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Old 06-03-2011, 11:21 PM
 
Location: Inis Fada
16,685 posts, read 28,020,379 times
Reputation: 7188

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob from down south View Post
What I understand is that all those supposedly wonderful things that you suggest football and band provide are focused on a tiny minority of the students in the school--many of whom would be better served by spending their time doing their classwork. The idea of laying off teachers while we continue to spend money on grooming of football fields, sports equipment, team travel etc reflects a poor sense of priorities.

Government is supposed to be about providing essential services, because government uses its power to expropriate money from people against their will for the things it provides. I support providing essential services to others in my community--basic safety and infrastructure, and some widely-used common facilities like libraries and some city parks. But if you want to play golf or tennis, swim, or learn how to knit--paying for that sort of recreation is on you. Nor is it my responsibility to pay for summer recreation programs for somebody else's kids...their parents should bear that burden as I bore it for my kids.

Nearly always, the people I see who squeal "selfish!!" are those that want government to provide all manner of things for their benefit--all while sending the bill to others. As I've opined here before, I don't want to take money I'm currently sending to the American Cancer Society and instead send it against my will to the school district so some quasi-literate kid with a C- average can play football instead of spending his time with a book. It's not selfish of me to want to put my money where I think it does the better good.
Here on LI our taxes keep going up -- teachers are paid lavishly (over $100K per 184 day work year, plus a 15% contribution to healthcare and a very generous pension -- in addition to other perks) while programs are cutback or have their funding reduced. School taxes alone make up (on average) 65-70% of the average property tax bill.

We pay more each year for unionized town employees and yet our roads look worse each year, street lamps are not quickly repaired, garbage collection is contracted out to sanitation companies which might have some rather nefarious ties....I can go on and on. Community pool hours are reduced, beach hours are reduced, public safety spread thin (in addition to an overpaid $100K with 5 years on County Police Dept.)

Paying more here doesn't necessarily = receiving more or obtaining better services.
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Old 06-04-2011, 03:19 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,627 posts, read 3,629,790 times
Reputation: 1777
The trouble with living with other people, by which I mean participating and interacting with society in some form, is that we are all different. Different goals, different desires, different ways of looking at the world around us. Our experiences have a lot to do with that.

Some of us find that succeeding in life is much easier if we have certain things around us that are often most efficiently and effectively provided by pooling our resources and allowing the government to manage them. (Please, no platitudes about the inefficiencies of government...it's as easy to reply with the private sector's tendency to drive down quality to its lowest in exchange for the highest price...both sides of the coin have their problems.)

Some other people find that they are most effective if they have complete (or as complete as is possible) control over their resources and how to allocate them. They vote with dollars and are willing to accept the blame when times are bad and take the credit when they do well.

These are two very different ways of looking at the world.

On the whole, I find we balance these things fairly well in Colorado. Yes, it has wrought problems. Inefficiencies DO crop up, and can be significant...but I think the solution there is better accountability...this of course means that we as citizens need to take some more responsibility ourselves to make sure that money is spent wisely. But sometimes we tie our own hands (TABOR for example.) In these cases, maybe we need to streamline or make more consistent how we approach them (still on TABOR...perhaps we should shift all major tax decisions to the public, up or down...or perhaps we need to return more power back to the legislature...or they may even be another alternative entirely...)

Politics is ugly, but it's in the best interest of the press as a private, profit seeking entity for it to stay that way. Unfortunately, that leads to a lot of incomplete information and no effort to deliver complete, unbiased information. It also means that generating more controversy and inflaming passions becomes more important than the facts. I think we need to get much better information on what our money is spent on and how rather than relying on what our neighbor said (or heard on the news.)

Maybe we will have to make some very hard choices about things to cut in the near future, but it's very important for us to take into account what we may lose by making some of those cuts. The private sector can often be slow in delivering a new product or service in a poor economy, even if there is sufficient demand, simply because of the difficulty of rounding up the capital to get started. It's times like these that government can be most useful by ensuring that people are educated and that money is moving through the system again (creating demand.)
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
19,076 posts, read 8,986,650 times
Reputation: 18490
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhBeeHave View Post
Here on LI our taxes keep going up -- teachers are paid lavishly (over $100K per 184 day work year, plus a 15% contribution to healthcare and a very generous pension -- in addition to other perks) while programs are cutback or have their funding reduced. School taxes alone make up (on average) 65-70% of the average property tax bill.

We pay more each year for unionized town employees and yet our roads look worse each year, street lamps are not quickly repaired, garbage collection is contracted out to sanitation companies which might have some rather nefarious ties....I can go on and on. Community pool hours are reduced, beach hours are reduced, public safety spread thin (in addition to an overpaid $100K with 5 years on County Police Dept.)

Paying more here doesn't necessarily = receiving more or obtaining better services.
Is LI Long Island? If so, with the cost of living there, including the cost of buying a house, I doubt that pay rate is so lavish.
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Old 06-04-2011, 02:11 PM
 
843 posts, read 1,255,383 times
Reputation: 608
Quick google search showed that many Long Island schools (if that's the area that this person is from) do pay on average between 90K-70K.
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Old 06-04-2011, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Inis Fada
16,685 posts, read 28,020,379 times
Reputation: 7188
Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
Is LI Long Island? If so, with the cost of living there, including the cost of buying a house, I doubt that pay rate is so lavish.

Yes. LI = Long Island. I went on autopilot with the abbreviation -- sorry!

LI is 121 miles long (for anyone not familiar with it) and it's not all the suburbs of NYC. Elsewhere like NYC (which is a high cost of living area) teachers are paid a fraction. Long Island has 127 public school districts serving just under 500,000 students. My district is in western Suffolk County on the north shore -- a commute of close to 2 hours into NYC by local train. Our teachers average $100K. Many people who live here don't necessarily work in NYC; we have a large university, a national lab and 4 hospitals in very close proximity. I would shoot myself if I had to commute to NYC on a daily basis.


There are many poor areas here on LI where teachers are making in excess of $100K, too. You might feel that six figures for a Kindergarden teacher isn't lavish, but how would anyone in their right mind expect the working poor and regular Joes to afford the taxes it takes to support such salaries?

We had a gym teacher who retired in 2010 earning $150,000; his wife, still employed by the district, is making $135K. They're doing rather nicely, good for them but bad for the taxpayers. When you know of a pair of married teachers in your district (not the aforementioned two) who can live here:
The 50 Most Expensive Small Towns in America 2010: No. 35: Old Field, N.Y. - BusinessWeek something has to give.


A single teacher is earning the same as the median household income for a family of 4 on Long Island.
Long Island Index: Household Income Distribution
From the above link "Long Island median household income is down 5% since 2003." The teacher's (and LEO) salaries are are not.

All of the teachers within my district have had significant pay increases between 2008-2010 schools years -- for example, one 6th grade teacher saw her salary rise from $81,300 to $86,300 to $94,700 in that span. What do you think she's making in 2011? I wish I could say the above were exceptions, but they are more akin to the norm. Given that most people work 240 days a year and teachers (on average) are earning $100K for 184 days, I would lean toward that pay ($543 per diem) being a tad lavish.

Our police (Suffolk County Police Department) earns $100K per year after 5 years on -- but that's not top pay! (My dad is retired NYPD, I know of the risk inherent to the job in NYC, but here in Suffolk, it's rather quiet, not quite Mayberry, though.)

I don't know the tax situation in your area. Here, the average tax bill for a small, 3 br house with 2 baths, on 1/8 an acre is $10,000. Of that $10,000 -- close to 70% is school taxes. I pay a little more than that for small, older house on 3/4 acre; many of my friends in bigger (but not necessarily newer) houses on 1/2 acres pay closer to $18K. I am trying to learn more about other areas -- with respect to your community are we remotely similar?

Given the economy, the declining job market, loss of businesses on LI (and NYS) due to terrible tax policies, people are selling and moving elsewhere. If someone lives in a community with such high taxes (imagine $1K a month just for taxes before a mortgage and utilities) and tries to sell to escape this, at what point do the taxes become so burdensome that they negatively impact the price of the home? A $350K fixer upper in a halfway decent area with a 90 minute or greater commute to NYC and $12K taxes?

Many couples are struggling to stay here. Husband and wife work to pay the bills, feed the kids. Some are making less combined than a teacher or a LEO. Some combined earn a little more than a teacher or LEO.
Many times over the past 14 years my children have been in school, the welcome to my classroom letter usually discusses what the teacher did over the summer. This year's elementary teacher discussed how wonderful the beach in the south of France were for reading while soaking up the sun. (True, most teachers are married so that $100K+ paired with their spouse's pay does go further.) There are some wealthy families in my area (I wish I were one!) and even those parents were raising their eyebrows at that one.

I'm sorry to come here and grouse, good people. The situation here has grown tiresome and grows financially more difficult for so many each day. It's sad seeing friends move away. It's upsetting to know that the house I was able to buy in 1996 I couldn't afford to buy now in 2011 if I were just starting out. Unlike those of us fortunate to be in unionized groups, those of us in the private sector haven't seen raises and have watched the cost of fuel, taxes, food, utilities, health insurance etc., burn away our money.

My long-winded point is that paying more in taxes doesn't necessarily mean the public will receive it back in services. My school and local government taxes go up, but it's reflecting salary and benefit increases while the services are scaled back. People are leaving. Something has to give.

My wish for everyone reading this is that the same mistakes which plague LI aren't made where you live. I will be out your way come July and look so forward to seeing your beautiful state in person. Thank you for your patience reading this post.
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Old 06-04-2011, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Inis Fada
16,685 posts, read 28,020,379 times
Reputation: 7188
Quote:
Originally Posted by hollyt00 View Post
Quick google search showed that many Long Island schools (if that's the area that this person is from) do pay on average between 90K-70K.

Yes, Long Island. Newer teachers are in the lower bracket (70Kish) while teachers who have over 5-6 years are earning close to $100K in my district. On top of that they receive annual raises and step increases.

20/20 hindsight -- if I knew then what I know now, I would have gone into elementary education. My daughter's former 3rd grade teacher was only making $112,051 last year. To put it into perspective: ten years earlier, in 2000, she earned $59,641

What are teacher salaries like by you?
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:39 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,080 posts, read 99,155,665 times
Reputation: 31559
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob from down south View Post
What I understand is that all those supposedly wonderful things that you suggest football and band provide are focused on a tiny minority of the students in the school--many of whom would be better served by spending their time doing their classwork. The idea of laying off teachers while we continue to spend money on grooming of football fields, sports equipment, team travel etc reflects a poor sense of priorities.

Government is supposed to be about providing essential services, because government uses its power to expropriate money from people against their will for the things it provides. I support providing essential services to others in my community--basic safety and infrastructure, and some widely-used common facilities like libraries and some city parks. But if you want to play golf or tennis, swim, or learn how to knit--paying for that sort of recreation is on you. Nor is it my responsibility to pay for summer recreation programs for somebody else's kids...their parents should bear that burden as I bore it for my kids.

Nearly always, the people I see who squeal "selfish!!" are those that want government to provide all manner of things for their benefit--all while sending the bill to others. As I've opined here before, I don't want to take money I'm currently sending to the American Cancer Society and instead send it against my will to the school district so some quasi-literate kid with a C- average can play football instead of spending his time with a book. It's not selfish of me to want to put my money where I think it does the better good.
The football team and band serve a "tiny minority" of students? Surely you jest? I suggest you get out a high school yearbook and look at the numbers. You'd be surprised.

I'd be willing to be your kids' summer rec programs were subsidized, even if you did pay a fee.
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:58 PM
 
5,023 posts, read 6,726,898 times
Reputation: 4552
Here, teacher salaries start out in upper twenties/low thirties and top out in upper fifties/low sixties, generally speaking. BTW, most teachers do work in summer, and pay to do it - they are required to take lots of classes for licensing, etc. Many also work nights, weekends, holidays, and so on, even though students may not be in school then, in order to prepare for classes. And many also work additional jobs. Many people who think it is a cake job really don't know what it is involved.
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Old 06-04-2011, 10:14 PM
 
20,375 posts, read 37,921,184 times
Reputation: 18184
Default Moderator speaking

Okay gang, enough about Long Island, we're talking about Colorado Springs.
Thank you.
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
19,076 posts, read 8,986,650 times
Reputation: 18490
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhBeeHave View Post
Yes, Long Island. Newer teachers are in the lower bracket (70Kish) while teachers who have over 5-6 years are earning close to $100K in my district. On top of that they receive annual raises and step increases.

20/20 hindsight -- if I knew then what I know now, I would have gone into elementary education. My daughter's former 3rd grade teacher was only making $112,051 last year. To put it into perspective: ten years earlier, in 2000, she earned $59,641

What are teacher salaries like by you?
1. The Cost of Living index in Long Island is 400 (average for the country is 100). The Cost of Living index in Colorado Springs is 91. So I'm not sure that comparing Long Island with Colorado Springs is very appropriate.

2. I do agree with you, that teacher raises in many districts across the country are misleading during those years when they also receive step increases. I don't know about LI, but in most school districts not all teachers receive step increases all years. And, for example in the school district where I used to be a principal in the D.C. area, they haven't gotten a raise or step increase in over 3 years.

3. In regard to your 20/20 hindsight, most people go into teaching because they want to teach, not because it's financially lucrative. However, it is well documented that Long Island schools' teacher pay is substantially above the natural average.

4. As a New York Stater you have a right to do something many people in the U.S. don't have a right to do -- vote on the actual school budget. And, if the Long Island residents vote to mostly pass school budgets, then perhaps they think that to attract good teachers it's worth the price. That's called democracy. To the rest of the people here in the Colorado forum -- do Coloradans vote on the actual school budget? I haven't been here long enough to know for sure, although my impression is here in Colorado Springs we do not.

Now, what line of work are you and/or your spouse in? How much do you earn per year? Perhaps I/we think that is too lucrative, also.
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