Harlem Parents

By: Caroline Brady Email
By: Caroline Brady Email

Tammie Bair hosted a full house Thursday afternoon. Her four daughters, home for the third day of the Harlem teacher strike, hosted other friends with nothing to do. Tammie says she's getting frustrated.

"So here we are in a district that we hand picked, that we thought was gonna be pretty good, and here we are sitting at home."

Tammie says she's one of the lucky ones...she can arrange her schedule to watch her girls and their friends play at her house. But this is her second time through a Harlem strike, and she's worried about what's to come.

"I don't know what they're doing or what they're thinking. What am I gonna do with my kids for, I think it was, 9 days?"

Options for parents less fortunate than Tammie are getting slim. The YMCA and the Harlem Community Center are offering daycare, but both are at least 20 dollars a day...and they're getting pretty full pretty fast.

"I don't want to send them to the Y with all those other hundreds of frustrated kids," Tammie says. "I don't think that's a very good solution, to have them all in a room together frustrated."

With a degree in education in her back pocket, Tammie hopes it works out for the best.

"They should be paid what they deserve. We're going to lose a lot of good teachers through this."

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Trace Location: Harlem District on Aug 24, 2007 at 04:52 PM
    I am a parent in the district and my question is... Why have there been 3 strikes in 5 yrs? Seem's to me it's more than "teachers complaining" about money. Check out www.thechampion.org Our teachers do not start at "about 40k" They are teaching the leaders of our future! The School Board needs to recognize the importance of what they do and make a totally fair pay scale. No more seperations!
  • by Jan Location: rkfd on Aug 24, 2007 at 03:47 PM
    Dear upset parent, Please make sure your info is correct. I have a copy of the Harlem Contract from 06-07. I almost took a job there until i found out the salary schedule. Starting pay for 1st year was 31035 (9% goes toward retirement). Family benefits are 350.00 per month and nothing is covered until the $1000.00 deductible is paid. I left for a higher paying distict...and glad i did.
  • by Ryan Location: Roscoe on Aug 24, 2007 at 12:02 PM
    As an Alumni of Harlem it makes me sit back and chuckle to see how bent out of shape the parents are becoming over this strike. Everyone wants to put the blame on the school board but why not blame ourselves? How many times did we turn down an educational tax referendum that would put more money into the district to pay for teachers salaries or rising health costs. I believe we failed 5 or 6 times. Now we want to blame the school board. YES, we may have a surplus of 10 million dollars but Harlem is not just looking for the now but for the future financial stability of the district. Quit blaming others and take some of the blame ourselves. We helped contribute to this mess. Kind of makes you wish you passed those referendums in years past. Our Kids would be in school and our teachers in the classroom.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 24, 2007 at 05:52 AM
    My friend teaches in the district and she has been their for three years and makes no where near 40,000 a year
  • by Amy Location: Machesney Park on Aug 23, 2007 at 05:13 PM
    Harlem now has such a large surplus; however our middle school students don't have enough text books and lockers to go around and to be involved in sports and driver's education costs a fortune. Times are tough for everyone. Low raises and rising health insurance premiums are a reality. I believe that teachers shouldn't have to go backwards, but is there a little greed involved here? Why are we only hearing about how the teachers should get more money and not of their concern for their students?
  • by Upset parent Location: Harlem School Dist on Aug 23, 2007 at 04:56 PM
    This ridiculos strike is not stopping the varisty football team, in spirit. They are still hosting their weekly pasta night tonight as if they were playing tomorrow night. We pay $200.00 for our children to play football. This equals $25.00 per game. Are the teachers going to reimburse all of us parents this money that we are losing. What about the college scholarship funds that were going to help us with their education.Who will reimburse us that money? It seems to me the teachers are being quite greedly. What happend to it being "all about the kids"? They knew going into this career that they would not become millionaires. They start at almost 40,000. a year and do not pay for benefits. Don't we all wish we could be that lucky.
  • by Kelly Location: Rockford on Aug 23, 2007 at 04:42 PM
    Parents of Harlem students and community members can obtain information by visiting www.harlemft.org I hope this helps.
  • by Todd on Aug 23, 2007 at 04:38 PM
    Area teachers don't realize how well they are already being compensated when compared to local private sector employees who help fund their salary increases.
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