Teacher Strikes Prove Public Education Needs Overhaul

THROWBACK: REMINDER THAT THESE ARE THE SAME PEOPLE STILL TEACHING YOUR KIDS

What I am going to say is an extremely unpopular opinion: teachers aren’t heroes (and we don’t need government involved with education).

Right now we have thousands of teachers marching on their respected state capitols, leaving hundreds of thousands of kids (who they claim to care about) with nowhere to go.

Why are they protesting? The teachers in Oklahoma feel as though they are severely underpaid compared to those in other states. They also want the government to increase the education budget for school supplies, building improvements, and a host of other things.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Sue Ogrocki/AP/REX/Shutterstock (9434375a) Edmond school counselor Wendy Joseph, left, cheers with other supporters of the teacher pay raise during a rally at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma educators frustrated with low pay and another round of proposed cuts to public schools are mulling an organized walkout to get lawmakers’ attention Oklahoma Teachers Walkout, Oklahoma City, USA – 12 Feb 2018


Naturally, the media has sided with the teachers. How in the world could some monster be against the heroes that are our teachers?

It’s easy. You just have to accept the reality that being a teacher doesn’t make one a hero, or give one some sort of moral high ground. They are state employees being handed a script of what needs to be taught. Within that group, there are a lot of really good people, but there are also those who see teaching for what it is: a job.

Surely when looking for jobs people have an idea of what their pay might be. These teachers haven’t had the rug pulled out from under them. They haven’t seen their wages decrease, and yet people are still applying to teach.

While there are teacher shortages in many states, there are still people becoming teachers. If an employer (the state) sees that people are still applying, they have no incentive to raise pay. A strike is great, but if teachers want to be truly valued they’d get behind closing public schools altogether.

While marching with friends and making signs are fun activities, they won’t get the job done. Especially when the solution to YOUR problem involves raising taxes on everyone else.

“Oh no, it’s just a tax on energy companies…”

Great, now energy bills go up.

“They could put a hotel tax in place…”

Great, now the few people who do come to your state will have to pay more to do so.

My point with this is simple, raising taxes to solve YOUR problem is selfish and immoral. Furthermore, it’s hard to get people on your side if they know the “solution” involves their wallets.

“The kids are the future, and we need to invest in them…”

Says you. My financial advisor doesn’t even tell me what I NEED to invest in.

“(insert state) teachers are underpaid compared to teachers in (insert state)!”

Well… Yeah. Some companies have the ability to pay employees more. Are we going to start marching because a guy working a tire shop in the sticks makes less than the tire guy downtown? You’ll always have a grievance so long as you compare paychecks with others. If you agree to work for a wage how does it make sense to turn around and complain about the wage you agreed to?

There’s also this thing called MOVING. If these teachers see other states paying more, wouldn’t the smart thing be to move there and teach?

Here’s a snippet of what one Oklahoma teacher wrote

“This crisis is quickly turning into a tragedy. By forcing teachers to pay for students’ supplemental games, activities, art and musical supplies, the state has taken away our ability to be creative. We are being forced to teach to test scores.”

Here’s the thing… having supplies doesn’t lead to creativity. The creativity comes from making the best out of what you have. There’s not really a point to be made here other than this sentiment is silly.

ACTUAL SOLUTIONS

What would happen if we remove the government from the equation? Suddenly you are forced to come up with actual solutions that don’t involve taking things that aren’t yours (taxes).

Education could be funded through private companies. Are there drawbacks? Hell yeah, but at least it’s better than teachers walking out on the job (and not for “gun violence”). You could have some company funding a school that teaches only what they want, but that’s better than teachers not being there at all, right?

These teachers could go to their local communities, and school boards, and say “hey if you people want your kids to be educated by us, you have to start cutting checks”. Would that be hard? Yup. But if there are many who believe in public education, it shouldn’t be too difficult.

Teachers could also agree to start homeschooling kids. They already have the roster for their classes. All they have to do is get parents to start paying them individually and get rid of the old school buildings.

There are also digital alternatives. They have plenty of classes online for kids to take, and everyone knows someone who did the homeschool thing. They turned out fine… sort of…

THESE ARE SOLUTIONS. MARCHING IS NOT A SOLUTION.

Again, I get it. It’s a fun time to go out, and take pictures, and get all the “you go”s while walking around. There are just better ways to get teachers the pay they feel they deserve than demanding the government do something.

The government sucks. The government is a problem, not a solution. They may throw a bunch of money the teacher’s way this time, but ultimately the poor optics are making people view teachers as whiners. That’s what politicians want. The more these teachers protest (after getting a raise) the worse they look in the eyes of the public. Why would politicians be encouraged to help them, then? All of their kids go to private school.

Whether they want to be or not, educators are role models. What lesson are they teaching kids? If you don’t like the way your company operates, leave on the job, and demand more money? That’s not a good lesson, because in the private sector that gets your ass fired.

My grievance isn’t with teachers. My grievance is with the fact that government employees are wasting taxpayer dollars by not doing the job they agreed to do. Having presented several ACTUAL solutions, I feel comfortable having the notion that government-funded education needs to be done away with (with the assumption that taxes would go down too).

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