A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Florida: Let them eat laptops!

Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida has stated today that he thinks he has the answer to an anticipated shortfall in teacher recruitment. Due to a class size limitation which was passed this year, Florida will need to hire about 30,000 new teachers, as well.
All of Florida's nearly 164,000 public school teachers would receive laptop computers under a $237 million plan to recruit and retain educators, which Gov. Jeb Bush unveiled Monday at North Miami Middle School.

The laptop portion of the proposal would cost nearly $200 million.

Democrats and teacher union leaders criticized the plan, pointing out that there is another, more capitalist way to ease recruitment woes: (drumroll, please) Pay teachers more! (b'doom CHING!)
Bush said increasing pay -- especially for starting teachers and experts in shortage areas such as math and science -- is part of the solution. Florida's salaries rank 29th in the country, according to the American Federation of Teachers, with its average of $40,598, about $6,000 below the national average....

Many districts offer signing bonuses of $5,000, according to Miami-Dade School Board member Ana Rivas Logan, who added that Miami-Dade should beat those by offering $10,000.

Union leaders, however, worried the recruitment incentives would do little to retain teachers.

''Once that initial money is gone, is the salary adequate to retain the teachers?'' asked Karen Aronowitz, president of the United Teachers of Dade. ``If you can't qualify for a mortgage because of your salary, having a down payment does what?''

Of course, there's a reason why giving teachers a laptop is preferred to raising salaries: buying laptops would be a one-time expense, while adding $2000 to every salary would compound through the wonders of the pay scale for the next thirty years.

Well, Fast Freddy, whaddaya think, pal?


At 1/25/06, 1:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

$200 million for 164,000 teachers gives a per teacher cost of $1219+, about right for a laptop these days. Leaving WHAT for training, help desk, maintenance, software, or capital replacement? Computerizing any workforce is not a one-time expense.

My BS detector is throwing up the analogy

Jeb Bush:laptops ~ Gray Davis:Oracle

but of course, I'm cynical.

Karen Aronowitz, on the other hand, reveals herself and the United Teachers of Dade, as completely mendacious, preferring a permanent raise to any bonus. Yes, Karen, but I'm 56, and if I can pay off the mortgage, I could live on my salary.

Speaking of Miami-Dade, we have several overcredentialed edu-grifters from there currently feeding at the public trough in the Alamo Community College District. Could someone quarantine these folks, and keep them in Florida?

At 1/25/06, 10:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen prefectly good laptops from Dell go for $350-400 each. What's that about $1219 each? Are they going to get the teachers the latest and greatest, or one they can use for school?

At 1/25/06, 6:00 PM, Blogger Fred said...

A teacher in Florida with a BA has to work about 18 years before breaking the $40k range. Pathetic.

I worry about Florida buying me a laptop. With prices falling quickly, and many stores providing teachers a discount, I'd be a better shopper. I'd be able to tailor my purchase to my individual needs.

It's frustrating knowing that every single politician and individual knows we need to raise teacher salaries, yet no one in the state can make it happen.

Skip the laptops, give me the cash. Let me decide what to do with the money.

At 1/25/06, 6:35 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

It's not really about laptops-- it's about looking liike you're doing something for education when you aren't really willing to do the RIGHT thing.

People make decisions about employment for reasons other than economic ones-- but the money would certainly help.

At 1/29/06, 1:24 AM, Blogger Coach Brown said...

Show me the money!!!!!!!!!!!

At 1/16/09, 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another example of trying to put a band-aid on a gash. Good teachers should get laptops (on loan) AND a raise, as computer literacy is now a requirement of educating today's youth.



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