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Personally, I think the best compromise would be to let the employees keep the unions, but disallow unions from contributing in any way to any campaign, much like corporations have been penalized for and been banned from.
I do generally disagree with closed-shop unions, and I think that you're right that forcing people into public employee unions is something that should be done away with.

 

I do feel the need to point out that Citizens United has essentially removed all restrictions on corporate campaign finance, and that any attempt to restrain union campaign finance would likely run afoul of the same decision.

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One thing I always find a bit perplexing is the entire idea of a public job, ie government funded job, needing a union in the first place. Isn't the federal government acting as its union? Or the state government?

 

Sorta like the military having a union.

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"Yeah, we're not going to give you any troops to fight in the war until you give us more benefits."

 

"We refuse to provide your children with an education unless you give us 30 vacation days, amazing health care, and a guaranteed "no way to fire" clause. All while maintaining 42k average salary and not having to pay for any of the said benefits above. Oh and throw in 2k a year towards our pension. K thx bye."

 

If you compare teacher salary, 9 months worth of work, with their benefits and cost to the state... You'd be surprised to know that 42k+2k+5k+cost of subs for vacation...

 

Adds up really fast.

 

Base cost before we consider subs is easily 50k. Add in subs and we are talking closer to 60k.

 

Drop 10% of that salary, but leave the base alone... Take off 3k of the health insurance and half the cost of the pension... All of a sudden you are saving 7-10% per teacher just by offering them the same benefits as other state employees without having the take away from their wages.

 

Also, cutting benefits allows for teachers not using them to have more flexibility. If someone wants the spendy health care, they can use their salary that way, if not, they can keep it.

 

But in essence, it is like a pay cut. But clearly Wisconsin needs some form of pay cut, and benefits are easier (and arguably better for employees) to cut then salary. Especially considering the possibility of government health care around the corner.

 

I can see this CBA removal of benefits to be a direct tie in with the possibility of cutting/changing the health care plan even further.

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Education is by far the biggest state expense.

 

Budget of WI

 

$18 Billion budget, 6.4 billion is spent on education. The next closest is 1.4 billion on health care.

 

Since this is a state issue, we are talking about the single most expensive budget cost of *any* state.

 

6.4 billion is not even 50%.

 

Education is the best possible way to spend money to prevent retarded/ignorant people from growing up. What would you rather spend tax-payer money on? Education spending is the most beneficial thing for society and our democracy. The importance of education far out-weighs a 2% tax cut.

 

Personally I think the best possible way to spend tax-payer money is on education/infrastructure/research and development.

 

I would rather have teachers making 100k a year - this will attract all the smartest people in the country to want become teachers. This will create competition.

 

Unions are not flawless, I agree.

As fahr pointed out, teachers unions do seem to prevent a meritocracy, but that is a problem within the union and not the fact that a union exists. And as Cat pointed out, a teacher is FORCED to be a part of a union. Also a problem.

 

What is not a problem is us spending too much on education.

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What would you rather spend tax-payer money on?

 

What what, they *have* to spend the tax payer money? I love how running a budget within their means is never a plausible answer.

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What what, they *have* to spend the tax payer money? I love how running a budget within their means is never a plausible answer.

 

I'm just saying education should be the last thing we cut. I'm all for having a budget within our means.

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"We refuse to provide your children with an education unless you give us 30 vacation days, amazing health care, and a guaranteed "no way to fire" clause. All while maintaining 42k average salary and not having to pay for any of the said benefits above. Oh and throw in 2k a year towards our pension. K thx bye."

 

If you compare teacher salary, 9 months worth of work, with their benefits and cost to the state... You'd be surprised to know that 42k+2k+5k+cost of subs for vacation...

 

Adds up really fast.

 

Base cost before we consider subs is easily 50k. Add in subs and we are talking closer to 60k.

 

Drop 10% of that salary, but leave the base alone... Take off 3k of the health insurance and half the cost of the pension... All of a sudden you are saving 7-10% per teacher just by offering them the same benefits as other state employees without having the take away from their wages.

 

 

Also, cutting benefits allows for teachers not using them to have more flexibility. If someone wants the spendy health care, they can use their salary that way, if not, they can keep it.

 

But in essence, it is like a pay cut. But clearly Wisconsin needs some form of pay cut, and benefits are easier (and arguably better for employees) to cut then salary. Especially considering the possibility of government health care around the corner.

 

I can see this CBA removal of benefits to be a direct tie in with the possibility of cutting/changing the health care plan even further.

Or just increase taxes 1-2%. After all, the teachers are teaching YOUR children. Perhaps you should pay for the service they provide. And if you have no children, perhaps you should pay so that the people that you interact with on a daily basis aren't fucking retarded.

 

I love the Daily Show commentary on this debate.

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Having been through the state's public education system, I think anyone who thinks more money for schools = less idiots with a high school diploma is clearly not very bright.

This is a fail statement. I've been through 4-5 different public school systems (I moved a lot) and the schools which had more funding had a much greater proportion of students entering university/college. You could make the argument that going to university does not equal being bright, but the fact that they have the ambition to do so indicates that they have a few brain cells.

 

Having money in a school system equals:

More field trips

New text books

Up to date computer labs

Science classes that consist of actual labs that include more than testing gravity

Cooking classes where you can actually cook something other than rice

New gym equipment

Good lockers

More clubs and specialized classes

Smaller classes

One grade in each classroom (none of those combined 4/5th grade combined classrooms)

Better libraries

 

The list goes on and on. The point is that money in the school system allows for children to be exposed to life outside of the classroom in a safe and controlled setting. That experience, in essence, makes the child more knowledgeable and less retarded than those that are taught in a poor school.

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This is a fail statement. I've been through 4-5 different public school systems (I moved a lot) and the schools which had more funding had a much greater proportion of students entering university/college. You could make the argument that going to university does not equal being bright, but the fact that they have the ambition to do so indicates that they have a few brain cells.

 

Let's be honest. The simple fact the school district has more money means the area is more affluent. A more affluent area means more money to go to college. This is probably the number one factor of % going to college.

 

Having money in a school system equals:

More field trips

New text books

Up to date computer labs

Science classes that consist of actual labs that include more than testing gravity

Cooking classes where you can actually cook something other than rice

New gym equipment

Good lockers

More clubs and specialized classes

Smaller classes

One grade in each classroom (none of those combined 4/5th grade combined classrooms)

Better libraries

 

The list goes on and on. The point is that money in the school system allows for children to be exposed to life outside of the classroom in a safe and controlled setting. That experience, in essence, makes the child more knowledgeable and less retarded than those that are taught in a poor school.

 

Your list is not wrong, but again, I put forth that the number one factor of whether someone goes to college or not is the amount of money their parents make. After that, I'm sure your list falls into place.

 

And just so we are clear, you would need to increase tax revenue by 10%.

 

Try passing that off on tax payers.

 

That's not simply 1-2% tax increase.

 

I would say Wisconsin has overspent its budget, the solution isn't to tax people more, it's to trim the fat from the state budget that hasn't been trimmed for decades.

 

Most states have a very similar problem, a huge budget that has not been scrutinized for years.

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Education is the best possible way to spend money to prevent retarded/ignorant people from growing up.

 

I think Johnathan Swift suggested a more Modest Proposal.

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See, you're totally a troll.

 

Aww, c'mon. MoC poorly-worded his comment. I went for the joke. I can't help it if most people would have to actually use google to figure out what I was saying, then read the original, then be smart enough to know that Swift was joking, then realize that I was joking.

 

 

I, at least, got a /laugh out of it. And that's all that matters.

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Aww, c'mon. MoC poorly-worded his comment. I went for the joke. I can't help it if most people would have to actually use google to figure out what I was saying, then read the original, then be smart enough to know that Swift was joking, then realize that I was joking.

 

 

I, at least, got a /laugh out of it. And that's all that matters.

I did get a good chuckle out of it as well.

 

And yes, I will agree that the more affluent communities can afford to send more students to university. However, a richer school system will also be able to provide support and options for poorer students to get scholarships. That's something that a poor school just can't do.

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I did get a good chuckle out of it as well.

 

And yes, I will agree that the more affluent communities can afford to send more students to university. However, a richer school system will also be able to provide support and options for poorer students to get scholarships. That's something that a poor school just can't do.

 

The school doesn't provide those support or options. What a richer school can provide is access to more technology and learning materials, however, most of that support for college is entirely entwined in scholarships has nothing to do with the school having better technology or learning materials, again it is the rich donors or businesses providing the scholarships.

 

I've never heard of a public school giving a scholarship of any sort to its students.

 

Unless you mean the richer schools hunt scholarships for their poor students? I could buy that a bit, maybe the higher teacher to kid ratio could help the college search as well. But we're talking about money providing the opportunity, not the increased education providing a (large) benefit here.

 

I can't say that a richer school doesn't result in smarter kids, but pretty much everything is reinforced by the money aspect.

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The school doesn't provide those support or options. What a richer school can provide is access to more technology and learning materials, however, most of that support for college is entirely entwined in scholarships has nothing to do with the school having better technology or learning materials, again it is the rich donors or businesses providing the scholarships.

 

I've never heard of a public school giving a scholarship of any sort to its students.

 

Unless you mean the richer schools hunt scholarships for their poor students? I could buy that a bit, maybe the higher teacher to kid ratio could help the college search as well. But we're talking about money providing the opportunity, not the increased education providing a (large) benefit here.

 

I can't say that a richer school doesn't result in smarter kids, but pretty much everything is reinforced by the money aspect.

This. Money provides more learning materials and technology as well as the ability to FIND scholarships to aid their unfortunate students. When I was in high school, I had the opportunity to job-shadow a doctor for a day at the local hospital. That experience alone opened up a couple of scholarship opportunities that would otherwise have been unknown to me. Underprivileged children would have job-shadowed a doctor via the operating table.

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This. Money provides more learning materials and technology as well as the ability to FIND scholarships to aid their unfortunate students. When I was in high school, I had the opportunity to job-shadow a doctor for a day at the local hospital. That experience alone opened up a couple of scholarship opportunities that would otherwise have been unknown to me. Underprivileged children would have job-shadowed a doctor via the operating table.

 

So basically, this is an argument for paying teachers less and giving more to the students to allow them to job shadow, scholarship hunt, and college search... Which brings me back to the previous discussion of bad teachers keeping a hold of their job via tenure, not productivity or effectiveness.

 

Basically, public education has become a bloated mess that isn't focused on advancing kids into a college environment or a job environment. They've pushed for passing standardized tests, that's about it.

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So basically, this is an argument for paying teachers less and giving more to the students to allow them to job shadow, scholarship hunt, and college search... Which brings me back to the previous discussion of bad teachers keeping a hold of their job via tenure, not productivity or effectiveness.

 

Basically, public education has become a bloated mess that isn't focused on advancing kids into a college environment or a job environment. They've pushed for passing standardized tests, that's about it.

I don't think that anyone can deny that standardized tests are awful. However, if you want good teachers, you're going to need to pay them enough to cover their six year's worth of student loans.

 

Your problem with bad teachers holding onto their jobs comes down to how teachers are evaluated. If you're evaluating the teacher based on standardized tests, you'll be more likely to hold onto bad teachers than if you test the teachers by other means (i.e. surprise teacher evaluations, which should be consistent even with teachers that already have tenure). As for tenure, I really don't think that teachers "give up" at tenure. If anything, tenure allows teachers to become more creative.

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As for tenure, I really don't think that teachers "give up" at tenure. If anything, tenure allows teachers to become more creative.

 

I think both scenarios are equally likely to occur, as a teacher not changing at all after making tenure is just as likely to occur. The best way to test this would be to look at the average GPA of their classes (or whatever measuring tool you want to use, as long as it's consistent) before and after the teacher receives tenure.

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Tenure is one of the main reasons professors become professors. Most aren't paid that much (at least for 20-30 years), but pension + tenure are the two main perks of being a professor. I really don't understand how people can be in favor of removing incentives for smart people to become teachers, given the state of our education at large today.

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The incentives are already there, and yet our education is in the state it is in. So, my question is, how are those related?

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