By Rich Kozlovich
Whenever you hear the statement, "It's for the children", you had better start looking a lot deeper into the subject because that is an emotional trigger that is used to hide something. For decades I have heard that teachers are so grossly underpaid that we need to give them all raises; substantial raises! We are told they are so over worked that we need to reduce class sizes substantially. We are told that teachers gave up wonderful careers in business to teach our children, so they deserve so much more; which of course is a logical fallacy because they have no clue as to whether they would have even been able to hold down a job, let alone have a wonderfully successful career in business.
Whether they are lacking in getting the appropriate appreciation financially for the work they do needs debating, but one of the things that teachers don’t lack in is brass.
In an article by Tim Gantert entitled “Teacher upset she can’t retire at 47” he outlines how a teacher by the name of Terri List from Saginaw Township, Michigan “says she would tell her students not to become a teacher in Michigan.” Why? Because she is outraged that she won’t be able to retire at age 47 and earn $60,000 a year....for doing nothing. Furthermore that figure “would increase 3 percent a year and she would get health benefits when she retired at age 60”. It might be worth noting that with the three percent increases in her retirement package (assuming that percent of increase never changes) she will be receiving $85,545.65 a year and benefits...for doing nothing by age 60.
However, we need to understand the miracle of compound interest, of which the negotiators of these contracts were clearly totally and unforgivably ignorant. How much will she be receiving by age 80? This of course is presuming that she lives that long, and today that isn’t an unreasonable expectation. That $85,545.65 would skyrocket to $133,277.34 a year….plus benefits..... for doing nothing.
(Note: I calculated all the figures at $45.000, $60,000 and $90,000 since the higher figure was an earning expectation and the lower figure was a reasonable assumption of initial earnings based on what was stated, although that intital figure may have been even smaller making this whole scenario even worse, and the middle figure is what was stated as to what she would earn retired in her first year at age 47.)
Currently she earns (as an English teacher……you know....they ones who are supposed to teach our kids to read and write) “between $70,000 and $80,000 a year depending upon her level of education and it’s likely List would make more than $90,000 with 3% pay increases over the next 15 years. I think we can reasonable to assume she didn’t start out at this salary, and she probably didn’t start teaching until after college, or around the age of 22. If she were to retire at 47 she would have worked for the Saginaw Township system for 25 years. If she lives to be 80 she will collect from the system for 33 years. If she started out at 45,000 a year; (I chose $45,000 a year based on her statement that they could hire two teachers to replace her and save money) and worked her way to 90,000 a year, and the raises averaged around three percent that means she would have earned around $1,689.000,000 during her entire working career for the system.
If she lives to 80 she would be out of the system for 33 years and received 2,641,000.00, and benefits ….for doing nothing. She will receive a million dollars more out of the system retired than she earned working in the system. Would someone explain to me how that makes sense? I am almost 66 and yet I'm still working; I find that incredible.
To add insult to injury the article went on to say “that it is likely that List bought “years of service” because she said she would have 43 years of service by age 60. Van Beek said that practice is basically extinct in the private sector.” This is absolutely insane.
Once again; aren’t these the same people who have claimed for decades they are over worked, underpaid and unappreciated? I don’t know how everyone feels, but eventually earning ninety thousand dollars a year for nine months work seems like a darn good pay. Amazing!
For years we have been told that the reason schools were failing in their task of turning out kids that could read, write and do basic math problems is that the teachers were underpaid and the classes were too large. So what can we glean from that? We probably should assume that they are deliberately failing to do the job we are paying them to do. However; Americans bought into that because they want kids to have the tools to do well in life and were willing to pay for it. What happened? It got worse! Apparently they weren’t deliberately failing to do the work they have been hired to do. They are incapable of doing that work they were hired to do. After all getting more money, which was their solution, turned out not to solve the problem we wanted solved after all. We wanted kids who could read, write and do basic math.
However, it did solve the “problem” they were really concerned about; more money, less work, better benefits with less accountability for how they act and what they do. They wanted tenure, then the wanted unions, and then they wanted to be protected from their failures. Now they blame the system, the parents and anyone else who wouldn’t buy into the propaganda they have been spewing out for decades for the failure of our educational systems. So now what do we have? They are failing our children for a whole lot more money and still we are told that they are grossly underpaid and horribly overworked because and the classrooms are still too large.
It still comes down to this. Children are still being turned out into society who can’t read, can’t write, can’t spell, have no idea where anything is in the world, and are clueless when it comes to profoundly important historical characters and events. However, they absolutely know that Rachel Carson was an environmental saint and global warming is going to kill everyone if we don’t turn all power over to the United Nations….or Al Gore at the very least.
Apparently the teachers are capable of teaching them something....it is unfortunate that the something they are teaching them is nothing but radical socialism, multiculturalism and environmentalist propaganda that is sure to do nothing but destroy western advanced societies. Let’s face the facts. If these people were turning out nuts and bolts instead of supposedly educated children the purchasers would refuse them as defective.
The only fix to that is to start with the basics one step at a time. Let’s start with firing bad teachers. Let’s start with pay decreases for poor work and increases for good work. Let’s start with the elimination of tenure. Let’s start with an outline of what they are expected to teach. Most importantly; let’s start with local control; absolute total local control, starting with vouchers and help for those who wish to home school. When that happens the education system will start paying attention and start performing. After all, no one is more concerned about how the children are taught and what they are taught than the parents.
But most importantly; we have to understand that none of that can happen unless we start at the root of the problem. Ending union involvement in education! They represent the teachers and themselves, not the children. It has not now, nor has it ever been “For the Children”. We really do need to get that.