You’ve got to be Kulon-joking…

Because free pays my mortgage.  Because free is what everyone is being asked to work for.  Because free in addition to the 3 days of pay I’ve already voluntarily given up…

From the Oregonian:

Kulongoski to teachers: work for free to keep schools open

by Harry Esteve, The Oregonian

Thursday February 19, 2009, 11:51 AM

Gov. Ted Kulongoski said today that teachers should be prepared to work without pay in order to keep schools open.

SALEM — Teachers should work some days without pay this spring to avoid early school closures, Gov. Ted Kulongoski said today as he laid out his plan to get the state solvent in the teeth of one of its worst-ever recessions.

“The only way we’re going to get out of this is if everybody contributes,” Kulongoski said at a morning news conference. As for teachers: “You do it without pay.”

The governor said he would lead by example. He said he will cut his $93,600 annual salary by 5 percent, and send the difference to the state school fund. He plans to take unpaid “furlough” days as well. He also said he would freeze salaries of state agency managers and other non-union workers, and that he would rescind step increases he approved earlier this year.

Those steps would save the current state budget about $6.2 million. If all state workers agreed to the same freeze it would save another $122 million over the next two years. That’s a token amount, given the size of the current state budget deficit, estimated at about $800 million.

But Kulongoski insisted on strict fiscal discipline over the coming months, despite the pain it might cause. He said he is not interested in tapping into the state’s reserve accounts, worth an estimated $800 million, because he expects the state’s financial problem to only worsen next year.

“I will veto any bill that attempts to raid those funds during this legislative session,” Kulongoski said.

Nonetheless, the governor said he thinks schools could stay open the full year with a combination of sacrifices by school employees and with extra money from the federal stimulus package.

While I voted for Ted and appreciate his willingness to hammer out some details in relation to schools and students,  I think this is a ridiculous proposal, if not bordering on illegal.  Are we asking police officers or firefighters to work for free?  People have already been laid off, every single one of the employees of my district have already sacrificed three days of day.  Which we were all happy to do for our district.

I can’t decide what’s worse, proposing that we lose up to 15 days of school (and pay) or being asked to work those days for free.  What do I get in return besides sacrificing days I could be working a second job for an actual paycheck?  Yes, I would be happy that students retain their seat time.  Yes, I would be happy that it would help our district, but at what personal cost to us?

I’m sorry, Teddy.  This is not well thought out. Not at all.

About Wellsy

Chris is a twenty-something Special Education teacher and Football coach in a little town south of Eugene, Oregon. Chris happily lives with his beautiful wife and his terribly uncoordinated Grate Dane named Moose. Chris has been known to travel, like reading, wanting more time to writing, be in the outdoors more, and generally not befoul the world.

Posted on February 19, 2009, in politics, random whine and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I had no idea you were so stingy. When did you start hating the children so much?

  2. Let’s just say I was a child self-loather at one point.

  3. ‘Hey people with demanding, intense, important jobs! Do them without getting paid! Yeah!’

    I’m flabbergasted.

  4. It kind of leads to an Utopian ideal of everyone work for free. I think we should just become a bartering/trade economy.

    “Microsoft’s stock today rose three sheep and an opossum on good quarterly postings.”

  5. I think the barter system could apply well to education – how much is this lesson worth? well kids, take a look at Mr. Wells’ want list on CWellsTeach…

    In Ted’s example, the teachers are basically being reduced to day care anyway – at least babysitters get to raid the fridge.

  6. Well… let’s consider if we were low-paid baby sitters, like $4 and hour.

    So, at $4 an hour (about a class period) per kid, with twenty kids would be $80 an hour. If we don’t count a prep period a teacher would have 6 preps. $480 a day. Multiply the daily wage across the average 190 contract, teachers would be making: $86,400 per contract year.

    If you run this through, with $2 an hour per kid, you get more than the starting wage for a teacher… actually, you roughly get what I make.

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