An employee of the government youth propaganda camps writes in, apparently in all seriousness (I have cut and pasted his entire, brief letter to make sure no typographical errors have been introduced post facto, deleting only his name):
"As a teacher we lost are medical coverage when we retire, we recieved NO pay raise last year and now they are talking about cutting 20% or more of my pay. I have already sacrificed a lot, what have you given up? I have 9 years of school, $500 a month in student loans, and a house worth $100,000 less than I paid for it. Cut my pay and I have no choice but to let my house be foreclosed and to move out of Nevada. Thank you for appreciating and taking care of the people who take care of your children."
While I doubt anyone celebrates our current economic downturn — which has left many of us with homes now appraised at considerably less than we paid for them — and while of course the prospect of any pay cut is an unhappy one, I believe a commitment to straight talk requires us to reply:
What we have given up (both those taxpayers who send children to the government schools, and those who do not) is all the money that has been taken from us in taxes, under threat of fine or imprisonment, to fund the increasingly unrealistic combined salaries, benefits, and physical plant overhead of many who call themselves "educators" on those big "Educators vote" billboards, but who cannot tell the difference between "are" and "our," and who misspell the word "received," in a formal letter to the editor, not composed under any known time pressure. (If your house is worth $100,000 less than you paid for it, it seems safe to assume you live in a nicer house than the average Nevada taxpayer can afford. If you are still paying off your student loans, it also seems unlikely you’re over 40. Many Nevadans can’t afford to buy ANY house till they’re over 40.)
Furthermore, we are forced to fund salaries for day care workers — you identity you and your cohorts and "the people who take care of your children" — who pretend to be qualified educators, but who write: "As a teacher we lost are medical coverage when we retire," when a) I strongly doubt that — upon retirement teachers are given a choice of options under which they must now PAY SOMETHING toward their ongoing group health insurance, but it’s by no means eliminated, and b) you obviously meant to express either "As teachers (plural) we lost our medical coverage when we retired" or "As teachers (plural) we will lose our medical coverage when we retire."
Many government educrats continued to receive "step" raises, "merit" raises, "cost of living" raises, raises "earned" by taking various "pedagogical" night courses, etc., in recent years, as always. Ask any government employee who claims to have "received no raises" for any period of years to show you his or her latest paycheck stub, and a paycheck stub from two or three years ago, to demonstrate that the base rate of pay has remained the same. In most cases, watch for the mumbling and backpedaling to then begin.
A mortgage is a contract. Someone who cannot afford to pay his mortgage (and who declines to seek additional, part-time work, as many in the private sector have had to do) has the option of selling the house, moving into more modest quarters, and agreeing to pay off the balance owed over time, should the sale price not cover the balance owed. Someone who instead vows to "let my house be foreclosed" unless his demands for ever more pay are met (during a deep recession when school populations have ceased growing) may additionally lack the moral character and rectitude to be trusted with the education of anyone else’s children — even leaving aside the fact that education is the parents’ responsibility, that the Nevada Constitution requires taxpayers to fund only one six-month school in each county, that admission to that school could and should obviously be by competitive examination, and that the bulk of the huge jobs program for the under-educated which is the current "schooling" bureaucracy is therefore not constitutionally required, in addition to being often counterproductive to the creation of a well-read, independent-thinking, free citizenry, which is what America had (excepting the older form of slavery, which was evil) before Dewey, Mann, and the gang imported the current "compulsion schooling" model from Prussia in the mid-to-late 19th century.