Theresa Harrington/EdSource Today
Oakland Education Association President Keith Brown speaks at a rally outside City Hall on the first day of the teachers' union strike, Feb. 21, 2019.

Demands from teachers’ unions for extra bonus “contract raises” are coming with increasing frequency. The Los Angeles Unified union’s recent announcement seeking a 20% raise (on top of their normal salary schedule increases) is just one of many such negotiations in progress.

Fundamental to an evaluation of any request for more money is knowing what that employee is earning right now. There is no manager or company owner in existence who would talk pay with an employee without knowing how much that employee makes.

Yet in our school districts, that appears to be unimportant. Actual data is never disclosed, whether in negotiation updates, board meetings or media reporting. We hear anecdotal stories from people who feel they are “underpaid,” but who doesn’t? Sometimes we get stories that use averages, almost always from sources that are not using actual pay records. We never see actual analysis based on real pay records.

Transparent California uses legal public records requests to obtain this data directly from our school districts’ own pay records. That data can be used to cut through the myths about teacher pay to arrive at some real facts.

We’re still collecting payroll data for the 2021-22 school year, but information gathered so far — covering over 219,000 certificated employees in 434 districts that educated 82% of our kids in 2021 — shows the median total pay for certificated staff was $96,323 and median total compensation (including benefits) $125,348. That total includes all retirement contributions from the district and state plus the district’s contribution toward health care premiums.

This may include some one-time bonuses given out with Covid mitigation funding, but the data is generally in line with normal increases seen year over year without Covid funding as a factor. The same numbers for 2019-20 (when very few additional bonuses were implemented) were $90,971 and $123,223, respectively.

Why use median rather than average? Median gives a more accurate representation of what an employee can expect to be paid. For example, let’s say WidgetCo has 10 employees. Nine make $50,000 a year, one makes $500,000. The average of this is $95,000/year, which no one makes.  The median is $50K, which almost everyone makes.

Does median pay of $96,323 make one underpaid?  That is a judgment call for school board members, but we can look at the pay of comparably educated private employees using the U.S. Census Bureau’s educational attainment data. We often hear educators and others in the industry claim they would make more with the same education in private industry. Let’s look at that claim:

The state Department of Education publishes annual data on the educational attainment of our teachers. In 2019, that data shows 51.57% of our teachers had a bachelor’s degree, and 48.43% had more advanced degrees. Since teachers with a bachelor’s also take an extra year of schooling to earn their credentials, we’ve weighted the comparable pay numbers to include that additional year.

Using this mix of educational attainment, we get a comparably educated median individual income outside the education sector of $88,435. Comparing what teachers make in education to what they would likely make with the same level of schooling in private industry, we see they make about $8,000 more working as educators.

This doesn’t factor in additional compensation teachers receive funding their retirement plan.

The CalSTRS pension plan contributions by the district and state equal 26.48% of a teacher’s salary. In private industry, an employer would contribute 6.2% of employee pay toward their social security benefits and add in a 401(k) “match” of about 4%. That results in a total contribution to retirement of about 10.2%. (Teachers neither contribute to nor receive Social Security.)

This means CalSTRS contributions are 16.28% of pay more than private employees receive from their employers in retirement benefits. Using a median pay of $96,323, teachers are given an additional $15,681 for retirement. If a private employee were so lucky as to get that and put it in their 401(k), even assuming no future increases, it would likely be worth over $2.5 million after a 30-year career. That seems pretty significant.

A private employee would need to make over $112,000 a year to enjoy the same standard of living as a teacher. And the teacher plan comes with guaranteed increases, a high level of job security, significantly more time off (teacher contracts often only require 185 days of work annually), and in many cases health insurance plans that are out of reach for private employees. (The total compensation of $125,348 mentioned above includes the cost of these health plans.)

During negotiations, we often see a ubiquitous union talking point that teachers are only demanding “fair pay.” Is a comparable income of $112,000, with better benefits and for a total work-year significantly less than private employees “unfair?”

We also see unions repeatedly claim members are not being shown “respect” if one suggests it might be better to use that money for other things. Is “respect” being measured in terms of “dollars in my pocket” a lesson we want our kids to be taught? Perhaps “respect” could also be measured in decreasing class sizes, better funding STEM programs or programs for needy or gifted kids, improving facility maintenance, providing teachers with money for classroom discretionary supplies, or even higher pay for starting teachers — all things that could be done with that same money.

Education funding is always tight and, with the state projecting a $25 billion drop in tax revenue next year, becoming tighter. Parents need to keep in mind every dollar given to employees in bonus raises is a dollar taken from programs that improve education. When the union comes demanding more money for their pockets, perhaps it’s time to use real data to evaluate those requests.

I have a great deal of respect for our teachers. They do a critical job that benefits us all. I’m very happy we are able to pay them more than they would make outside education for their work. But … more?

Perhaps there’s a better lesson our kids could learn from their teachers. Perhaps using education dollars to improve education should be viewed as a form of “respect” as well.

•••

Todd Maddison is the director of research for Transparent California, a project of the Nevada Policy Research Institute that compiles and makes publicly available government pay and pension data in California. He is also a founding member of the advocacy group Parent Association and lives in Oceanside, Ca.

The opinions expressed in this commentary represent those of the author. EdSource welcomes commentaries representing diverse points of view. If you would like to submit a commentary, please review our guidelines and contact us.

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  1. marco 1 month ago1 month ago

    This is sort of framed -- and certainly is being read -- as "teachers are making a perfectly fine salary so demands for raises are unjustified," which I think overshadows the more important point: "what do teachers really want/need from the districts that employ them?" Almost everyone would like a higher salary, but the teachers that I have spoken with (friends, my kids' teachers, etc.) have a long list of concerns that go beyond salary. … Read More

    This is sort of framed — and certainly is being read — as “teachers are making a perfectly fine salary so demands for raises are unjustified,” which I think overshadows the more important point: “what do teachers really want/need from the districts that employ them?”

    Almost everyone would like a higher salary, but the teachers that I have spoken with (friends, my kids’ teachers, etc.) have a long list of concerns that go beyond salary. By focusing so much attention on salary, it seems like we are missing an opportunity to address other teacher concerns, some of which wouldn’t cost anything. Things I hear about are school administrators that tie teachers’ hands in dealing with disruptive students and parents, constant introduction of new teaching/testing/reporting requirements, administrators who seem to have more respect for their parade of consultants than for their teachers, administrators unwillingness to deal with deadwood teachers, demoralizing pressure to give good grades to failing students, students who are grievously unprepared for learning at their grade level, etc etc etc.

  2. Monica 1 month ago1 month ago

    Interesting story. What about the classified staff? I am one of them and work as an instructional tutor. I have my BA degree and have worked as a substitute teacher. I took a permanent job last school year because I wanted consistency and the great benefits. I am very grateful for my job; however, we are truly underpaid! If I weren't married, I would be considered low income. It's a shame that we are so … Read More

    Interesting story. What about the classified staff? I am one of them and work as an instructional tutor. I have my BA degree and have worked as a substitute teacher. I took a permanent job last school year because I wanted consistency and the great benefits. I am very grateful for my job; however, we are truly underpaid! If I weren’t married, I would be considered low income. It’s a shame that we are so underpaid. The saving grace is the awesome benefits and retirement; that’s why I took the job. I make just under $25,000/year (more if I work summer school). We just got an 8% raise and I’m thankful, but I certainly think an educated tutor who works with special education kids (learning and physical disabilities) deserves more than $25,000/year. Just my thoughts…

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    • Todd Maddison 1 month ago1 month ago

      Thanks for the question. We do track support staff ("classified") compensation as well, of course, but a comparable analysis is difficult to do on a large scale, because classified staff runs all the way from noon-duties to supervisors and some management. You could try to use overall averages from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but those averages include CEO's, business owners, doctors, lawyers, etc - positions that have no comparable analog in support staff. The only … Read More

      Thanks for the question.

      We do track support staff (“classified”) compensation as well, of course, but a comparable analysis is difficult to do on a large scale, because classified staff runs all the way from noon-duties to supervisors and some management.

      You could try to use overall averages from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but those averages include CEO’s, business owners, doctors, lawyers, etc – positions that have no comparable analog in support staff.

      The only effective way to do that comparison would be to ask your district to obtain a salary survey of comparable jobs in your area and then compare title-by-title. For example, what does an administrative assistant make in private industry in your area vs in your district?

      I’ve asked my own district to do that – many times – pointing out that’s the only way to make sure we’re paying support staff fairly, but they refuse to do it. They typically use surveys of what staff is paid in other districts – which is not very relevant given it’s not the same area with the same economic circumstances.

      I would suggest looking up your job title in job listing services – like Indeed – and seeing what wage ranges are being advertised. Keep in mind the jobs you see do not include the relatively plush benefit packages most education jobs include…

  3. Daniel Plonsey 2 months ago2 months ago

    Follow the money. Nevada Policy Research Institute, who fund Mr. Madison's writing, is funded in part by Charles Koch, and the Heritage Foundation. They identify teachers pejoratively as a "special interest group." This is exactly the disrespect we teachers refer to. Mr. Madison claims that the average teacher salary in CA is $96k. I'm finding various estimates, but ed-data says $86k in 20-21, which is just about the median in my relatively wealthy district, so … Read More

    Follow the money. Nevada Policy Research Institute, who fund Mr. Madison’s writing, is funded in part by Charles Koch, and the Heritage Foundation. They identify teachers pejoratively as a “special interest group.”

    This is exactly the disrespect we teachers refer to. Mr. Madison claims that the average teacher salary in CA is $96k. I’m finding various estimates, but ed-data says $86k in 20-21, which is just about the median in my relatively wealthy district, so I believe that his figure is high. Mr. Madison’s study draws conclusions opposite to that of the EPI (Economic Policy Institute), which published a study this year estimating that teachers make 17.6% less than comparably educated people in CA; nationally it’s even worse.

    Teacher salaries have been flat, in constant dollars, for a couple decades, while our health care costs in many districts have risen to around 20% of our salaries from 0% 15-20 years ago, and pensions as a percentage of salary have declined; thus, overall compensation for teachers has declined significantly. Meanwhile, housing prices have shot up in much of CA, and many young teachers in the larger cities now have no chance of ever owning a home.

    Finally, there’s Mr. Madison’s statement “I’m very happy we are able to pay them more than they would make outside education for their work. But … more?” Is there a missing word? Given that Mr. Madison’s work is funded in part by people who make thousands of times more than comparably educated workers, it’s curious that here he comes out here as an advocate for establishing economic equity.

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    • Jim 1 month ago1 month ago

      For a teacher, you certainly seem adverse to research. For example, a Special Interest Group is defined as "Non-technical SIGs - Organizations that are not technical may also have Special Interest Groups, which are normally focused on a mutual interest[9] or shared characteristic of a subset of members of the organization.[10] An important example for this are trade unions." "estimating that teachers make 17.6% less than comparably educated people in CA" And how many days per … Read More

      For a teacher, you certainly seem adverse to research. For example, a Special Interest Group is defined as “Non-technical SIGs – Organizations that are not technical may also have Special Interest Groups, which are normally focused on a mutual interest[9] or shared characteristic of a subset of members of the organization.[10] An important example for this are trade unions.”

      “estimating that teachers make 17.6% less than comparably educated people in CA” And how many days per year do teachers work compared to this same population?

    • Todd Maddison 1 month ago1 month ago

      Daniel – great points, love the discussion. This data is from the district's own pay records. Can you elaborate on how you feel the name on my check affects the veracity of that data? And, fyi, my total 1099 income from Transparent California in 2021 was $8000, with no benefits at all provided. I’d be happy to show it to you. About 7% of a teacher with total comp of $112,547, just … Read More

      Daniel – great points, love the discussion.

      This data is from the district’s own pay records. Can you elaborate on how you feel the name on my check affects the veracity of that data? And, fyi, my total 1099 income from Transparent California in 2021 was $8000, with no benefits at all provided. I’d be happy to show it to you. About 7% of a teacher with total comp of $112,547, just to pick a random teacher compensation from the data for comparison.

      Transparent California has gotten no funding from the Kochs since 2016. If you know someone there, please let them know we may be missing a check somewhere.

      Is “special interest group” by definition perjorative? The Cambridge Dictionary defines “special interest group” as “a group of people who have particular demands and who try to influence political decisions involving them”

      I’d like to hear your argument that teacher’s unions do not qualify under this definition.

      So… people who collect and publish this data make $8,000/year and benefit in no way from it. People who benefit from their own advocacy for their own paychecks make over $100K/year. and benefit directly and personally from it.

      If we want to discuss motivations, let’s do that.

      On the pay analysis, as I’ve laid out in the article, average is not as accurate a way to characterize the pay of a population as median. Regardless, the actual average for this data set is $94,598. The reason that is different from other published numbers is because two different methods of calculation are used. The CDE uses an average of salary schedule steps based on how many teachers are reported at each step. That calculation omits other sources of pay (stipends, bonuses, etc) and could be inaccurate if a teacher changes position in a year.

      The EPI study is similar in that its data is based on a number of assumptions and calculations that do not involve actual pay records.

      Our data uses actual pay records, as reported to the IRS, from the districts themselves.

      I’m going to go with actual data over a number based on assumptions. If you do not believe that, request the data from your district. I’d be happy to help you work through the analysis – email records@transparentcalifornia.com and we can set up a time.

      Teacher salaries have most certainly not been flat, at least not since 2012 (when Transparent California started collecting data.) During the last decade, teacher salaries have gone up at a rate of 4.03% per year. During this time inflation was 2.28% per year. That means teacher salaries have been going up at a rate close to double (1.76x) inflation. Far from “flat.”

      Healthcare has indeed gone up. As it has for everyone reading this. That’s one of the reasons I compare the teacher pay to “what everyone else makes with the same education.” We all suffer that burden, there’s nothing special about teachers in that.

      Yes, housing prices are up. As they are for everyone, including the taxpayers paying the salaries of teachers. Are you saying that we should take more from the pay of someone making $88K to increase the pay of someone already making a comparable pay of $112K so the latter can better afford housing? Not sure many would agree with that, but that’s your opinion.

      I agree with you on the pain of young teachers, though. I have advocated for years to increase the starting pay of new teachers, as I say in this article (is there a reason you left that out of your comments?) The unions determine the makeup of the salary schedule, I would suggest you lobby your union to skew their next demand for increase toward raising starting rates in your next negotiation. We see that said all the time, but we never see unions actually do it. Do they forget, or perhaps they feel saying it is enough?

      Maybe now is a good time? I’ll be watching to see what the Berkeley Union does in its next round.

      On “economic equity”, since the actual data shows teachers are paid $14,000/year more than private employees are you suggesting teacher pay should be cut – to be equitable compared to private employees with the same education?

      I would not suggest that. As I’ve said, I’m fine with what they make now. But again, your opinion is yours.

  4. Scott Petri 2 months ago2 months ago

    Some misleading math here... "CalSTRS contributions are 16.28% of pay more than private employees receive from their employers in retirement benefits." Employer contribution increases have been phased in over seven years. This was to address chronic underfunding because the employer contribution had not been increased since 1990. These increases were intended to reduce the unfunded actuarial obligation of the system and they phase out when CALSTRS is fully funded. The effective employer contribution rate … Read More

    Some misleading math here… “CalSTRS contributions are 16.28% of pay more than private employees receive from their employers in retirement benefits.” Employer contribution increases have been phased in over seven years. This was to address chronic underfunding because the employer contribution had not been increased since 1990. These increases were intended to reduce the unfunded actuarial obligation of the system and they phase out when CALSTRS is fully funded. The effective employer contribution rate was adjusted down from 18.13% to 17.1% for fiscal year 2019-20. The effective employer contribution rate was adjusted down from 19.1% to 16.15% for fiscal year 2020-21. https://www.calstrs.com/funding-plan The average teacher who retired in 2020–21 had 25 years of service and receives a monthly benefit of $4,813. Hey EdSource, let’s not allow opinion writers to mislead the public with fuzzy math.

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    • John Fensterwald 2 months ago2 months ago

      Thanks for the comment, Scott.

      The author wrote, “The CalSTRS pension plan contributions by the district and state equal 26.48% of a teacher’s salary.” The combination of contributions via the state and the district is correct.

    • Todd Maddison 1 month ago1 month ago

      Thanks, John. Scott is someone who pays attention to the details - we love that. To elaborate on those details, in 2021 (the year of this analysis), CalSTRS required districts to contribute 19.1% of employee pay to their retirement plan. This was modified by the legislature to reduce that by 2.95%, so the net between the two was 16.15% Added to this is are contributions to CalPERS from the state's general fund of 7.83% plus … Read More

      Thanks, John.

      Scott is someone who pays attention to the details – we love that. To elaborate on those details, in 2021 (the year of this analysis), CalSTRS required districts to contribute 19.1% of employee pay to their retirement plan. This was modified by the legislature to reduce that by 2.95%, so the net between the two was 16.15%

      Added to this is are contributions to CalPERS from the state’s general fund of 7.83% plus 2.50% to the SMBA account “to maintain the purchasing power of benefits”.

      This adds up to 26.48% contributed to a CalSTRS member’s retirement on their behalf.

      In private industry, employers contribute 6.2%, and – according to Vanguard’s annual report for 2021, an average 401K match of 4.0%, for a total of 10.2%.

      26.48 – 10.2 = 16.28%, which means, as I’ve said, that teachers get an additional 16.28% of their pay contributed to their retirement which private employees do not get.

      This may be “non-paycheck compensation”, but it is compensation just the same.

  5. Ben Derre 2 months ago2 months ago

    There appears a gaping error in the commentary above: “certificated staff” includes school administrators who make much more money than teachers. Am I missing something there? That error alone dismisses this commentary.

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    • Todd Maddison 2 months ago2 months ago

      Where are you seeing this?

      I will agree that the identification of certificated staff may not be 100% perfect, but in past examination I’ve found the error rate in that to be well under 1%, which would have an insignificant effect on the final numbers (given 200K+ records).

      Which record do you feel is in error, so I can correct that?

      • Ben Derre 1 month ago1 month ago

        In the 5th paragraph it states, “ the median total pay for certificated staff was $96,323…” If that number includes the pay of school administrators (including very highly-paid superintendents?), then that
        amount would be an overestimate of teachers. School administrators (principals, assistant principals) can be paid up to double more than teachers in the same district.

        • Todd Maddison 1 month ago1 month ago

          Thanks for the clarification.

          No, Superintendents do not belong to the Certificated group. They are typically considered “Administration”, as are assistant superintendents, principals, directors, etc.

          Since they are not part of the certificated group, their data is not included in the calculations.

  6. Angel 2 months ago2 months ago

    There are more than just teachers who work at a school. There are health techs and school nurses (RNs and LVNs) who work in schools as well and deal with just as much and are not paid enough to survive California’s cost of living and inflation.

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    • Todd Maddison 2 months ago2 months ago

      Valid observation, but they are part of the certificated group and bargain with them, which makes their compensation data a part of that data set. Yes, there are undoubtedly outliers. I'm sure there are jobs in education that pay less than one would make in private industry in a similar position. That's just not common. The issue here is not whether someone is "paid enough to survive California's cost of living and inflation" but how … Read More

      Valid observation, but they are part of the certificated group and bargain with them, which makes their compensation data a part of that data set.

      Yes, there are undoubtedly outliers. I’m sure there are jobs in education that pay less than one would make in private industry in a similar position. That’s just not common.

      The issue here is not whether someone is “paid enough to survive California’s cost of living and inflation” but how that pay compares to what they would make working outside education. And that data says even if they’re not paid “enough” they’re paid more than they would be paid in other jobs.

      Whether that’s enough to live on in CA or not is a separate question.

  7. Manuel Zaragoza 2 months ago2 months ago

    Adjust for inflation and for living standards. Then it will be a more accurate number.

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    • Todd Maddison 2 months ago2 months ago

      Thanks. The comparison is statewide, and compares teacher compensation to comparably educated private employee compensation. That, by it's nature, is a comparison that includes the local standard of living because private employees in a low-cost state will make less than in a high cost state. If you want to do a comparison between your own local district and your own local private employees, you can find the local district numbers at our … Read More

      Thanks. The comparison is statewide, and compares teacher compensation to comparably educated private employee compensation. That, by it’s nature, is a comparison that includes the local standard of living because private employees in a low-cost state will make less than in a high cost state.

      If you want to do a comparison between your own local district and your own local private employees, you can find the local district numbers at our website, and the local private employee data at the US Census bureau site linked in the article.

  8. Jim 2 months ago2 months ago

    “There is no manager or company owner in existence who would talk pay with an employee without knowing how much that employee makes.” Few employers have no real evaluation process for workers either. That is the situation with teachers where 5 minutes of observation once a year may constitute an “evaluation”.

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    • Todd Maddison 2 months ago2 months ago

      Certainly true. Designing performance based metrics for teachers would be difficult but not likely impossible, particularly in large districts with significant populations of teachers. Far easier, and perhaps more impactful, would be providing some financial incentive to Superintendents to improve education in their district - much as the CEO of a company usually has 10% or more of their compensation dependent on meeting metrics that mean "our company is improving". A private Board would … Read More

      Certainly true. Designing performance based metrics for teachers would be difficult but not likely impossible, particularly in large districts with significant populations of teachers.

      Far easier, and perhaps more impactful, would be providing some financial incentive to Superintendents to improve education in their district – much as the CEO of a company usually has 10% or more of their compensation dependent on meeting metrics that mean “our company is improving”.

      A private Board would never think of paying their CEO based on simply “time in the seat”, they would always want some personal incentive for the CEO to focus on what the Board considers important.

      We have such measures in our state – the California School Dashboard would provide an easy and somewhat objective set of metrics to base a Superintendent merit pay program on, I’ve been pitching it to various school boards around the state with no takers…

      The most important thing in our lives – our kids – and obviously the least important to make sure the person in charge is incentivized to do well and accomplish what the Board wants.

      • Jim 1 month ago1 month ago

        Superintendents do not have much control over who their employees are much less what they teach. In addition their tenure is often too short to show any real change. Parents and students often know who the bad teachers are.

      • Mike Alan 1 month ago1 month ago

        Except that schools aren’t businesses, and kids aren’t widgets.

        • Jim 1 month ago1 month ago

          “Except that schools aren’t businesses, and kids aren’t widgets.” Schools have budgets and they are expected to produce something, generally learning. I went to LinkedIn and found 146 people currently employed by LAUSD with “business” in their titles.

          • Mike Alan 1 month ago1 month ago

            Surely you can distinguish between “doing” business and “being” a business? The “business” model that education has been reduced to, especially starting in the 1980’s, is a big part of public school’s steady demise. Too many school administrators are forced to treat schools as “businesses” and students as widgets or data. Garbage in, garbage out.

        • Todd Maddison 1 month ago1 month ago

          Schools are most certainly businesses. They have budgets that often run into the hundreds of millions, they pay their "CEO's" (and other administrators) hundreds of thousands of dollars, and they often employ hundreds or thousands of people in the local area. That is, by any definition, a business. No, kids are not widgets, by which I assume you mean "the product." The product of a school district is not the kids, it's the education they provide those … Read More

          Schools are most certainly businesses. They have budgets that often run into the hundreds of millions, they pay their “CEO’s” (and other administrators) hundreds of thousands of dollars, and they often employ hundreds or thousands of people in the local area.

          That is, by any definition, a business.

          No, kids are not widgets, by which I assume you mean “the product.”

          The product of a school district is not the kids, it’s the education they provide those kids.

          In that they most certainly are involved in producing something – that education – and therefore should be held to standards, by parents, for the quality of that product.

          The very idea that the people responsible for the most important things in our lives – our kids – should not be held accountable to provide a product (their education) of the highest possible quality and held accountable when they fail to do that is, quite literally, crazy.

          • Mike Alan 1 month ago1 month ago

            Apparently you also appear unable or unwilling to distinguish between “being” a business and “conducting” business. It may be a subtle distinction but it has profound effects (as we’re seeing today in the U.S.). Part of a school’s responsibility is to properly “conduct” business as you partly described, but central to its mission and identity/status, a public school is a “school” not a business. You and I are “people” and not businesses, although … Read More

            Apparently you also appear unable or unwilling to distinguish between “being” a business and “conducting” business. It may be a subtle distinction but it has profound effects (as we’re seeing today in the U.S.). Part of a school’s responsibility is to properly “conduct” business as you partly described, but central to its mission and identity/status, a public school is a “school” not a business. You and I are “people” and not businesses, although we conduct business or even manage/own a business.

            The moment a person reduces their self to a “business” is the moment they’ve lost something very essential to who they are and what they subsequently do.

            • Todd Maddison 1 month ago1 month ago

              Your comment was "schools aren't businesses". They most certainly are. They collect revenue, pay people, and produce a product - the education of our kids. The "self" has nothing to do with that. No one is "reducing their self to a business", it's just a recognition of the structure of the organization, and the need of everyone involved to make enough money to feed their family by making that business work. "Schools are not businesses and … Read More

              Your comment was “schools aren’t businesses”. They most certainly are.

              They collect revenue, pay people, and produce a product – the education of our kids.

              The “self” has nothing to do with that. No one is “reducing their self to a business”, it’s just a recognition of the structure of the organization, and the need of everyone involved to make enough money to feed their family by making that business work.

              “Schools are not businesses and kids are not widgets” is just a sound bite used by those who want to deflect the issue away from the fact that schools are businesses and education is their product.