151 Band

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Leaning into the pitch, taking one for the team...our teachers.

The Oklahoman is reporting that school districts across the state are tightening their belts, preparing for the inevitable axe that will be falling very soon.  The budget cuts for education equate to approximately $4.5 million, but the Oklahoman story indicates that Karl Springer (OKC Super) is preparing for a much more dramatic cut of $16.8 million.  (Read the story here.)

Springer was former Mustang School Super who got into a fight with the late Tim Pope over religious expression in the Mustang schools and eventually, Springer backed down.  In this story, Springer even talks of taking a $25,000 a year cut in pay from his $165,000 per year salary.  Good for him.

It's called "leadership by example."

Virtually every state agency has been forced to lean into the pitch, and it is deplorable to see how our school teachers are always the first to get the pink slips.  Not the administrators mind you, but the teachers.  Our administrators have a tough job, but there are plenty of them around to actually DO the job.  The money for education should be spent in the classroom, not on administration.  We need leadership in the state of Oklahoma who is willing to stand up and say the obvious - it's time for consolidation of our administrative functions for our school districts. 

Certainly not a sexy political tool in this day and age because many of the administrators make enough money to have their political opinions heard by elected officials.  It's sad, really.  This is not to say, of course, that I buy into the garbage about "regional averages" in per-pupil spending or even "regional averages" to calculate teacher pay.  I do believe, however, that our education system in Oklahoma is broken and it is broken because of the administrative load taxpayers are forced to carry.