Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Let Them Eat Cake: San Diego County Board of Education Votes Itself a Raise

What if teachers and other workers could vote themselves a raise? Alas, we actually have to get up early and work for our meager salaries. Only bosses get this privilege. And, when you get right down to it, school board members are nothing but bosses.

Some have argued that school board members generally do not make much. On the other hand, they do not do much either. And their membership on the board is often a stepping stone to higher office, which helps them to cultivate relationships with business leaders that can result in various lucrative future jobs. So, in a way, serving on a school board could be seen as an apprenticeship, like student teaching, except way more profitable in the long run.

Of course, we are not talking about real money here. The 5% raise will only increase their monthly compensation by $22.05 each to just over $463, according to the San Diego Education Report Blog. However, this does not count their other perks and benefits. Many school board members in California, for example, receive health benefits. Regardless, there is an obvious symbolic message, a pretty cynical and stupid one in this economic climate: There may not be enough money to retain teachers, benefits and class sizes, but that doesn’t mean students’ families shouldn’t cough up a few extra bucks to help out a few poor members of the ruling elite out.

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