Thursday, August 11, 2005
FOLLOW THE TEACHERS’ LEAD: THEY’RE MOVING TO THE ‘BURBS, TOO
Footnote to Wednesday’s blockbuster announcement of a plan to deconsolidate the Omaha Public Schools to come up with six moderate-sized school districts in the Omaha area, instead of one big one with lots of problems and five small ones with lots of money:
Guess what? That’s what the TEACHERS want. Urban teachers are leaving behind the troublesome budgets, instability, and so-so management of big inner-city districts for brighter horizons and easier-to-teach pupils in suburban districts. It isn’t really for higher pay, despite what the unions say.
Take a look at today’s story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “Urban teacher exodus swells”:
That just makes the idea of deconsolidating OPS even more attractive. We could keep these good teachers in the inner-city classroom if we’d split up a lot of OPS among the five suburban districts that surround it, and give inner-city teachers more financial resources backing them up, more stability, and better management techniques.
And to the extent that we could carve into the overspending at OPS, and pare down the bureaucracy, we would free up additional money to give teachers a pay raise, to boot.
The whole idea is how to meet the needs of the students better. But I’d say meeting the needs of the teachers is a close second.
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