Letter to the Editor: My Teachers Matter
Senior Akhil Kesaraju explains what his teachers mean to him.
As a 9th grader, I remember being nervous about the difficulty of my pre-calculus class. I had never learned anything remotely close to calculus prior to joining high school, and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to transition easily from middle school math into such a difficult class. However, I quickly realized something that has stuck with me throughout my high school life: teachers are devoted to their students and teach out of passion. My pre-calculus teacher spent hours with me after school helping me in areas I struggled with, and as a result, I was able to do well in that class. However, it wasn’t her teachings in math that truly impacted me, but rather her passion for teaching in general. She knew as a child that she wanted to educate others and help them succeed, and that dream led her to become a teacher; her passion to help me succeed inspired me to work hard throughout the remainder of my high school career. She is one of thousands of Kentucky teachers who work countless hours within and outside of school in order to educate Kentucky’s youth. Over the years, my teachers have greatly impacted my life. They have taught me skills that I need in order to become a productive member of society, have given me the guidance needed to pursue a college education, and have served as role models for my aspirations in life. This reality is the same for countless students around the state, and teachers are responsible for these realities.
Unfortunately, there are many who have benefited from the education system who fail to recognize the importance of the teaching profession as a whole. These individuals include my governor, Matt Bevin, and every Kentucky lawmaker who has supported the deplorable senate bills 1 and 151. Over the past several months, these individuals have repeatedly called my teachers and many others “selfish” for not getting on board with their bill, which essentially removes many of the promised benefits my teachers have been paying into for decades. It’s important to understand that teacher pension is essentially retirement for teachers since they are not eligible for social security. Teachers have been paying the required amounts into their pension for years, and the real issue is that the state has not done the same. The current tax system has caused the lack of revenue needed to fund teacher pension, and this is due to legislative inaction and inability. Although Senate Bill 1 had been opposed by current and future retirees for several months, the same Kentucky lawmakers who supported the bill had the audacity to transfer elements of the legislation into Senate Bill 151, which concerns sewage: hiding legislation that will impact the lives of thousands of teachers and the profession as a whole behind a sewer bill is a disgusting political move. In addition to that, these lawmakers didn’t allow for time for the legislation to have public testimonies, actuarial analysis, and other standard measures taken for any fiscal legislation.
My teachers and teachers around the state deserve more respect than what has been given to them by the disgusting lawmakers in Frankfort who have supported Senate bills 1 and 151. There are plenty of more effective solutions, with one clear solution being reforming the tax system to generate more revenue. The passage of Senate bill 151 will not only harm current teachers, but it will also reduce the quality of education around the state as a whole in coming years by harming the profession for potential teachers. I grieve for my teachers and others around the state, and I will remember the lawmakers who contributed to the detrimental decision that has occurred when I am able to vote in November.