"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Missouri State Employees Receiving Pay Raises in a Recession while Teachers Lose Their Jobs.

With budget cuts looming in Missouri, you might be interested to know about the pay raises in DESE. Here's a retweet from House Representative Ryan Silvey on Twitter:

Rt @RyanSilvey: Here's the Star story on today's hearing. I blasted Ed. Dept. for giving massive raises. Some as high as $45k. http://tinyurl.com/2e5crdq

The Kansas City Star reported on a legislative committee hearing with Commissioner Chris Nicastro and employee raises totaling $307,320.00:

At a time of state budget cuts and financial difficulties in school districts across the state, such pay increases simply are not appropriate, said committee Chairman Ryan Silvey, a Kansas City Republican.Nicastro defended the pay increases as reasonable management choices during a time of substantial reorganization in the department, which administers kindergarten through 12th-grade education programs and distributes state and federal funding aid to school districts.

Despite the pay increases, the department has, in fact, cut its total budget and its total staff this year, she said. The pay increases merely elevated existing employees to positions that had become vacant, meaning they did not increase the department's budget.

“You see people show up to work on Friday making $50,000 and show up on Monday making $90,000,” Silvey said. “It just doesn’t sit well with the average constituent in this state.”

(Silvey) said the increases also played into a popular perception that education bureaucracies were top-heavy and spent disproportionately on administration, rather than classroom instruction.

"You see people show up to work on Friday making $50,000 and show up on Monday making $90,000," Silvey said. "It just doesn't sit well with the average constituent in this state."

Rep. Casey Guernsey, a Bethany Republican, said word of the pay increases had caused an uproar among the rural school districts in northwest Missouri, where teachers had been laid off and salaries were stagnant.

This statement from a commenter on the KC Star site doesn't hold much sympathy for any problems in DESE:

Here’s what you get from State Education “strategists”, doesn’t matter if it’s Missouri or any other state. They spend their working hour recycling old education strategies by simply developing new names for them. By the time I got done with my teaching career, I was being asked to adopt the same strategies I used when I first started. …I often shook my head in disbelief.

Nutshelled: If it was discarded two decades ago, it will return under a new name. Count on it.

…then they get a pay increase for coming up with a “novel/new” delivery system.

This reader has some valid points. We look forward to hearing more on DESE's budget and expenditures.

1 comment:

  1. You say: “There are persons who lack education” and you turn to the law. But the law is not, in itself, a torch of learning
    which shines its light abroad. The law extends over a society where some persons have knowledge and others do not; where
    some citizens need to learn, and others can teach. In this matter of education, the law has only two alternatives: It can permit this
    transaction of teaching-and-learning to operate freely and without the use of force, or it can force human wills in this matter by
    taking from some of them enough to pay the teachers who are appointed by government to instruct others, without charge. But
    in this second case, the law commits legal plunder by violating liberty and property.
    Frederic Bastiat, The Law


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