Good teachers are worth their weight in gold and their pay should reflect that, but facts are part of the equation
After it was reported that Gov. Doug Ducey gave promotions and accompanying raises to numerous staffers, Arizona’s teachers are now demanding salary increases.
Speaking for the teachers was their Arizona Education Association union boss, Joe Thomas, who said, “Everybody deserves a healthy pay raise and I think our teachers were counting on that.” Thomas described the teachers, whose emotions ran the entire gamut, as “disappointed, angry and outraged,” that their pay bump was only one percent compared to the governor’s staff who received larger increases.
The pay issue raised some questions. Randomly picking a central Phoenix school district, we downloaded its Aug. 7, beginning and May 23, ending school days for the current 180 day calendar year. There were eleven days that were listed as “Half Day Schedules” and “Early Release Days.” Ten holidays were listed, totaling 29 days. Easter and Christmas have gone by the wayside, replaced by Spring (6 days) and Winter(12 days) Breaks. A 5 day Fall Break is in addition to a 2 day Thanksgiving Break. Teachers Planning Days are half days for students and no teaching is done on state testing days. “Teacher Collaboration Time” factors in as an Early Release Day.
State employees in Arizona have ten holidays off. They work full days and have no time set aside for collaboration with their co-workers. Unlike teachers, they don’t get the summer off. State workers are not members of a union. Employees can be fired at will since they have no guaranteed employment protection as do tenured teachers. State workers have to show they are performing to standard, turning out a quality work product. Teachers’ pay based performance standards should be high achieving students, but such sensible markers are vigorously opposed by the unions.
Without teaching to a specific test, teachers should have student achievement markers tied to salary increases, just like the rest of us. There is a reason many parents are choosing alternatives to public schools.
And how is it that “underpaid” teachers are able to send dues specifically earmarked to fund mostly liberal politicians? These are the people who spend more time influencing American students than their parents do. Consider why Leftist Barack Obama and Socialist Bernie Sanders cornered the youth vote.
Open Secrets/The Center for Responsive Politics shows the $ millions the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) lobbying arms give to leftist elected officials. The AFT gave not one thin dime to Republicans.
We’ve all seen the intended to be humorous video clips of students strolling their university campuses, who are unable to answer the most basic questions regarding American history, geography or politics but know the latest celebrity trivia. They are pathetic rather than funny. Yet they spent years in classrooms, graduating with enough on their educational resume to gain admittance to a university.