2 PARAGRAPHS 4 LIBERTY: #133
The logical extreme has happened in New York City! According to an August 19, 2017 article on the front page of the New York Times, teachers who either had disciplinary problems or bad teaching records or who worked in schools that had either been closed or were experiencing a decline in enrollment were paid $150 million in salary last year alone – not to teach! That constituted a full 822 teachers, more than 200 of whom had been receiving those payments for at least five years! At an average salary of $94,000 per year! They could have been re-engaged as teachers, but their performance was so poor that none of the school principals wanted them. So, since the teacher’s unions were so strong that they couldn’t be fired, they were being paid their full salaries mostly not to teach.
How can a society that holds itself up as the Land of the Free tolerate such a result? And how many other school districts around the nation are in the same situation? In today’s world, imagine how much of a benefit it would have been to the students to have had that money for smaller classrooms, extra labs, field trips or tutors? In too many places around our country our schools are failing our children. So, as had been stated several times in this column, we must decide what the purpose is for our educational system: to educate our children? Or to protect below-average teachers? Liberty means that our children’s interests must be placed ahead of supporting teachers who cannot teach! Thomas Jefferson famously said that we should have a bloody revolution every generation to keep the vested special interests at bay. Fortunately, our Constitution has given us a means for the revolutions not to be bloody. But how long has it been? When witnessing outcomes like this, maybe it is time for another of these revolutions! How about trying it out with the Libertarians, who would never allow this result to occur!
Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President, along with
Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President