Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Teachers Must Not Make Much In Mississippi

At Moyer's (catfish) farm on a recent afternoon, a worker stood waist-deep in a pond helping two others in a boat trap fingerlings with a big net and put them in buckets. Two other workers on the back of a truck parked next to the pond unloaded the fingerlings — hundreds of pounds, one bucket at a time — into tanks for transport to ponds where the fish will grow to market size.

Calvin Jones, a former school teacher working at Moyer's farm, said he makes more money as a contract employee at fish farms than he did in the classroom.

"You raise fish. You get them out of the pond and you sell them. That's pretty much all you do. There's no genius to it," Jones said.

That's pretty bad.


Ellen K said...

That's pretty much the situation in many poorer states. Part of it is because what budgets they have are eaten up by federal mandates. Things like ESL, special education for severely disabled students and free lunches create situations where small districts simply can't afford to pay reasonable wages.

allen (in Michigan) said...

You should factor into your equation the large, and growing, number of non-teaching professionals employed by the public education system. One graph I caught, which I naturally failed to bookmark, showed the number of teachers increasing by 100% in the same period of time the number of non-teaching professionals increased by 400%.

Then there's utter lack of recognition of teaching skill the lousiest teacher in a bargaining unit making, other things being equal, the same amount of money as the best teacher.

One interesting experiment that confronts both those factors is The Equity Project which the somewhat ponderous, and presumptuous, name for what's better known as the "$125,000 school". Be interesting to see how that works out.

Whoops, I spoke - wrote - too soon. They're looking for a social worker. I wonder if the pay's the same as for the teachers? The principal's supposed to pull down $90,000 so would a social worker pull down less then that?

Ellen K said...

I was looking at my schools faculty list the other day and nearly 30% of the names were counselors, job coaches, special education consultants, mediators, trainers and aides. I knew there was a good reason my class load was so high.