Chris Christie is doing now what governors should have been doing for an entire century. He has guts and is willing to address tough subjects. Here is a recent video where he challenges a superintendent from his home district and the money that superintendent expects to be paid in salary. For perspective, keep in mind that Chris Christie, who is running an entire state only makes $175,000.
This is not a problem regulated to New Jersey. In Ohio, Kevin Bright Superintendent of the Mason School System was paid $146,728 in 2005, and now makes over $218,000 in 2010. Is he doing work more valuable than the Governor of a state?
This is how these budgets the schools are working with gets all out of control. Nobody is asking these people to work for free, but over 200K? To be paid more than a governor of a state?
Education can never be discussed realistically in a funding sense as long as there are people in the system that are willing to abuse the system and use children to do it. And as long as there are people who are willing to look the other way and not discuss the value of a position, or to assert that the value of something is based on emotional concerns, all involved act with reckless irresponsibility.
On the picture to the right, the highest paid governor of a state is California and is just over $200K a year. Quite a few of them are making under 100K.
Now consider that many tenured teachers are pushing that same figure, and they don’t have term limits like a governor. They will stay on a districts budget for many years, and therefore taxpayers have to figure out how to pay them. So are teachers saying that their work is comparable to running a state?
Actually, they are. I’ve recieved many letters where they actually believe that their work directly contributes to the success of a child’s future, and therefore is more important than the transitory work of a current politician. And it is that type of arrogance that distorts all value, and creates a negotiation divide that is unrealistic.
So how do we fix it? You have to tell them no, and what is acceptable. You have to not allow them to manipulate you like children throwing a fit trying to embarrass you in a store, because they aren’t getting what they want.
Taking away busing is just the kind of thing I’m talking about. Why would you cut busing when all you’d have to do is freeze step increases for wages that are already over 50K per year, more than a fair enough wage.
Because they want to inconvenience the tax payers so they vote YES the next time. If you want to fix it, you have to tell them no.