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Author Topic: SQ 779 / Teacher pay  (Read 3183 times)
erfalf
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« Reply #45 on: October 26, 2016, 02:51:36 pm »


Yes.  There is.  In the private sector.  Companies have trade associations that get together all the time and compare notes to 'normalize' pay for job classifications.  That is one of the reasons why when you look for a new job, the first question they ask you is how much do you make now.  It is data gathering.  And there is data sharing between them.   Maybe you have not seen it, but I have been on  both sides -  'worker bee' and management.  I have seen it, and it is real - and yes, even here in 'little ole Tulsey-town'.  Any C-suite person telling you different is lying to you.



There is not the collusion to the degree you are implying. At big companies there are spreads of roughly 60% for a single job. That's not nearly the same as the "pricing charts" that teachers have to deal with. Making informed decisions is one thing, but setting a price is something entirely different.

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« Reply #46 on: October 26, 2016, 03:00:20 pm »

There is not the collusion to the degree you are implying. At big companies there are spreads of roughly 60% for a single job. That's not nearly the same as the "pricing charts" that teachers have to deal with. Making informed decisions is one thing, but setting a price is something entirely different.




It is setting a price.  That is why MS Engineer is hired at $70 to $120 k while the bosses are at 5 times that.  And yeah, there are exceptions - both high and low - but they are not the rule.

And whining all the time about the lack of STEM candidates.  There is NO lack of qualified, experienced, highly productive, STEM candidates!  There is only inadequate compensation in exchange for value received by the company.  Coupled with the expectation of 60 + hour work weeks.   When looking at ads, keep an eye out for the catch phrase, "fast paced environment".   "Agile" and "Scrum" are other key words in software world.  Translates as "sweat shop".  And they all lead to getting stuff out the door regardless of whether it is right or not.





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« Reply #47 on: October 26, 2016, 03:46:47 pm »

You are looking in the wrong direction. Companies are not buying talent, they are buying labor (well most companies that is). They need X, Y, & Z done.  Why should there not be a market rate for that? What I call market rate, you call collusion. And companies cannot literally set the price and get the labor. It's a two way street you know. Now, who has the leverage entirely depends on the situation.
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« Reply #48 on: October 26, 2016, 04:32:34 pm »

I hate the idea of sales tax. It's bad, no doubt. Worse, schools are underfunded by about $2 billion and I'm afraid they are going to take this $600 million and call the funding crisis done. And then slowly leach the money back out of schools over time. But this is the only money schools are going to get out of the legislature. It's this or nothing until new people run the state and I simply don't see that happening any time in the foreseeable future.



Problem is this won't be money the legislature will be giving out...it will come out of Oklahoman's pockets at the cash register (so to speak).   And many Oklahomans that are lower income are already being squeezed.  It needs to stop.
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davideinstein
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« Reply #49 on: October 26, 2016, 07:25:17 pm »

Two questions I'm asking myself today after the discussion started on here the other day.

Do I trust our state politicians with this money?

Should we have another regressive tax?

I'm now leaning no, but where will the accountability be to get education funded?
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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #50 on: October 27, 2016, 08:01:41 am »




I'm now leaning no, but where will the accountability be to get education funded?


Your vote for your state rep and senator.  Do you know who they are?  And more importantly what they are....?
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Conan71
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« Reply #51 on: October 27, 2016, 08:30:30 am »

You still have a lot of those old republican talking points in your dna. Coming from a parochial school graduate I'm sure that all makes sense to you. You got a great education obviously. Have you been in TPS classrooms lately? There is great new leadership from a superintendent that graduated from Tulsa Hale. She's made improvements in morale and operations.  The schools are pretty high tech. BT puts out great college material. Jenks public does pretty well. Edison is okay. The rest are struggling but tech doesn't make kids smarter anymore than great buildings do, its merely a tool. It is parental support and environment for sure. Inner city kids don't have as much of that as Cascia, BK or Holland Hall. So, what, we punish any teachers that work for them?   When you send a fresh college grad to work at Marshall and he realizes he is a social worker, a source for lunch money for hungry kids, a source of basic materials, a teacher of kids with mental problems, a traffic director in the parking lot, and yet is responsible for the failure of something he has no control over? Then you pay less than Texas or Kansas? Kansas?? Well, you have a prescription for failure.  

Have you sent kids to public schools? I just took a group from a struggling but improving west side grade school to Holland Hall. The contrast is striking. The perfect Holland Hall students are something to admire. Their school is manicured suburban college campus. They come from fine families. Wealthy families. White families. Asian families. They understand the concept of reaching out to less fortunate at a very young age. The west siders are blue collar, children of meth addicts, coping poor, black, Hispanic, blind, ADD and poorly dressed by comparison. Thankfully, the kids don't know that. The teachers work more than 8 a day and get two months off but their less than the rest of the country income is augmented by extra jobs and spousal jobs. Its stressful to deal with the public perception, the families, the administration and the lack of respect their state gives them.

Many are doing a fantastic job with the kids that the suburbs don't have to take, (and don't encourage them to come unless they run like a college half back). And don't get me started on Special Needs teachers who have the craziest jobs ever created.  Do you spend much time talking with TPS teachers? I'm guessing not. Engineers, accountants, teachers all have four year degrees. Yet only teachers are expected to be judged so harshly on their work when the company is performing poorly. If we were to take your logic, then engineers are only worth what they create, fix, design, or operate. So, no need to research market pay, simply put them on the job at less than surrounding state pay and if your company does well, then pay them more. If it doesn't, pay them less or grade them on their "productivity". Only it doesn't work like that. An engineer costs what the market in our area is willing to pay. Hard to find engineers in particular fields whether they are good or not. Of course, you can fire them if you truly can justify it but its not likely. If you don't like that example, choose a career. Most operate on that basis.

So, I don't see the dichotomy. The teachers that moved to Texas and Kansas weren't necessarily the best, they were the ones that could. No family to hold them here, no husband or one that could relocate, no kids, no roots. Nor will they find a significant difference in public schools in those states. They left for more money, more support from their public and a chance to pay off student loans and have a life. Something I think you can identify with. You wouldn't work for less than you think you're worth. $5000 will not be enough to make up for their working conditions but they can't all be absorbed by private schools. It will be enough to give them some self respect and make them think twice about living in ...Kansas.

Your condescending and mis-guided assumptions about others never cease to make me chuckle, Aqua.

At the time I was at Cascia, a greater majority of the faculty I had more of a rapport with ranged from being a Bernie type liberal to just to the left of Stalin.  If anything, that is probably where some of my left leaning ideals come from.  More than anything, my ideas on merit-based pay have come from my working career not anything I was indoctrinated with in school.

Going back to what I see as a dichotomy of teachers being willing to accept lower pay for better working conditions:  Offer higher pay for those willing to make a difference in at risk schools in the poorer parts of the city, such as your example of Marshall.  BTW does extremely well as they more-or-less hand-pick their students and suburban systems do great too as you have a lot of parental support and participation in those districts.  But, you can continue to pay someone at a higher rate, but if their job is still insanely stressful, they may eventually opt to take a less stressful gig elsewhere.  Ergo, higher pay still is no guarantee of getting the best and brightest where you really need them within a district.

Both my daughters are public school graduates and public university grads, so yes, I know what it is to have a child in public schools in recent history.  I’m grateful they are out as I’m quite certain there has been a degradation of the public education system in the years between my time in school and theirs.  Whether that’s due to cuts in education spending, spending money in the wrong areas, or parental apathy has been on the rise over the last 30 years is an endless debate.

I realize capital funds which pay for stadiums and training facilities are different than operating funds which pay for teachers and support staff.  It still frosts me to drive past the Taj Mahal of a football stadium for the Stillwater Pioneers and hear anyone talk about needing teacher raises in Stillwater.  I totally get that having nice facilities to learn in and do extracurricular activities in are good for the learning environment and the morale of teachers and students alike but we seemed to do just fine with wooden bleachers, no air conditioning, and 20-30 student core classes back in my day.  I think too much emphasis has been placed on capital improvements amongst school systems while totally neglecting the real needs of the educational process (what those are is yet another endless debate).

I chatted last night with a life-long friend who is a middle school teacher at TPS.  While he would love to have a raise, he’s adamantly against SQ779 as he believes the funding mechanism is all wrong and he has zero trust that the legislature won’t figure out a way to make cuts again when the economy tanks again down the road or that some of his benefits package could be cut later.  I asked, from his perspective, do raises make teachers more effective?  He says absolutely not, but he said feeling appreciated via a pay raise does make a difference in teacher morale.  

How long that sense of appreciation lasts and whether that translates into becoming a more effective educator is anyone’s guess.  

Your last paragraph is well-reasoned.  Not every teacher who fled Oklahoma for a raise is necessarily the best of our educators, they simply had the freedom to travel.  By the same token, those people also had the freedom to go back to school and become educated for a different occupation for which they could be paid quite a bit more but they chose not to.

If there were empirical evidence which supports a clear correlation between higher teacher pay and better educational results, I could get behind every teacher raise ever proposed and I’d suggest first year pay should start in the $50K range.  There simply is no positive link anyone has been able to identify without logical refutation.  

Everyone wants to be paid a fair market value for their skills.  Some people end up under-paid and some simply have an over-inflated view of their skills.

Finally, and I’ll bow out and quit bloviating: voting yes on this measure rewards laziness in the Oklahoma Legislature.  This funding "crisis" has existed here for decades, so why make a poor choice now "just to get something”?  That is the worst logic of all to pass any bill or state question.  If the true shortfall for education is $2 billion then why pass a measure which comes up 66% short of the “true” need? Prior measures apparently have fallen short or rather the later actions of the legislature have nullified their benefit.  Let’s quit rewarding the cowardice of the GOP to raise income taxes and property taxes if there is such belief that revenue for education needs to be raised.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2016, 08:42:19 am by Conan71 » Logged

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« Reply #52 on: October 27, 2016, 09:14:07 am »

Your condescending and mis-guided assumptions about others never cease to make me chuckle, Aqua.

At the time I was at Cascia, a greater majority of the faculty I had more of a rapport with ranged from being a Bernie type liberal to just to the left of Stalin.  If anything, that is probably where some of my left leaning ideals come from.  More than anything, my ideas on merit-based pay have come from my working career not anything I was indoctrinated with in school.

Going back to what I see as a dichotomy of teachers being willing to accept lower pay for better working conditions:  Offer higher pay for those willing to make a difference in at risk schools in the poorer parts of the city, such as your example of Marshall.  BTW does extremely well as they more-or-less hand-pick their students and suburban systems do great too as you have a lot of parental support and participation in those districts.  But, you can continue to pay someone at a higher rate, but if their job is still insanely stressful, they may eventually opt to take a less stressful gig elsewhere.  Ergo, higher pay still is no guarantee of getting the best and brightest where you really need them within a district.

Both my daughters are public school graduates and public university grads, so yes, I know what it is to have a child in public schools in recent history.  I’m grateful they are out as I’m quite certain there has been a degradation of the public education system in the years between my time in school and theirs.  Whether that’s due to cuts in education spending, spending money in the wrong areas, or parental apathy has been on the rise over the last 30 years is an endless debate.

I realize capital funds which pay for stadiums and training facilities are different than operating funds which pay for teachers and support staff.  It still frosts me to drive past the Taj Mahal of a football stadium for the Stillwater Pioneers and hear anyone talk about needing teacher raises in Stillwater.  I totally get that having nice facilities to learn in and do extracurricular activities in are good for the learning environment and the morale of teachers and students alike but we seemed to do just fine with wooden bleachers, no air conditioning, and 20-30 student core classes back in my day.  I think too much emphasis has been placed on capital improvements amongst school systems while totally neglecting the real needs of the educational process (what those are is yet another endless debate).

I chatted last night with a life-long friend who is a middle school teacher at TPS.  While he would love to have a raise, he’s adamantly against SQ779 as he believes the funding mechanism is all wrong and he has zero trust that the legislature won’t figure out a way to make cuts again when the economy tanks again down the road or that some of his benefits package could be cut later.  I asked, from his perspective, do raises make teachers more effective?  He says absolutely not, but he said feeling appreciated via a pay raise does make a difference in teacher morale.  

How long that sense of appreciation lasts and whether that translates into becoming a more effective educator is anyone’s guess.  

Your last paragraph is well-reasoned.  Not every teacher who fled Oklahoma for a raise is necessarily the best of our educators, they simply had the freedom to travel.  By the same token, those people also had the freedom to go back to school and become educated for a different occupation for which they could be paid quite a bit more but they chose not to.

If there were empirical evidence which supports a clear correlation between higher teacher pay and better educational results, I could get behind every teacher raise ever proposed and I’d suggest first year pay should start in the $50K range.  There simply is no positive link anyone has been able to identify without logical refutation.  

Everyone wants to be paid a fair market value for their skills.  Some people end up under-paid and some simply have an over-inflated view of their skills.

Finally, and I’ll bow out and quit bloviating: voting yes on this measure rewards laziness in the Oklahoma Legislature.  This funding "crisis" has existed here for decades, so why make a poor choice now "just to get something”?  That is the worst logic of all to pass any bill or state question.  If the true shortfall for education is $2 billion then why pass a measure which comes up 66% short of the “true” need? Prior measures apparently have fallen short or rather the later actions of the legislature have nullified their benefit.  Let’s quit rewarding the cowardice of the GOP to raise income taxes and property taxes if there is such belief that revenue for education needs to be raised.

You pretty much summed up all my reasons for voting no, but my difference is that I really didn't have a reference to ask a current TPS teacher what their thoughts were on it (aside from a close cousin's wife who is an elementary school teacher).  Glad to know teachers for the most part aren't foaming at the mouth to get this passed.  I fear, however, that it will pass simply because of the fear-mongering.

I can currently afford the hike, however, I know many people who can't.  Or at the very least it will hurt those people to the extent it concerns them.
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AquaMan
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« Reply #53 on: October 27, 2016, 10:01:14 am »

Its not going to pass. And, a lot of teachers would agree with my assessment of the teaching environment and its concomitant problems and still won't vote for it. But things have to be said, arguments have to be made and consequences predicted.

We all agree that the only way out of our state's demise is through education to allow the population to adjust to the change from a manufacturing economy to a technology economy. Problem is its happening now and education reform is a decades long process and we haven't even started in this state.

Conan. Man, learn to make executive summaries! It will take me days to read, digest, analyze and respond to your post. I'm sure there's good stuff there. Sometimes I think we get into debate mode and not realize this is real life happening.
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Conan71
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« Reply #54 on: October 27, 2016, 10:02:18 am »

You pretty much summed up all my reasons for voting no, but my difference is that I really didn't have a reference to ask a current TPS teacher what their thoughts were on it (aside from a close cousin's wife who is an elementary school teacher).  Glad to know teachers for the most part aren't foaming at the mouth to get this passed.  I fear, however, that it will pass simply because of the fear-mongering.

I can currently afford the hike, however, I know many people who can't.  Or at the very least it will hurt those people to the extent it concerns them.

I got a PM from another lifer of mine who is a TPS teacher, here’s what he had to say:

Quote
I'm teetering on this one because (as you point out) it's a regressive tax that will disproportionately effect lower incomes. Additionally I see amazing waste in education on a daily basis.  It will mean a raise for me (supposedly) but I'm not sure I have any confidence the money won't be pissed away on other crap!

The two teachers I referenced are in their early ’50’s and both started teaching about 15 years ago, so this was not their first occupation.

Based on these two examples, it would appear more experienced teachers have become very jaded and cynical about any raises or new benefits.
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« Reply #55 on: October 27, 2016, 10:03:23 am »

You are looking in the wrong direction. Companies are not buying talent, they are buying labor (well most companies that is). They need X, Y, & Z done.  Why should there not be a market rate for that? What I call market rate, you call collusion. And companies cannot literally set the price and get the labor. It's a two way street you know. Now, who has the leverage entirely depends on the situation.


As usual, I find little to agree with you on. But thanks for your input.  Smiley
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Conan71
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« Reply #56 on: October 27, 2016, 10:03:48 am »

Conan. Man, learn to make executive summaries! It will take me days to read, digest, analyze and respond to your post. I'm sure there's good stuff there. Sometimes I think we get into debate mode and not realize this is real life happening.

Hah!  It’ll never happen.  It takes me 10 minutes to describe a five minute jaunt to Quik Trip!  Grin
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« Reply #57 on: October 27, 2016, 12:24:52 pm »

I'm against 779 for many reasons:

1) It is a regressive solution to a problem created by cutting taxes for the wealthiest;
2) Sales tax is an unpredictable and faltering source of revenue;
3) We've been sold fixes like this before (see lottery revenue!) only to see revenue from other source cut more than they are offset;
4) An increase in sales tax at the state level hurts cities or counties who may need to raise sales taxes in the future - remember, cities cannot raise general revenue funds from any other source, the state can; and
5) Ever increasing sales tax is bad economics. The poorest pay the most and the higher it is the more incentive to avoid it.

Lets see what happened with our last fix...



So lets increase taxes on poor people more and then we can see if our state further cuts taxes for the wealthiest and continues to whine about having no money and cutting education. 


 
 
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Conan71
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« Reply #58 on: October 27, 2016, 12:43:00 pm »

I'm against 779 for many reasons:

1) It is a regressive solution to a problem created by cutting taxes for the wealthiest;
2) Sales tax is an unpredictable and faltering source of revenue;
3) We've been sold fixes like this before (see lottery revenue!) only to see revenue from other source cut more than they are offset;
4) An increase in sales tax at the state level hurts cities or counties who may need to raise sales taxes in the future - remember, cities cannot raise general revenue funds from any other source, the state can; and
5) Ever increasing sales tax is bad economics. The poorest pay the most and the higher it is the more incentive to avoid it.

Lets see what happened with our last fix...

So lets increase taxes on poor people more and then we can see if our state further cuts taxes for the wealthiest and continues to whine about having no money and cutting education. 


CF, our legislature vexes me so much it’s enough to make me want to move to another state...
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« Reply #59 on: October 27, 2016, 07:53:57 pm »

I will be voting no.

I would like our teachers to get a raise, but raising our taxes by a full cent is not the way to do it.  

I do think raising the tax another full cent will hurt my business somewhat so it had better be for something really transformative.  This aint that. I already hear from customers on a regular basis "Whats the sales tax here!" they exclaim after I ring up their sale.  I will only hear that more once this passes.  Slow downtown that turns people off, then they get a shock at the register, that doesn't help us sell our city.  Also some of the gain from this tax will be offset as more people are pushed to go online.  We will be closing in on 10% sales tax and could eventually be THE highest sales tax state in the Nation.

I really really do not like how about 20% of this tax will go to higher ed without any proportional allocation to where the money is made.  If we are the second largest city/metro in the state, do you really think we will get the second largest chunk of funding from this to help us finally get a full fledged, publicly funded, graduate university in Tulsa?  Not a chance.  

Nutshell.

More of Tulsa's money will go OUT of Tulsa.

"University" money will go out of Tulsa when we still have unmet University needs here.

Having a full fledged university campus here (and not 10 different mini-half-arsed (if that) campuses) would be a tremendous economic boost (which by the way would increase sales tax revenue)  Thousands of students living next to downtown would help downtown businesses and sales.  Would help increase entrepreneurship.  Having a public university people could "connect" to would increase investments in that university by local philanthropists (just saw how an architecture firm donated a million dollars to OSU, more people/companies would bring those type of dollars and more, hundreds of millions of dollars more I would wager, to Tulsa) Research and government dollars would come to the city,  spin off companies from research could be developed here.  Companies could team up with researchers and other educational components to collaborate on new business enterprises and ideas. Many students would rather be in a more lively, urban environment. A more lively urban environment will help our city become more attractive. Etc. etc. etc.

When we shovel our tax dollars to Stillwater and the numerous small universities out in the boonies, we miss out on all of the above synergies.  This hurts Tulsa, and our entire state! (and its ability to pay teachers more). We are not investing our university tax dollars wisely at all. 

Again, most of the university part of this will not come back to Tulsa, and we will still be left wanting, and our whole state not doing as well as it could be.

This thing is a disaster. Terrible.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2016, 08:03:22 pm by TheArtist » Logged

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