Friday, February 13, 2015

This Isn't Cognitive Dissonance. This Is Full Blown Schizophrenia. Elected Officials Say More Pay Will Attract Better Candidates. So Why Won't They Apply The Same Principle To Our Teachers?

      It looks like the SD legislature is reaching some consensus on our elected reps getting better
How About A Legislative Apple For Our Teachers?
Give 'Em A Decent Raise, For Crying Out Loud
(photo from USA Today)
A Senate bill that would increase the salary of our part-time legislators by 66%, from $6,000/yr to $10,000/yr just cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee on a 6-2 vote and is probably headed for passage.  The bill itself works for me, as I think $6k/yr (plus a per diem of $129 while in session, barely enough to cover food, lodging and transportation) for these folks is a joke in this day and age, considering that it takes the better part of two months to get legislative work done in Pierre and probably close to that amount of time to deal with matters that come up during the rest of the year. 

     The Bill's sponsor, Republican Senator Craig Tieszen from Rapid City, told the Rapid City Journal yesterday that "some people don't run for office because the pay is too low."  Tieszen's concerns were amplified by the Senate Majority Leader, Republican Tim Rave from Baltic, who told RCJ  that it was becoming "more and more difficult to recruit candidates" over his 13 years in office, and that the issue "needs to be brought into the limelight."  
     Both of these gentlemen merit a big thumbs-up on the basis that their concerns have merit and that their logic is flawless. But it's also useless if it's only self-exercised. Like it or not, market forces really do determine the quality and quantity of people willing to enter the pool of public employees.  So Tieszen, Rave, and all those of you seeking to increase your own compensation, why won't you apply that same flawless, impeccable and indisputable logic to the financial plight of South Dakota's teachers????    
     Are you people in Pierre daft?  Are you in the grip of a Kafka-esque scenario that makes a set
Surrealism In Pierre
Did Franz Kafka Script SB 170?
(photo from

of principles applicable to one group of public servants, namely you, irrelevant to another, namely South Dakota's public school teachers?  Your parable of elected officials needing more money becomes a paradox when our teachers are brought into the discussion.  It's time for a mental metamorphosis.  This disjointed thinking won't stand up to the trial of analysis and public contemplation.  


  1. "This disjointed thinking won't stand up to the trial of analysis and public contemplation." There is no trial of analysis and public contemplation John. Not necessary in a one party system.

  2. It takes a long time to gut public education to the point they can prove to the gullible voters in this state that privatization of education is the only way to get their kids the education Daugaard thinks they need.

  3. And what make you think I do not believe the same is true for teachers??

    1. Are you on the record now as stating that the same is true for teachers, Senator Tieszen?

  4. John: If you would spend less time lumping us all together and calling us names, you would realize there are some of us in Pierre working pretty hard on this issue. I believe I have been pretty consistent in my comments on teacher pay.

    1. All due respect, Senator Tieszen, "schizophrenic" "self-serving" and "daft" are not particulalry egregious descriptions within the lexicon of political discourse in this country, and I reserve the right to use value-judgemental phrases and words that reflect my opinions, which as you know are scrupulously backed up by facts and data. You claim to have made some "consistent" comments on teacher pay, which must have gotten lost in the grand silence about the matter in the legislature this year, because I'm not familiar with a single utterance of yours on the subject. Can you make a statement here that reflects your opinion of the teacher pay situation in South Dakota, how it's impacting our public schools, and what you think the legislature can do to change the status quo?

  5. Senator Tiezen, how many budget bills have you voted against in SD that spent too much money on "economic development" and not enough on teacher pay? Exactly, so you can see where some of us would take you less than seriously when all we see is empty rhetoric backed by nothing.