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Teachers’ pay freeze would be small sacrifice

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

A few years ago, a friend, who happened to be a retiring Dixon school teacher, confided to me that he felt “a little guilty” in collecting his, and I quote, “embarrassingly generous” retirement package.

Over the years and unbeknown to most of the public, educators, facilitated by weak or biased school boards and an extremely powerful political lobby, have negotiated incredibly lucrative contracts.

Unfortunately, these unsustainable “deals with the devil” are vampiring close to 85 percent of institutional working capital, afflicting taxpayers and coming at the expense of their students by loss of programs, services (Bi-County, etc.), and increased fees.

As education devolves into organized indoctrination, it coerces taxpayers to fill the financial void by employing “we’re worth it” or “you promised us” propaganda. 

The correlation of unionization to dropping test scores may be evidenced by the higher average scoring of private school students, and discredits the “higher salary equals better education” theory.

Considering that teachers enjoy 180-day work years, good salaries, job security, almost free health care, and pensions under which some retirees collect more, in the first year or two, than they contribute in a career, a pay freeze seems of little sacrifice. 

Wisconsin, with a balanced budget, has curtailed property tax increases, with schools compensating by asking higher employee contributions to health care and retirement programs. 

Leading by example, overpaid administrators might voluntarily reduce their own salaries and benefits.

Although lacking the power, courage or commitment to buck the union, many dedicated individual instructors, privately, hold the welfare of their students and community paramount to money.

Collectively, though, they possess no such scruples and, as taxpayers are beginning to angrily discover, the unabashed greed (demanding 30 percent pay increases) and militancy of our public services is enough to make a teamster blush. 

Guess I forgot that “it’s for the children.”

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