Let me say, for the record, I like teachers. I hate teachers' unions.
I hate the principal who gets fat off of taxpayer money and sits at a desk all day making phone calls. I hate the vice principal who doesn't teach kids but who gets paid more than the math teacher with a Master's degree. I hate the unions, who are opposed to vouchers, even though they know charter schools can help many poor children. I hate seeing teachers not get the resources they need while unions pay lawyers to sue states like California for more taxpayer money. I hate seeing property taxes go towards a failing system. I hate how PTAs have to do bake sales and car washes to upgrade their facilities or get new books because their schools can't figure out how to handle taxpayer money competently. Most of all, I hate how the union-mandated seniority system rewards experience and incompetence over youth and fresh ideas.
More on teachers' unions in general, after the jump:
Thanks to union-friendly legislation that requires public school teachers to become members or pay dues even if they don’t join, the size and wealth of teachers’ unions have made them fiercely intimidating lobbying and electoral forces almost everywhere...
Unions have also convinced Americans that teachers are underpaid, when they now take home considerably better pay packages on average than professional workers in the private sector. The federal government’s national compensation survey estimates that local public school districts pay teachers an average of $47.97 per hour in total compensation, including $12.39 per hour in benefits—figures that far outstrip not only what private school teachers earn, but also the average of what all professional workers earn in private business, a category that includes engineers, architects, computer scientists, lawyers, and journalists....
The education lobby’s success most clearly shows up in the stunning growth of U.S. public education spending. In the last 30 years, per-pupil spending has nearly doubled, after accounting for inflation, to about $10,000 a year—far more than in most other industrialized countries, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, whose latest figures show that the U.S. outpaces Germany in per-pupil spending by 66 percent, France by 56 percent, and the United Kingdom by 80 percent. Even so, American students rank only in the middle of countries on student achievement tests, the OECD reports.
The Conspiracy Against the Taxpayers
by Steven Malanga
City Journal, Autumn 2005