Over at Madville, Cory has banged the drum to increase teach pay.To mix metaphors and academic disciplines, I suppose I should play Sancho Panza to his Don Quixote, but the fog has cleared and the imaginary giant is a fortified windmill on a hostile political landscape.
When it comes to public schools and teachers, not a few Libertarians hope the schools fail because public schools are a government project. If low teacher pay breaks the public schools, that's a win in these Libertarians' book. Likewise, a vocal coterie of social conservatives believe that teachers hand out hall passes with the phone number for and directions to Planned Parenthood stamped on the back. In their eyes, teachers have become enablers of baby killing who deserve no comfort. Many wealthy liberals--granted only seventeen liberals exist in South Dakota--and many wealthy conservatives send their young'uns to denominational schools that often pay teachers less than public schools pay their teachers. They have no reason to want to pay public school teachers more when those who teach their children frequently earn less. Finally, country club Republicans can use low teacher pay as a prime example that illustrates that the pesky unions won't bother any business choosing to come to South Dakota to pay lower taxes.
The above paragraph may paint with too broad a brush, but in the main, I think it's an accurate reflection of many South Dakotan's attitudes. Even if I'm wrong about all of the above, Governor Daugaard holds teachers responsible for defeating last session's HB 1234 at the ballot box. No one hold grudges better than a scorned politician. The Governor is not going to accept a pay all teachers a little more plan so soon after his pay some teachers considerably more plan was rejected.
Finally, South Dakota is not immune for the income disparities that afflict the nation. The sad truth is that far too many South Dakotans earn less than teachers. It's a tough sell to ask them to pay more so someone else can take home more.
Most of these political conditions have existed for over thirty years and have become more entrenched. I think I'll listen for a drumbeat that sends one marching toward a defeatable chimera. (I know I mixed metaphors and literary genres again, but I really wanted a myth allusion. If I'm not going to get paid, I should have a little fun.)