Tuesday, March 1, 2011

See? We Don't Just Hate the Middle Class

I'm happy to see that "On Wisconsin" has devolved into a back-and-forth debate among family members. Here's one we debated at the dinner table, with no clear winner.

In many small towns, the school superintendent is the person with the greatest salary. In any school budget season, the number one target of irate taxpayers is the administration. Those points have caused our governor to target superintendents in his latest salvo against public employees. In brief, he wants a salary cap of $125K for small-district superintendents and $175K for large-district superintendents. There's no discussion at all about whether we should even HAVE districts of 250 and fewer students....

Here in Tompkins County, our superintendent salaries hover around the 50th percentile for the state. Here are the data for our county--salaries are the latest available, populations are 2009-2010.It may be worth pointing out that our median household income in this county is below $50,000. However, the median household income in a few downstate counties is closer to $100,000, and housing and other costs of living are far higher than ours.

My feeling about this proposal is that it's purely political and will make little or no difference here, except that it may drive people to seek employment elsewhere. It is both an easy and a simple-minded fix without much in the way of "reform" behind it.

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