Monday, June 13, 2011

Urban Legends in Education and A Political Reminder

The Tempered Radical gives readers a useful reminder.  I should probably repost this in January 2012.
Pay attention to what your elected officials are doing and saying because the very people screaming the loudest about cutting government spending just might be lining their own pockets in the process.
TR also points out that urban legends about teachers seem to be pretty similar in both North Carolina and South Dakota.
The general theme seems to be the same wherever you live:
  • Teachers make too much money.
  • Teachers have it easy.
  • Teachers aren’t worth what we pay them.
  • Teachers have it easy.
  • Let’s break the backs of the unions that protect bad teachers who are making too much money.
 South Dakota leaves out the last step because it busted unions a long time ago, so the attacks are a bit more personal.

2 comments:

Sylvia said...

Let me give you a few facts about teacher's salaries in my town of Yankton, SD. I learned these facts as they came out as part of the campaign the school district mounted to raise additional revenue by raising Yankton's property tax. There are 153 school districts in SD. Yankton's teachers are the third highest paid. The average teacher's pay is $45,000 with administration in the $80,000 to $120,000 range. The average salary in Yankton is $42,000. The teachers have the best insurance plan in SD. They pay 15% of their premiums while taxpayer pay 85%. Taxpayers also contribute to teacher's penion funds. Yes, teachers work hard and put in overtime, but so do the rest of us and we don't get 2 months paid vacation, 2 weeks for Christmas or 1 week for spring break. I am not judging if teachers are overpaid or not, I am just saying they are very well compensated for the work they do and I am tired of having them protray themselves as underpaid, overworked and unappreciated. Perhaps urban legend has a ring of truth. I resent being asked to pay even higher taxes to support them and the school system. Here is a novel idea. If they want more money "for the kids" and to save their fellow teacher's jobs, why not take a small across the board pay cut? Oops--that would come out of their pocketbooks and not the "selfish" (their word) taxpayer's.

LK said...

Sylvia,

I have been gone for a bit, so I didn't have time to do much more than blurb posts or responses.

Starting at the bottom, I don't recall ever calling anyone selfish on this blog. Yankton teachers, to the best of my knowledge, did propose a pay freeze months before the board voted to opt out.

As far as money/benefits that you make, SD is 50th in teacher pay, so being at the top of the bottom of the heap is not really a major accomplishment. This post points out some other things to consider. http://madvilletimes.com/2011/06/south-dakota-teacher-pay-last-again-63-of-national-average/
This post shows that a plurality of Sioux Falls voters may disagree with you. http://madvilletimes.com/2011/06/49-of-sioux-falls-voters-say-teachers-deserve-more-pay/

I think all of us resent paying more for anything. I get angry when I see articles like this one. http://www.alternet.org/story/151351/ceo_of_walmart_makes_in_one_hour_what_the_average_employee_makes_in_a_year:_how_skyrocketing_inequality_is_hurting_america

Most of your responses were on the second quotation. When I cut and pasted the first part, I was thinking about the fact some people estimate that government--federal,state, and local--spends $700 billion on public education. I pretty sure that the corporations that are trying to get their hands on that money are looking to dramatically increase their profits and don't care about taxes.