Public education in Texas is facing a perfect storm, according to State Senator Florence Shapiro. As Chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, she is on a mission during this state legislative session - to find cuts outside of those in the classroom in education spending in the budget.
Priorities must be established. The priority is to keep education of children in the classroom at the forefront. In this process, the classroom is the first priority. While some independent school boards are cutting teaching jobs as the first measure of balancing their budgets, that decision is the opposite of what must be done. It is a short-sighted fix that will prove disastrous in later years.
Did you know that there is a one to one ratio between teachers and administrative staff? The cost of these administrative obligations exceed $9 billion. By cutting non-teacher employees a savings of $2 billion on salaries alone. Keep the teaching staff in tact. Keep the classroom size lower. Do away with redundancy and bloated bureaucracy at the administrative level.
The Red Apple Project is a common sense approach to saving the classroom, and keeping teachers without increasing the burden on the taxpayer.
Here are two statistics from the research found by this initiative:
•State-wide, teachers earn an average of $9,000 a year less than “other professional staff,” $22,000 less than school administrators and $38,000 less than central administration staff.
•Superintendents on average take home six-figure salaries, with the highest-paid superintendent, Thomas Carroll of Beaumont ISD (19,000 students), earning $346,778 per year – nearly 2 ½ times more than the Texas governor!
Common sense changes can be found and made within the public school system that will benefit the integrity of the classroom and keep taxes from rising.