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News Link • Education: Government Schools

Dear Teachers: Are Roofers Underpaid?

•, By Craig Can

Although facts don't matter when teacher unions demand more money, I wasted my time when I had a newspaper column years ago in conducting a detailed analysis of the facts of pay for public school teachers.  The analysis considered hours worked, employee benefits, pensions, working conditions, job security, the non-rigorous courses required to obtain a degree in education, the lower cost of living in Arizona, and the pay for jobs with similar requirements (including the pay of teachers in parochial schools).  I concluded that public school teachers were paid quite well.

Maybe that's no longer true, but you won't find an in-depth analysis in the local media, where reporters are more like cheerleaders for teachers than objective reporters, but without the pom-poms.

Teachers and their cheerleaders also say that Arizona ranks low in student test scores because the state doesn't spend enough on public education, which is the same argument used in other states.  Actually, Arizona ranks better than many states that spend a lot more, when test scores are adjusted for the race and per-capita income of students.  It's a distasteful fact for some to swallow, but Hispanics and Native Americans have significantly lower test scores and income, on average, than non-Hispanic whites and Asians; and Arizona has a significant percentage of both of the former.

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