TODAY IS THE BIG DAY AT THE CAPITOL FOR TEACHERS And I'm going to ratchet back the tone and tenor because I genuinely want to try to and communicate with teachers about what a terrible choice this whole thing is. Plus I've got a current teacher and a retired teacher coming in at 3pm to discuss things. I also ran into former Congressman Tom Tancredo at the Independence Institute last night and he's got some thoughts to share about it. He's on at 1:35.
THE INDEPENDENCE INSTITUTE THROWS A GREAT PARTY And I don't talk about them enough. Jon Cadara and his team are EVERY day trying to figure out ways to help you keep more of your money, reign in the size and scope of government and increase your freedom as a Coloradoan. You should support them and go to the Founders Party next year. It's ALWAYS a good time, and supports a GREAT cause! Give or find out more by clicking here.
ISN'T EIGHT CONSECUTIVE YEARS OF INCREASED SPENDING AND $600 MILLION ENOUGH? Many people are questioning why teachers are walking out NOW to protest education funding. According to our friends at CBS4, lawmakers have been funding education to the tune of $6 billion a year.
This month, they approved the biggest increase in education funding in a decade. The state will spend about $6 billion on K-12 education next school year, which is $600 million more than last year. The additional funding comes after eight consecutive years of increases in education funding. Colorado now spends an average of $13,000 per student — state and local funds combined — or $273,000 for the average 21 student classroom.
Seems an odd time to demand more cash, doesn't it? I wonder if teachers know this info or if they are simply regurgitating what they've heard from the union? Want to know the real numbers about school growth since 2010?
The Colorado Department of Education says since 2010, the number of studentsin Colorado has grown by 7 percent, while the number of teachers has grown by 10 percent and the number of school administrators has grown by 22 percent.
Hmmmm. That 22% number may be a big part of the problem, don't you think?
NOT ALL TEACHERS AGREE WITH THE WALKOUT I know because I get email from a lot of them. I asked this emailer if I could share what he/she sent without identifying them. They gave me the go ahead. Just a different perspective.
My name is ******. I am a teacher in ********* School District in ******. Now that you know my name, please don't use it on air. I've been teaching for 10 years, and already had to re-start my teaching career once, in part because I voiced opinions that were not approved by the teaching union. I'd like to avoid that happening again.
Today in your broadcast, you were asking about the amount of money teachers and school districts budget and spend on PERA contributions. I have no idea what those amounts are, but what I can tell you is the amount from my pay stub:
-I am employed on a 50% contract
-10 years experiences, so near the middle of the teaching salary spectrum
My PERA contributions for the month of April:
-$164 from me, the employee
-$414 from ****** School District, my employer
It fluctuates month to month by a few dollars, but it's usually pretty close to the above figures.
So, the district contributes nearly three times what I contribute. Wouldn't it be great if all employers did that!? I know that my contribution amount is set, and I believe it's 8% of my salary. Most state employees are set at that percentage. I know some law enforcement agencies have different percentages, but that's the extent of my knowledge. All those contribution percentages are public record. A lot of it is detailed in Senate Bill 18-200.
Regardless, consider that my salary and contributions are only 50% of a full time teacher, and then consider how many teachers are employed in the state of Colorado. That's a lot of money being sucked out of school districts and into the PERA vacuum. Too bad I can't keep that $414. If I was a full time teacher, that would be $828 a month. Instead of raising taxes to increase teacher pay, we could just get rid of PERA. That would free up a bunch of money. I could even invest some of that extra money in my 401K, where it would actually grow!
I also heard you and some callers talking about how teachers don't know their subjects well enough to be teaching. You'll get a kick out of the following email excerpts. They are from emails that were sent this past week by the ****** Education Association (our local union here) regarding the teacher protests and rallies. One of the emails was sent by the the *EA president, who is a long time High School Social Studies at **** High School in *****:
"A school walk-in is an affective way to let your parents know why this issue is important to all of us."
"Then we will walk over to the CEA building and join other members for a march to the capital building."
All the redactions were my choice, because I don't want to create any problems for this nice person who took the time to share this story.
WHAT DO THE ROMAN EMPIRE AND THE US HAVE IN COMMON? Quite a bit, and it's not in the best way. My friend and ALL TIME FAVORITE GUESTS Larry Reed from the Foundation for Economic Education is on today at 2pm to do something truly educational. He's written extensively about the Fall of the Roman Empire, and you can see his FIRST article for FEE about it from 1979 by clicking here. Your brain will thank you for tuning in for this one! Here is an updated version as well. Read them both to be doubly smart.
YOU REALLY SHOULD WATCH THIS TALK BY SAL KHAN ABOUT CHANGING EDUCATION If you're not aware of Khan Academy you should be. It's an online school that teachers kids about pretty much everything, and parents have been using it to help their kids not just keep up, but get ahead in school. This is a long video but a great explanation of how innovative ideas get brought to market. It's brilliant, really.
THIS IS EXACTLY WHY PEOPLE DON'T TRUST POLITICIANS After a ridiculous amount of debate and back and forth, Colorado FINALLY decided to allow grocery stores to sell beer, wine and spirits. Of course there are numerous hoops to jump through, but everyone decided the new system was fair to everyone and the bill passed. And now, politicians, and the most irritating part, Republican politicians are now trying to essentially gut the intention of the original bill. So. Very. Irritating.
DEMOCRATS FIX ANOTHER PRIMARY AND THERE'S AN AUDIO TAPE TO PROVE IT. For a party concerned with election meddling, there seems to be a lot of it being done by the Party elite. Unfortunately, Democrat Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer was caught on tape saying that the people of the CD-6 in Colorado are too dumb to pick their own candidate. Okay, maybe that's a SLIGHT exaggeration, but there is the transcript of the conversation between Rep. Hoyer and CD-6 candidate Levi Tilleman,
“Yeah, I’m for Crow,” Hoyer explained. “I am for Crow because a judgment was made very early on. I didn’t know Crow. I didn’t participate in the decision. But a decision was made early on by the Colorado delegation,” he said, referencing the three House Democrats elected from Colorado.
“So your position is, a decision was made very early on before voters had a say, and that’s fine because the DCCC knows better than the voters of the 6th Congressional District, and we should line up behind that candidate,” asked Tillemann during the conversation.
“That’s certainly a consequence of our decision,” responded Hoyer.
It's only meddling when the Republican wins, amiright??
AND NOW, THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BRITISH AND AMERICAN COMEDY
DAVE REVIEWS THE NEWS! We're starting a brand new segment today called "Dave Reviews the News!" because Intrepid Producer Dave WENT OFF today about the blatant bias in the Denver Post story covering the walkouts. I'll let him explain, but you can read it here.
NOW TOM BROKAW IS ACCUSED OF BEING A HORNDOG And again, this story rings true. And it also rings true that women, even after the #metoo movement, are still afraid to speak on the record. Has anything REALLY changed in the media?
A NEW STUDY SAYS PREVIOUS GLOBAL WARMING ESTIMATES ARE WAY, WAY OFF I know this is going to be shocking for those who worship the models put forth by those who make their living from global warming, but using actual data, the models are really wrong.