It’s an all-too-common story and it’s the one facing Kathy Meltsakos, a special education paraprofessional working in northeast Massachusetts, hard by the Atlantic. She lives on the same street she grew up on and has worked the schools she attended years ago, bringing a deep knowledge of the generations of people living in and around her town into that work.
Education support professionals like Meltsakos and the rest of America’s workers are doing their best to weather today’s economy. But consider the numbers.
Initially earning $13.74 for a 35-hour week with the Pentucket schools, Meltsakos paid 20 percent of her insurance, which was manageable, and she did that for 10 years until laid off in June 2010. While looking for work she received unemployment benefits.
“I was placed at the bottom of the scale at $10.74 an hour for a 30-hour week. After taxes, I paid 60 percent of my medical insurance. My pay stubs from February to June 24 (the end of the school year) show no net take home pay since February. Oh – and the insurance rates went up in May.”
Don’t even think about embryonic stem cell research if you want to be in good standing with Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo.
Blair told parishes and parochial schools in his diocese to desist raising funds for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation for breast cancer research because maybe, maybe, someday in the future, the organization, which says it has never funded embryonic stem cell research, might support it.