Reckoning Time For Public Schools
R. Cort Kirkwood
by R. Cort Kirkwood
time someone tells you public schools are "underfunded,"
laugh your behind off.
underfunded, mainly, because teachers are "underpaid,"
but two recent newspaper stories put the notion to rest. One reveals
what teachers really earn, while another details public school administrators
pulling down a quarter-million dollars annually in retirement.
the only underpaid people in public schools, the stories prove,
are janitors who mop up the revolting bathrooms.
the Washington Times reports, are quite well paid.
hourly and annual work data are incorporated into the analysis,"
the paper quotes two economists, "the evidence points to teachers
being adequately paid in relation to other professionals.... [A]nalyses
done by groups like the AFT and NEA that call for pay increases
do not reflect this aspect of the teacher compensation puzzle."
make about 8 percent more than the average worker, and in 1992,
made 18 percent more. "In hourly terms," the paper reported,
"teachers earn more than architects, civil engineers, statisticians,
biological and life scientists, university-level foreign-language
teachers, and editors and reporters."
work about 38 hours a week, some 190 days a year, and fringe benefits
typically exceed those of the private sector. They rarely face lay-offs.
other words, unlike most jobs, teaching is not only lucrative but
the Chicago Tribune reports on a public-schools retirement
rip-off, citing the example of one principal.
his current contract, he was paid $190,525 a year. By the end of
the contract, heíll be up to $346,000. Plus, he can get a $20,000
bonus in each of his last four years. That adds up to a guaranteed
minimum salary of $1.36 million over five years, and as much as
pension will be at least $221,250," the paper reports, "but
it will be $232,500 if he gets all the bonuses. And the pension
will automatically increase by 3 percent a year, every year, once
he turns 61."
thatís not all: Administrator perks include "a second pension,
the right to cash in vacation days every year, cars for personal
use, even a mortgage."
facts belie woeful tales about "underpaid" teachers and
the facts invite the obvious question, from taxpayers: Do schools
deserve the money they get?
No. If the purpose of education is imparting knowledge, then the
public education system in America is an abject failure. Neither
its managers nor teachers deserve another penny.
we learn anything from our failed schools, we should learn that
unlimited access to the treasury is no guarantee of success. Indeed,
it has guaranteed chronic malfunction. Public school budgets always
increase. Yet we repeatedly hear about kids who canít read in 12th
grade, who donít know basic facts of history and who cannot add
high-school student from 2003, sent back in time to 1950, would
fail a fifth-grade history or English test.
kids enter adulthood addled and ignorant, but teachersí unions ask
for higher salaries. For what? To create another generation of idiots?
fashioned them with everything it spends on teacher pay, retirement
packages, "Head Start," dumping phonics, new math, "phys-ed,"
sight reading, the information superhighway, "teen living,"
filthy sex-ed disguised as "family life," and now something
called "no child left behind."
paid the bill. Reckoning time is here.
columnist R. Cort Kirkwood [send
him mail] is managing editor of the Daily News-Record
in Harrisonburg, Va.
© 2003 LewRockwell.com
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