|Posted: September-20-2012 at 6:09am | IP Logged
The Chicago teachers strike has ended after entering a second week. Isn’t that nice of them? The Chicago Teachers Union is getting a raise in the middle of a depression and they have decided to “allow” the kids to go back to school. These are such selfless people! It’s obvious they’re always thinking about the kids!
The strike is now over, but this is a perfect time to analyze what just happened. This is what President Obama would call a “teachable moment.” This is Exhibit A for what ails America, for why America is broke, why America is dysfunctional and for why our public school system is in shambles.
The Chicago teachers are among the highest-paid in the Nation. And their results are among the worst in the Nation. And in the middle of this depression ... the second worst economic crisis in our Nation’s history... they went on strike because they were unhappy with a big fat raise, and they did not want to face evaluations of their performance from time to time.
The saddest part of all is how foolish government is. This is like an episode of “Dumb and Dumber.” The negotiation from the start involved government offering a raise, while the greedy teachers union asked for a bigger raise. They were fighting over how much of a raise to give in the middle of a Great Depression. There was never even a thought of cutting their compensation or basing it on performance ... like so many of us in the private sector.
The financial crisis we are in, as a country, is because government is full of fools who only know how to negotiate upward — with your tax money!
How broke is America? Well, in Cook County (Chicago) the Treasurer recently reported that the debt is $108 billion. Most of that is for pensions for overpaid government employees: $108 billion in one county, in one city. In particular, the Chicago school district faces a $700 million deficit.
Yet the debate was over how much of a raise to give Chicago teachers? This teacher strike is exhibit A for everything wrong with government. Especially Chicago government.
Remember, this strike was about failing employees who are paid an average of $71,000 per year, plus gold-plated healthcare packages, plus $2.4 million per teacher in taxpayer-funded retirement packages.
Yes, each of those teachers gets $2.4 million in retirement. Each.
There is something wrong here. Keep in mind my retirement (as a business owner) is funded only by me. Yet each Chicago teacher’s $2.4 million golden parachute is paid by the taxpayers — even though most taxpayers don’t have a pension!
And the teachers were on strike?
Keep in mind the disgraceful results produced by these striking teachers. For $71,000 per year plus obscene pensions of $77,000 per year, these union teachers have produced a graduation rate of only 54 percent. Yet the graduation rate for charter schools in Chicago, with non-union teachers, is 76 percent. What do teachers at charter schools get paid? The average is $48,910 per year. Why do charter schools work so much better?
Chicago schools have the shortest school day of any major school system in the Nation. Only 33 percent of Chicago students who enter high school will attend college. But worst of all are the figures for African-American students in Chicago. Only one in 40 will graduate college from black, inner-city neighborhoods.
These are the results that teachers think demand big raises, fewer teacher evaluations and more job security? In the private sector these kinds of results would be met with: “You’re fired!”
If you can lay down at night knowing that you had made someone's life just a little bit better, then you know that you had a good day.