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I read with great interest the letter from a reader apparently attempting to equate a teacher's salary with the quality of education provided. I, too, was the product of a parochial school education and my husband primarily of the public school system. We have both achieved comparable levels of success in our professions. When it came to selecting a school for our children, it was only after visiting and talking with the staff of the public, private and parochial schools that we elected to go the route of a Catholic education. It is a decision we have not regretted.

I am continually amazed at the energy, patience, enthusiasm and infusion of fresh ideas I see in my children's teachers -- many of whom have been teaching 10 or more years. Their dedication to academic excellence, discipline and the upholding of Christian values are the reasons most parents choose a parochial school education. I am amazed at the number of public school teachers who entrust their own children's education to the non-public sector.

I agree that Catholic school teachers are underpaid. The mission of a Catholic education is to provide an affordable, quality education, not to have tuition in the league of private schools. Our Home-School Association is constantly evaluating and implementing creative fund-raising ideas to bolster our bottom line.

A bigger paycheck doesn't mean a better teacher. One can find good and bad teachers in any system. The critical difference is the teacher's attitude and love for teaching and students, combined with parental support.

Scott and Laurie Seier Williamsville

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