Wednesday, January 19, 2011
"When schoolchildren are allowed to vote, then I'll begin looking after the interests of schoolchildren. Until then, I'm representing the interests of my membership." Albert Shanker, President, American Federation of Teachers
You couldn't listen to Chicago radio last week without hearing Annice Brave. She is the small-town schoolmarmish sounding woman who was shilling for the powerful IEA teachers' union. She was everywhere up and down the dial, every fifteen minutes or so on some stations.
She was propounding the IEA's line that they're only about improving the quality of education for the children. The IEA, according to informed industry sources, dropped $81k in radio buys for this message last week in the Chicago market alone.
This, of course, was timed by the media sharpies in the IEA's propaganda bureau to precede the state legislature's vote to massively increase personal and corporate taxes.
Listen to a recording of the ad here.
The wide dispersal of that feel good message was undoubtedly prompted, in no small part, by a recent Rasmussen poll which showed that taxpayers are getting fed up with the bloated salaries and pensions of government employees, including teachers.
According to Jack Roeser, the founder of the Family Taxpayers Foundation, a full 80% of all educational funds are channeled directly into teachers' salaries and pensions. The kids get the crumbs that fall to the floor from the Big-Education smorgasboard.
But that doesn't stop the Big Teachers Unions from playing on the heartstrings of an unwary public with the lament that "it's all about the kiddies."
And these salaries and pensions, for which school-marm Annice Brave was huckstering are not insubstantial. An astounding number of Illinois public school teachers and administrators are pulling down $200k + and $100k + per year for their 9 month jobs.
Get an eyeful of the top paid IL unionized teachers by clicking on the tab "Top 200 teachers salaries" here.
Astoundingly, the top 2 moneymakers in the government education establishment are pulling down in excess of $600k a year!
And the IEA is calling on the taxpayers to pony up even more cash. At a time of near depression-levels of unemployment this strikes many as unconscionable.
Take, for instance, the school-marmish sounding shill, Ms. Brave.
Annice Brave, a high school English teacher, pulls down $70k a year for her 9 month job. That is some pretty heavy cash in a downstate backwash like Alton, where the median income of the families who pay Brave's salary is $36k a year and the median home sells for a paltry $81k.
In fact Ms. Brave's union salary puts her in the veritable economic elite in economically depressed Alton, which has seen 5.6% of its jobs disappear over the past 8 years and where a full 13% of those who remain are unemployed. (Stats are from Zoomprospector Business analytics.)
Yet, the Big Labor honchos of the IEA (and AFT) agitate to squeeze more and more cash from an already wildly overburdened Illinois public.
Reminds me a lot of the old Dennis Moore bit from Monty Python's Flying Circus.
In it, Dennis Moore was a reverse Robin Hood who ended up stealing from the poor to give to the rich.
The last strains of the stirring Dennis Moore anthem went:
Dumb, Dumb, Dumb.