Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

FUNding Part I


I've never actually sat down and figured out the hours I spent each week, especially in the early years of teaching. It was a lot. As I grew older and wiser and more skilled and having built up a warehouse of files, information, alternative programs, equipment and materials, I didn't spend nearly as much time after twenty years or so. What I do know is that up until a few years ago, teachers on a national average, worked longer and harder and more hours in the months of school than any full time regular job. This survey was based on the average school year of 180 days vs. the average job year of 240 days, removing things like weekends, holidays, and vacation time. When the "regular" profession folks passed teachers in hours, because we as a nation tend to be workaholics, it was by a staggering twenty hours. Still think teachers are over-paid? (I still believe if my brother would only retire from his  job at Safeway, the national work hour average would drop drastically, by the way.)

The teaching profession is notoriously underpaid, even as glorified babysitters.  Our salaries are prorated and we are not actually paid for the summer vacation, but through the summer. I wanted to include a wonderful bit of math that teachers email to each other, but we don’t ever seem to get it to the public.
Teachers’ hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or 10 months a year. It’s time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do – babysit. We can get that for less than minimum wage.

That’s right. Let’s give them $3 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and plan– that equals 6 1/2 hours).

Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day…maybe 30? So that’s $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day.

However, remember they only work 180 days a year. I am not going to pay them for any vacations.

LET’S SEE…That’s $585 X 180= $105,300 per year. (Hold on. My calculator needs new batteries.)

What about those special education teachers and the ones with master’s degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year…

Yes, we are the “greedy folk” os some would have you believe; after all, why would our country do as other industrialized countries do and pay our teachers the money comparable to a corporation manager and treat them with respect for their time and dedication to our children? These countries I speak of by the way are the ones the media love to compare American education to.