Archive for May 17th, 2011
How many states can be 49th? Let us count the ways.
A few years ago, my friend Ben DeGrow noticed that whenever the subject of budget restraint touched on public education, the state teachers union would immediately make one of two claims: either the state was 49th in school spending, or would be after the change was made.
You’ll notice that I declined to name the state in question just now. That’s because this claim was being made, simultaneously, all over the country by various Education Associations. Apparently, we are all 49th now.
Nebraska, welcome to the club:
Two of the state’s largest public employee unions gave a hearty thumbs down Monday to a new proposal generated by state business groups to reform the state’s much criticized labor court, the Commission of Industrial Relations.
Officials who represent state K-12 teachers and state employees said the new plan would “eviscerate” collective bargaining and force down public employees’ wages as much as 15 percent.
Karen Kilgarin, a spokeswoman for the Nebraska State Education Association, said the plan would put Nebraska at 49th in the nation in teachers’ salaries.
First of all, there’s the obvious question of who’s 50th. I mean, if you’re the least bit skeptical about this claim, you’d think that would be the first thing you’d ask, if only so that you could have a good laugh at their expense when you were filing your story.