21 February 2011

Time for another education rant

I think if my old boss were still around, he'd be in Wisconsin.  Because what's happening there is just plain wrong. For those more focused on other issues, the Wisconsin governor and legislature (specifically the state senate) is trying to ram through an "emergency" budget bill that not only cuts the salary and benefits of Wisconsin's teachers, but also strips the teachers of their rights to collective bargaining.

I'll be brief.  Wisconsin has some economic problems, but overpaying teachers is not one of them.    The starting salary for a teacher in Wisconsin: $25,000.  College degree required, along with extensive review and licensing issues.  Your average teacher can look forward to a salary somewhere in the mid 40's.  This is NOT a lot of money.  Despite this, the teachers' unions have already conceded to the GOP's demands to cut their salary and benefits.  So the budget arguments are off the table.

Americans have fought and died for rights like collective bargaining.  This is a freedom issue, and the Republicans are on the wrong side of it.  Making teaching a less-attractive profession does nothing to improve Wisconsin's ability to educate its children and compete and succeed in a rapidly evolving economy, but taking away hard-fought rights (only for unions who historically support Democrats, of course) is disgusting.

Wisconsin can now look forward to less motivation and talent in their teaching pool.  Attention, potential teachers:  You can now make more money working full-time in food service or retail.  Especially if you join a union.

Move over, Kentucky - Wisconsin is about to join you in the tragic sinkhole of low expectations.

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