Gardner Edgerton teachers didn’t get a raise this year.
It’s sad, but an unfortunate reality in these tough economic times.
We thank teachers for biting the bullet as so many Kansas residents have had to do this year, including Gardner municipal employees the past three years.
Current teachers’ salaries for the nine month school year range from about $39,000 starting salary to $69,000 for experienced teachers with a PhD.
That’s not an exboritant wage; depending on what sources you site, recent statistics indicate the average 12 month salary for Johnson County residents hovers somewhere around $58,000.
And although debate continues about whether public employees are over – or under – paid, a Labor Department report for the fourth quarter of 2010 indicates it may be more about benefits than hourly wage:
• State and local governments (federal excluded) spent an average of $40.28 per employee-hour worked, with wages and salaries accounting for $26.42 and benefits accounting for $13.86.
• Private industry employers spent an average of $27.75 per employee-hour worked, with wages and salaries accounting for an average of $19.64 and benefits accounting for $8.11.
Wages and benefits are only part of the hurdles Kansans’ face, both public and private sector.
Increasing food, transportation, utility and health costs are breaking the most austere budget.
So, while we applaud elected officials and administrators for holding the line with wages and benefits, we urge them to dig into their budgets and cut excessive or unneeded costs.
Just as consumers are debating whether they need the premium, or basic cable channels – or no cable at all – stewards of taxpayer money should be looking at administrative and non-essential expenses the same way.
There’s an old story about the daughter who, when cooking a roast, always cut two inches off the end before putting it in the pan. One day her mother was there and asked why the daughter did this.
“Why are you wasting that roast!” she exclaimed.
“But mom,” the daughter said, “When I was growing up, you always trimmed the right side of the roast before cooking it, so I do the same!”
The mother laughed, “I only did that because my pan was too small.”
We urge elected officials to look at the budget, not how it has always been, but rather the most cost-effective method.
Budget cuts should not have to be borne thru human costs only – salaries and taxpayer services.
Rather needs should be separated from wants.
Now is not the time to be keeping up with the Jones. Or Blue Valley. Or Overland Park.