Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Where Have all the Greenbacks Gone?

The next time that you hear a teacher whining about how little they're paid, or how they're spending their own money in the classroom, think about this:

Here in Minnesota we spend half of the state budget on education. Half of every dollar that i give to the state government in taxes goes to education. Half! When is it going to be enough?

That means that in this state we spend about $10,000 per child per year.

I went through my daughter's yearbook and counted the number of students per classroom. There about 20 in each class. The number is actually a bit hgher, but we'll stick with that for simplicity's sake.

If you multiply that $10,000 by the 20 students, you get $200,000 per classroom! $200,000 to run a room that's half the size of my house! Every year!

My daughter's school isn't that big. There are about 30 classrooms in it.

Multiply that $200,000 by the 30 classrooms, and this school is running on $6 million per year. $6 million! $6,000,000 to run this dinky little elementary school!

Alright, so let's talk about teacher's salaries for a moment.

Let's say that each of these 30 teachers is making about $45,000 per year (for working eight months out of that year, I might add). And we'll add 10 additional staff for secretaries, custodians, etc.

So if you take those 40 staff members and multiply it by $45,000 you come up with $1,800,000 per year in salaries for the employees of this school.

Subtract that from the $6,000,000 from above and you wind up with $4.2 million dollars that's unaccounted for.

OK, so where could that money be going? Granted, they need to charter school buses, And buy new books every few years. I'll even give them 10 administrators in the district office. It shouldn't take more than that to run this little school. Utility bills are a cost, but I know what it costs to run a building 4 times the size of that one, and it doesn't put a dent in $4.2 million.

But they have the physical building, they have the desks and chairs, they have all of the computers and AV equipment, all of the gym equipment, all of the playground equipment, I can't think of anything major that they need to buy.

And when you factor in the fact that most of the supplies are "donated" by the parents, you can't even factor that in. I put "donated" in quotation marks because, what really happens, is that you're sent a list of things that "your" child "needs", and when you bring the stuff to school the first day, the first thing they do is collect it all and put it in one big communal bucket for all of the kids to use. And I do use the word "communal" with full knowledge of the implication of that word. The school is, after all, crawling with Lefties.

(I bought the cheapest garbage that I could for the list, and then loaded Monkey Girl up with the cool stuff for her own personal use. Piss on them.)

You also have the parent volunteers, who do much of the planning of events and activities, so the school isn't paying for that, either.

And I'm sure that there are a few things that I've forgotten, so let's be very generous and give them half of that $4.2 million for expenses. That leaves $2,100,000 completely unaccounted for. Where's it going?

Easy. Instead of the 10 administrators that it takes to run the place (and that's being generous, too) there are probably 40.

They're using all of this money to hire unnecessary workers to jack up their union rolls, which buys them more clout in the Legislature, which gets them even more money to hire even more unnecessary workers to jack up their union rolls even higher, which buys them even more clout in the Legislature...and pretty soon half of every dollar sent to the government goes to education.

So the next time that you hear a teacher whining about their salary, or how they're spending their own money in the classroom, you tell them to quit whining to you, and go whine to their union representative.

If they'd quit playing politics, and start putting the money that we give them towards the causes that we give it to them for, they could double the teachers' salaries and cut class sizes in half.

But if they did that, they wouldn't be able to hire more unnecessary workers to jack up their union rolls. Like all good Democrat problems, no matter how much they whine, they don't want it solved. They just want more of your money.


  1. exile i feel i should chime in on this one. both of my parents are teachers and i can tell that their salaries are less than fair for what they do. granted as you point out they work only part of the year- 9 months i believe, not the 8 you stated. even that is incorrect. my parents work at least two weeks after the year has ended and two weeks before the year begins. so, 10 months of the year. now, imagine all the people you work with at any job- the diversity in culture, personalities and so forth. now imagine all your coworkers are 10 years old and don't know enough to survive in the world or they are 17 and think they know everything and you will not convince them opposite of any of their viewpoints. imagine having to TEACH them. not like a job where it is simply training, but to at times have nothing to build upon- YOU are their foundation for education. teachers in general have probably the most underrated job of all yet we wouldn't do very well without them.

    as for the money i can't speak to it. haven't done any research on it. i do find it interesting though (oh my God, i may be in some agreement with you) that there is really no bang for the buck. a lot of money does go to education yet everytime i'm inside of a school they seem rundown. the books are not up to date and the staff is barely scraping by as far as supplies are concerned. i think perhaps the money does not go to elementary schools and high schools as much as it should. strange though that every community college i'm ever step foot in has the latest computer technology and is remodeling their campus to reflect a 'modern' design.

    and worst of all the only thing i hear on the news is more students are dropping out and failing even the most basic subjects miserably. oh, well- sorry for the long comment and all.

  2. In Oregon, some of our retired teachers are making more than their working salaries were. And, yes, we are at the $10,000/student mark as well. However, there is never enough money and parents pay for all extra cirricular on top of all the other fees.

  3. Slim:Teachers choose to teach. Its a choice they made knowing full well what the benefits/drawbacks are.
    Yes, they are underrated. Yes they should probably make more money. But they work for the government, remember?

    In my opinion, cops are underpaid as well. So are firefighters. So are a whole hell of a lot of people. But again...they choose their vocation.

    There are quite a few teachers in my family and they don't moan about their pay.

    The whole public education system is in need of major reform.

  4. The problem, as exile has pointed out so well, is the word "public" in front of education. Anything the government involves itself in will be done poorly and cost a whole lot more than private industry because no one is accountable, and no one has to make a profit to keep the doors open. All they have to do is present their sob story case to the legislature "It's for the children" and the cash starts flowing agian.

    My daughter has her two teenagers in a private school that doesn't cost her but a minute fraction of that ten grand per year, yet the standard test scores are far higher than the public schools in the same area. The difference is in the prefix. "Private" vs "Public".

    Robert Heinlein said the definition of an elephant is "A mouse built to government specifications".

  5. Hey piss ant. Just to let you know, that you my friend are the real pussy! Couldn't hang with the real crowd so you opted out into psyber world where you could call people names and threaten them from afar. Yea you are some man. What a fucking looser. I will take your sorry excuse of existance on any day of the week. You probably ride a fucking sportster. Pussy.

    So now that I am even, with regards to your comments to me on another site, lets get real and debate some issues. Troll. Yep you are a troll as well. See you hide behind some computer screen and write a bunch of garbage that is worthless and are afraid to get out in the real world and make a difference. You been to prison eay, well that is some pretty good proof of how you choose to deal with reality, you fucking troll on society.

  6. Exile,

    What you didn't factor in were the cost of healthcare and retirement benefits. Also, you have to factor in cost mandated by the federal government. And many time the federal government does not provide the funds for that added cost.

    Also, the administrators are not part of the teachers union. That is a separate uninion (at least it is in California).

    This is the breakdown in Cali:

    Salaries: 59%
    Support: 29%
    Non-Instructional Services: 1.9%
    Facilities/Construction: .14%
    Other: 9.5%

    It gets more complicated than that because they have functional budgets and object budgets. But I won't get into that. There is a lot of waste in the system... bottom line - things could and should be better than they are.

  7. Let me guess--couldn't hang with the big boys anymore , so you found God. Could not make it on your own, couldn't get clean without the help of others. Stain on society. So now you work at some menial job, pissed at the wordl, cause you are barely getting by. Must be tough raising a child out of wedlock. Shoulda used you pea brain instead of your penis. Now, the sad part about all this, trophy BOY, is I will end up supporting your stupid ass, in my and your retirement years; if not sooner.

    Spent to many years boozing and cruising and now you are pissed at the world, well the good news is, your political (no scratch that) Rushs political ideals are going to cut your throat 20 years from now. How's that for some harsh reality, piss ant! See you do need a village, because you are the village idiot and it is going to take one to support your sorry ass when you work and vote yourself outta money and food and retirement. I wonder if you are saving for retirement?

    Wow, see what you started? You should have never pissed on me, cause I will bury your sorry ass, and I will not go away. Until you wimp out an ban my IP.

  8. Exile--I just wanted to thank you for the personal name calling on little miss chaterboxes blog.

    For all of you who are just logging in--Exile decided to call me a list of names and challege me physically with no provocation, so the above posts are my lovely response. I hate it when I have to stoop as low as you have. It hurts--well not really.

  9. Ok PB(Peanut Butter?)...Get over yourself. You can't even spell Loser. "Looser?" Dumbass.

  10. PB, you went a helluva lot lower.
    Come back when you grow up.

  11. OK--so Exile, now that we are square on the name calling and bully tactics, lets discuss the argument you pose on your blog. How would you like for me to proceed? Do you want me to use "troll" tactics and shown the inanities of parts of your argument, or would you prefer I attack what I think your poorly argued thesis is? What do you suggest? When you let me know, I will proceed. I don't want you to be able to mis-direct the arguments by labeling me and not responding to my challenges. So what will it be? I have read how you like to use pigeonhole tactics to corner, label and then mount your "trophy."

    Well? Let's see, we could discuss how you have no real authority on the subject; because you have a child in a public school makes you no authority. Or we could discuss how you have no real grasp on what it takes to educate a child; how about the fact that you use innacurate numbers, unsubstantiated numbers, and your childs yearbook to make your case.

    God I love the internet, everyone is an instant brilliant mind.

  12. There is no point in having government run schools. I loved your post and am glad that a parent actually "gets it." Yes, the government runs schools in the least cost effective way possible with poor results. Why not just have vouchers for parents and they can take those vouchers to any privately run school they want? Heck, I am even willing to let government run schools still exist and let them compete with the privately run schools (good luck).

    When I attended my Catholic grade school, we each had a list that our parents were to buy us items for ourself, no communal bucket. ALL OF OUR COACHES were volunteers, parents of the students and unpaid. All of our playground monitors were volunteers, parents of the student and unpaid. Our athletic department had yearly fundraisers for, not salaries, but EQUIPMENT.

    We had computers introduced into our grade school, which were all DONATED. Our school was very old, but well maintained. Construction projects? Are you kidding me?

    There is no such thing as "post retirement health care for free" at a private school either, and they received lower pay than their overpaid public school counterparts as well. However, working conditions for them were far better as every parent, and I mean every parent, was involved with their child's education.

    I heard a story on talk radio about a school district here that built extra rooms it didn't need on a school construction project because "the referendum was passed and they would lose federal funding if they didn't build them." The rooms are now empty. One of the board members actually had the nerve to call in to defend this fleecing of local and federal taxpayers! Could you EVER imagine running a business that way, or even your personal finances that way?

  13. echotig- i concede you that point. they did choose to teach. i would like to add though that my folks didn't ever complain about their salaries (as far as i can recall) unless perhaps there was a truly hard time of which i also have no memory. a friend and i had the same kind of discuccion about tipping waiters (anyone for that matter). if the wage isn't enough and you're constantly whining- get a different job.

  14. Well, here are my views on this. I think everyone knows public school stinks. More money won't change that. The environment(learning or not) is awful.
    I can always tell when I see a homeschooling kid. Even though I may not always love homeschooling, I do not admire public school. Yet, as a homeschooling family, do we get an exemption from school taxes? Hah. Yet, school vouchers are sooo bad, right?
    It's just twisted.

  15. I agree with all of your statements on education. However, before I go any farther, I would like to point out that I attended a private college in Minnesota last year and as an incoming freshman from out of state, I talked to more people who had gone the PSEO route (post secondary education options, for those of you unfamiliar with the program, it allows high school students to go to a college and take classes that simultaneously earn them high school and college credit) and who had succeed because of it. For that one thing, for encouraging kids to do that, I comment the state of Minnesota.

    However, commending public education can't go very far. I've started reading a book by John Taylor Gatto, who after being a New York State teacher of the year, retired and writes books on education. He states that public schools do not exist to educate, enlighten, or teach young people how to think, but rather to shape our children into good citizens, contributing members of society, and to have pride in themselves ( I quote him losely.)

    As a graduate of Catholic Schools, I know that I was never taught to be a "good citizen" and I know that I wasn't coddled if I did something wrong or was slower than the rest of my class. I know that you can be a contributing member of society and a good citizen while being illiterate or poorly educated. It doesn't take a college degree to follow your convictions. But it does take a wise person to realize that politicians aren't doing what they say they should be doing.

    If you went to a public school, you're teachers are probably rolling in their graves right now, exile. Isn't that a cheering thought?

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