Letters to the Editor

Teacher's op-ed just makes teachers look worse

If the critical thinking expressed in Josh Morton’s Jan. 16 Guest Opinion (“Supporting SK schools a wise economic decision”) is an example of what our students are being taught these days, I’d say we’re already paying far too much rather than too little for the limited return we’re getting.

Morton, a South Kitsap teacher, begins his meandering journey through logic by blaming the current economic recession on “greed and deregulation,” then proceeds to explain how he and his wife financed their own educations by maxing out their credit cards and defaulting on the payments.

Naturally, however, he avoids such an unflattering description when heaping praise on the credit counseling agency that subsequently assisted his efforts to weasel out of his obligations.

Similarly, Morton refers to his mortgage company as the “Evil Empire” for actually raising his adjustable mortgage rate to $2,600 a month when the market tanked — which it did mainly because of people like himself, who can’t quite grasp the idea of living within their means.

Unless I missed that part of his letter, I’m reasonably sure no one held a gun to Morton’s head when he signed his ARM, with its initial low interest rate. But instead of giving the mortgage company credit for enabling him to live in what was obviously more home than he could afford during the early years of the deal, he condemns it for not agreeing to let him renege on the agreement with no consequences.

Finally, our misguided young victim recalls his shock when the family’s minivan was found to need $5,000 in repairs — although it doesn’t seem to occur to him that other families are making do with vehicles that aren’t worth $5,000 altogether.

Morton caps all this by admonishing us to ignore our own economic hardships in order to continue funding local schools — and, perhaps not coincidently, his salary — at current or higher levels.

My response is that critics who believe overpaid, out-of-touch teachers are at the heart of our failing education system should consider Morton their Exhibit A.

Anyone who hasn’t got the sense to manage his own affairs any better than Josh Morton does has a lot of nerve demanding that we continue paying him a wage that will keep him in a $250,000 home and driving a $25,000 vehicle while he imparts his “wisdom” to our children.

Professionally as well and personally, Morton seems perfectly willing to have others subsidize his own irresponsibility. But speaking only for myself, I’ve had quite enough of it, thanks.

M.R. KELLEY

South Kitsap

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