Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Teachers' Union: Spending Money on Education is Bad

The beauty of Mark Green's new plan to require school districts to spend 70% of all their funds in the classroom is that it now forces the teachers' unions to argue why we need more administration. Take, for instance, this release from AFT-WI, which makes this amazing statement:
“…there is no significant positive correlation between the percentage of funds that districts spend on instruction and the percentage of students who score proficient or higher on state reading or math tests.”

WHAT? So what in the name of Lucifer's beard are we spending all that money on teachers for? If they truly believe that the amount of money we spend on instruction doesn't have anything to do with student proficiency, then I propose cutting the number of teachers in half. Think they'd be making the same argument then? They honestly believe that a district that spends 70% of its funds on administration wouldn't affect student performance?

Of course, their rhetoric is all a sham - if Green's plan went into effect, it would actually force school districts to either hire more teachers or pay the ones that they have more. Both things would be good for their members. But they are so invested in the candidacy of Jim Doyle they have to twist themselves into pretzels to oppose this program which would be beneficial to their own dues-paying members.

I anxiously await them arguing that money for instruction doesn't make any difference to students when they have their hand out during the next budget. And I welcome the public debate on why we can't possibly spend less than 35% of school district budgets on things that have nothing to do with educating kids.