have teachers who work 12 months. Using all 10 sick days plus two personal days gives those employees one day off per month. Whether the teacher is actually sick, taking care of a sick family member, or using the day as a mental health day, we want our teachers to use their time off so that they can better educate our children and make the best decisions in order to keep students safe.
Let us not forget that North Carolina teachers are some of the lowest paid and least satisfied teachers in the country. It’s extremely difficult to show up and do a great job every day when the demands are high and the pay is low. Teachers who work for charter schools are paid even less and also receive less paid time off, so obviously they will take less time off. Charter schools do not fix the problem; they only shift the money farther away from teachers.
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I couldn’t agree more with Eugene Robinson’s column “Progressives should push for Medicare for All” (Sept. 18). This is not a new concept; it can be traced back to the Truman administration. By the way, one of its longtime supporters has been the Heritage Foundation, a very conservative think tank; anyone remember RommeyCare? Robinson’s explanations of its potential costs seem plausible, but he fails to mention one critical cost factor, the administrative costs.
There is statistical evidence that insurance-driven programs have an administrative cost in the 25 percent to 30 percent range; recent analysis of Medicare has its administrative costs at 2 percent, a huge savings. I have never understood why we send our dollars to an insurance office, which then forwards these dollars to our doctors and hospitals. Why is there this middle man? The notion that we do not have socialized programs other than medical-related ones is untrue. The universal health care system Sen. Bernie Sanders proposes is no different from the way we fund public education: Everyone pays taxes to support schools, whether they have children or not.
Yes, under Medicare for All we would all pay higher Medicare taxes, but this would be offset by the elimination of the ever-increasing rise in insurance premiums.
In 2018, progressives need to make this their signature goal. Why? Because it affects everyone, and if they want political power back, they must meet the needs of everyone. It’s a no-brainer.
David N. Camaione, PhD, FACSM