Monday, January 01, 2007

Banging our education bucks

The Guv's new budget proposal for education asks for a $750 million increase. The O says that 2/3 of that money will be gobbled up by increased salaries/benefits, higher enrollment and increased supply costs.

It won't make a dent in the reduction of class sizes.

Local education advocacy groups are lining up to lobby the Legislature for an additional $240 million. Presumably this is to go toward class size reductions and other necessities--the linked piece doesn't specify. The piece does quote the Oregon Business Alliance, who are already pissy about the budget increases:

But business groups and conservatives argue that rising pay and benefits also contribute to higher class sizes.

Duncan Wyse, president of the Oregon Business Alliance, says his group and others want the Legislature to authorize a thorough review of public compensation in Oregon.

I tire of conservative groups bellyaching about teacher salaries. As if $50,000 a year is a monster salary for a person with a Master's Degree and a continuing education requirement. Not to mention that their job is one of the most crucial jobs any person can do.

This "review" feels like another way for conservatives to devalue educators. Legislative oversight is great. Nitpicking teacher salaries is bullshit.

And then there's the full day kindergarten chant, which I hope loses steam before it hits the ground. Full day kindergarten is an expensive proposition--and we've got a lot of education budget restoration for previously slashed programs to do before we entertain something like that.

I don't really know where I'm going with this except to say that there are a lot of grubby little fingers in the education pie right now. Some of those grubbies are trying to yank money away..others are trying to spend it in a manner that doesn't resemble reality.

Its irking me.