School administrators neglect children’s needs while threatening lawmakers at Olympia meeting
In Olympia Sunday Representative Ross Hunter (D-Medina) and Senator Bruce Dammeier (R-Puyallup) discussed the state budget at a meeting of school administrators and school board directors.
Jerry Cornfield of The Everett Herald reports that Paul Rosier, director of the hosting group, the Washington Association of School Administrators, called for defeating lawmakers who do not comply with the group’s demands. “We will not take no for an answer once again,” Mr. Rosier said, if an honest down payment is not made, “then we should impeach all of these people in the Legislature and then start again. It is time. It is time. It is time and it is long overdue.”
Also, I heard that Representative Cathy Dahlquist (R-Enumclaw) was booed twice by the assembled education administrators.
Not only were elected lawmakers of both parties badly treated, leaders of the hosting interest groups appeared ungrateful about how much the hard-working people of Washington are contributing to public education now. Certainly by private sector standards school administrator pay is generous, with good health, vacation and retirement benefits.
Randy Dorn, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, has just reported on public education employees salaries for each district for 2012-13 at http://www.k12.wa.us/safs/PUB/PER/1213/ps.asp. These tables show:
- Average teacher salary is $61,500, plus 30% more for benefits
- Average administrator salary is $105,500 plus 24% more for benefits
It is likely Mr. Rosier makes more than $100,000 a year, and that he receives a very good benefits package. In addition, state workers are seeking a 3% pay increase this year, at a time when many families are without work.
The typical wage for the average worker in Washington was $50,300 in 2011, not including benefits, which vary widely. Full-time unemployment remains at 7.5%. Mr. Rosier wants working families, who face job losses and an uncertain future, to pay more for people who already have good-paying public-sector jobs, even though per-student funding, at $10,200 a year, is at an all-time high.
School budgets are not shrinking. In 2011-12, school administrators spent the highest amount taxpayers have ever provided for schools: $10.2 billion, see http://fiscal.wa.gov/K12.aspx.
Even though Governor Gregoire increased spending on education by 32%, the system has failed to address the state’s high dropout rate, the widening achievement gap, or the Ds and Fs that one-third of schools received on the latest State Achievement Index.
School administrators and other education lobby groups seem more interested in threatening lawmakers and promoting the career interests of their members than in carrying out their paramount duty to provide for a good public education for all children living in Washington.