Every teacher in America can thank the Milwaukee school district greed for driving the nail in the coffin for most teachers nationwide. The slaughter of good teachers is well underway here in Texas. Wisconsin should not get all of the credit as California, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, New York, Illinois and others were just as guilty of sticking it to the taxpayer. Unfortunately Milwaukee greed in particular, got in the crosshairs between a new Governor and democratic legislature that captured the headlines and put a well deserved bulls-eye on the teachers and the unions. What has happened in Wisconsin will reshape the future for every school district in America. Fortunately many do actually deserve to be penalized; sadly the ones who have been managed professionally will suffer more.
I like to refer to this as the “Learning Curve Law of Survival”. This law was invented by some government bureaucrat a long time ago. In 1954 I entered management at the ripe old age of 24. To survive working on government contracts I quickly learned that when the government has to reduce costs it never included common sense. The slashing will be an across the board percentage removed from your budget. If you managed your function frugally, you will suffer more than the ones who padded the books. What you make sure of before the next budget axe falls is to prostitute yourself with some cushion. Our U.S. government invented this “Law” and they practice it at every level with precise perfection.
When the smoke clears after the ensuing blood bath to end the union’s destruction of education, the ones who have unionized will suffer as they should. Unfortunately the ones who have been honest will suffer beyond reason.
Let me share some “Facts” from the Milwaukee schools. The average public school employee receives 74.2 cents in benefits for each $1 of their base pay. This is three times the benefits of the average private sector worker. The same ratio probably exists for most teachers in states that have right-to-work systems.
In Wisconsin educators also participate in Social Security. This is not true in all states. In Wisconsin there is also a state pension plan that requires 6.8% of wages being provided by the employer and 6.2% by the employee. Except in Milwaukee the public pays the teachers share also. Milwaukee teachers also enjoy another supplemental pension which the district pays 4.2% of their salaries and the teacher pays zilch. The district also pays 100% of the costs for medical and vision benefits and over 50% of cost for dental insurance. If you forgot my earlier posting, the teachers union in Wisconsin owns the insurance company with near iron clad guarantee of renewal. One other “Milwaukee Perk” is the taxpayer pays 100% for retired public employees.
As I posted earlier there are 98,000 members of the National Education Association (NEA) in Wisconsin. The NEA has 3.2 million members to fund its operations. They have 31 employees that earn over $200,000.00 a year. Dennis Van Roekel, NEA president, receives $397,721in salary and benefits. Guess who gets 98% of the NEA political donations? They currently have $216,000,000.00 in assets.
Unfortunately for the teachers in Texas, the legislature is in process of a budget crisis faced in all but four states. Preliminary information is that they are going to slash education funding over 20% next year. They are not as dumb as a rock as many would believe. They know that the brouhaha in Wisconsin about giving teachers outlandish benefits will provide them with media support and excuses for letting education take the brunt of budget cuts. I am currently in the process of gathering facts for Texas budget cuts. I plan to challenge the legislative wisdom of practicing the “The Learning Curve Law of Survival” if they actually pass any across the board cuts.
The really sad situation, for the entire United States, will be that the real loser will be the children. For some reason they have been omitted from all the media and political attention.