The Simple Answer to Oklahoma’s Budget Shortfall Could Save Teachers Jobs
While our 'fiscally responsible' elected officials try to plug a $1.3billion hole in the state budget, some of our most important areas of spending are being slashed. One of the biggest so far is our public education system. 208 teachers so far (as of this publishing day) have been let go, and the rural school districts around the state are switching to a four day scholastic week to make up for their budget issues. It seems backwards.
Now, of course the blue side of the legislative isle is insisting they start tapping our 'rainy day funds' to make up the difference... but that still doesn't solve the budget problem. That's just a temporary bailout of this particular situation. They don't seem to understand the old adage 'You can't spend your way out of debt.'
While 'there are no simple answers' still rings true in all facets of politics, is seem our legislators are failing to realize you don't remove the little fish from an overpopulated tank to make more room... You fry up the big ones.
The 208 teachers so far let go represent some $3.95million based on average salary. If we're really in a crunch, why not consolidate near the top? We all know school administrators are paid very well in Oklahoma, but so are their assistant administrators.
Now, obviously, administrators play a pivotal role in our school systems. These are individuals who have worked very hard to get those high rewarding jobs. The fact they hold these positions is proof of their dedication and work ethic... But that work ethic is something we can push on a little bit.
Instead of letting go of teachers, why not start pulling the plug on our school districts assistant administrators. Their collective pay is a windfall compared to the teachers pay we're cutting. And not in a sense of double or triple... It's far greater than that. It's an enormous savings can be added to if we also start cutting the assistant principal position at each school.
Now I know the immediate response will be 'we need these people'... but with such dedicated leaders above them... ie - head principals and district administrators... those duties can fall to them.
Yes, it means more work at the top, and added stress to what is already a stressful job... but desperate times call for drastic measures. It just seems odd that those who uphold the importance of education are the first to start cutting in the classroom.
BTW... If you know a teacher looking for work, Hawaii currently has 1600 job openings. Yes, it's expensive to live in paradise, but it can be done.
If you want to check the math yourself, it's all here.