Thirteen Thousand Reasons

There’s a movement afoot in Seattle to suggest to our superintendent, Dr. Larry Nyland, what a better use of the $13,000 he referred to as “the smallest raise in the district” might be. Sure, when you’re getting over $300,000 a year in total compensation (annuity contributions, salary, benefits, $700/month car allowance) that $13,000 isn’t a heckuva lot of cheddar.

As you can imagine, lots of parent activists and other people with brains have any number of fine suggestions about what $13,000 means on the ground.

It’s quite parallel to the arguments being made about our state legislature, getting fined $100,000/day for failing to comply with the McCleary decision. In a $1.5 Billion (or, more accurately, $5.8 Billion) education budget, six figures a day looks like chump change.

I was awake on percentages day in math class. I know that these are not hearty slices of the education budget pie. These two instances: a cavalier attitude toward the pittance of a $13,000 raise and the paltry pocket change of $100,000/day in fines could make one think that these officials charged with the paramount duty of educating our children are too busy to screw around with the margins. They’re not worried about rounding errors. Nope. They are going to work on bigger pots of cash. Bigger by orders of magnitude. Right?

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