Saturday, October 8, 2011

It's not a dichotomy ...

Okay, I'll admit.  I am a math teacher. Furthermore, I live in an area of the country where living costs are surprisingly low, which is why the top step in our pay scales around the state are in the $55k - $65k range. Having said that, I'd like to take issue with this little tidbit of rabble-rousing.

First, no one is asking for teachers to take a 20% pay cut. At most, I've heard of negotiations proposals that ask for teachers to take on an additional teaching assignment instead of a prep period. In one of our previous contracts, the teachers agreed to a 15 minute extension on the day.  Similarly, you'd think the School Board was demanding capital punishment when you heard the outcry.

Nobody wins when you blatantly exaggerate like this.  Especially if you're of the opinion that the upper tax rates are way lower than they used to be, and lower than they should be.


  1. We took a 6% pay cut through furloughs. If you fold in the insurance that we pay that the district used to pay 2 years ago, it is close to 15%

    It is still ludicrous to attack the pay of those who create the jobs (not me, the small business people - who count as a lot of those "millionaires")

  2. Remember that many of the Millionaires pay a lower tax rate than teachers. If your income is capital gains, it's 15% max... I don't know about you, but as a single, no dependents teacher, I pay a 27% marginal income tax rate. I'd be okay with those millionaires pay the same marginal rate that I am (which would an 80% marginal rate increase)

  3. Obviously the districts in VT are in way better fiscal shape than the districts out here in CA. The per-pupil funding that my local district receives from the state has been slashed from $6800 in 2007 down to $5200 now. So yeah, the teachers and other school employees have had to take a pay cut while class sizes have ballooned. It's not a 20% cut but coupled with the significantly higher out-of-pocket costs for health insurance coverage, it's probably pretty darn close.

    OTOH, I don't think it's fair to place the entire burden for fixing the budget mess on the backs of a tiny fraction of the population. Having 47% of families being exempt from Federal income taxes is insane. I like Herman Cain's idea of a national sales tax coupled with much lower income taxes, but I would retain the progressive nature of the current system. I would expand the Earned Income Tax Credit to reduce (but not totally eliminate) the burden of the sales tax on the poor. The reason I say not totally eliminate is because everyone should pay at least a little bit for the government services we all receive.