Monday, March 12, 2007

Teacher Raises

I was reading Hoppy Kercheval's Commentary for the day and it makes a lot of sense to me. Teachers receive raises based on their years of experience. So, every teacher in the state will receive an incremental raise based on those years of experience. So any raise that the legislature passes would be a raise on that incremental raise. Hoppy's argument is that many teachers will get raises above and beyond the 6% that has been requested. Of course, the union and many teachers believe their "built-in" raises shouldn't be factored in to the discussion. I would disagree with that opinion.

But, again, I say there doesn't appear to be much public support for the teachers. I'm not sure why...but I don't sense a general outcry from the taxpayers of West Virginia to increase teacher salaries. I will agree that teachers do deserve a raise...but I don't get any impression that the public will support a work stoppage and that most people don't care. So, that doesn't bode well for the teachers' cause at all. Without public outcry, the teachers are pretty much stuck.

Lastly, the failure of teachers to see the incremental raise as part of the overall raise leads me to the budget cut discussion. It's funny when we hear about budget cuts. Especially when they're not a cut at all. Let's say I plan to increase spending on music 6% this year. Then I decide I'm only increasing my spending by 3% instead. Well, if I were the government, I would describe that as a cut. Even though I'm increasing my spending by 3%, it's still a cut because I'm not spending 6%.

That's a good ol' Democratic (and sometimes Republican) trick. When we hear stories about welfare "cuts" or school lunch "cuts," it's really just a decrease in the increased spending. Instead of increasing the spending by $100, we're increasing by $75 and that's a cut. It's just insane to look at things that way. Makes no sense.

Anyway, that's a different story...I'm working on my bracket and I'll have some picks ready by tonight or tomorrow. And I think I'm getting throat is killing me. We'll see how that goes.

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