"The Senate on Wednesday cleared the way for a $26 billion package of aid to states and school districts, and the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said she would summon members from their summer recess to grant final approval to the bill"
"The legislation would provide $10 billion to retain teachers who might otherwise lose jobs to cutbacks, and an additional $16 billion to help states struggling to close budget deficits."
"“We had a choice,” said Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff. “Either teachers could be in the classroom or they could be on the unemployment lines.”"
No Rahm - that wasn't the fucking choice at all - the choice was either the 1) teachers could take a pay cut, 2) the community could suck it up, raise taxes, and pay the teachers what they wanted or 3) there would need to be layoffs if neither side compromised.
I already wrote a post about this, and almost nothing has changed in my mind - I am very happy with my original post on the subject, and I would urge you to read it now. Let me quote myself, for the too-lazy-to-click-through crowd:
"Now, I love teachers. I think education is immensely important, and it's one of the main problems we have in our country. My father was a teacher for over 30 years. My mother was a teacher for over thirty years. My sister is a teacher. My brother-in-law is a teacher. I am certainly in favor of teachers keeping their jobs and getting paid - and I think most people think similarly - which is why I hate the "we have to give the States all this money or the teachers will lose their jobs and your kids will wallow in their own ignorance" manipulative argument. What next? Will the next batch of money go to help save starving puppies and kittens? After all - we all love puppies and kittens. It's somewhat disingenuous to suggest that merely because people agree that we need something that the Government has to bail out the decisions of those who failed to adequately provide it.
I live in a town with good schools. I don't have kids, and the majority of the residents in town also don't have school aged children. Still, each year, we vote for massive property taxes (mine are nearly 3% of my home's assessed value!) which go largely to support our schools, because the community values it."
Well said Kid Dynamite! (thank you!)
Here's the bottom line: if your community doesn't want to pay the teachers what they want - that's YOUR COMMUNITY'S PROBLEM. My community already pays massive taxes to support OUR schools because we value education for our children. We shouldn't have to subsidize your schools too. Enough is enough. (side note: if you're going to leave me hateful comments about this paragraph, you better read the detailed piece I already wrote on this subject first.) Screw it - here's another self-quote:
"Look - we all want all this stuff. No one wants teachers to lose their jobs, or for doctors to stop seeing Medicare patients. But States are required by law to balance their budgets. There are other solutions, and I don't just mean "hoping that the stock market comes back," which, horrifyingly, has been suggested on more than one occasion recently. Debts must be restructured, benefits must be scaled back, belts must be tightened, and, simply, spending must be less than revenues.
If, instead, we just resort to Federal bailouts for every state who fails to balance their budget, the result can quickly spiral downward into a Tragedy of the Commons nightmare - where each state lacks the incentive to exercise fiscal prudence, knowing that Uncle Sam will be there to pick up the tab."