At my recent Education Minnesota Lobby Day there was a bill that caught my eye:

SF372/HF0586: Instituting a freeze on salaries and wage rates for government employees

Essentially, the bill would freeze pay for ALL government employees, including teachers, for a period of 2 years. Once this time period has expired, the bill even makes it illegal to retroactively make up for any lost wages incurred by the freeze.

While I am not necessarily opposed to a pay freeze as a method of saving money and more importantly saving jobs within school districts, it seems somewhat hypocritical for a party which touts local control as its mantra to begin dictating salary to local units of government across the state.

There are districts throughout the state with extremely healthy fund balances. For them there is no reason to institute a salary freeze. There are other districts in dire trouble. For them there will most likely be no other option than a salary freeze. If we are so often told to institute a business model, then we must recognize that businesses across the state are not a monolithic group. There are businesses hiring and there are businesses increasing employee salaries. There are also businesses cutting back and freezing pay. Why should school districts be treated any differently?

Shouldn't these decisions be negotiated in good faith between local school districts and their local union? Does the Republican Party have so little respect for school boards and their union counterparts that they would try to circumvent them and abandon their local control principles?

Comments

1 Response to "Whatever Happened To Local Control?"

  1. Anonymous On March 12, 2009 at 10:31 AM

    I love your headline and I'm glad we agree on this issue. I wish that you would apply this same logic to all of the other controls that the democrats in the legislature are continually trying to impose on local units of government.

    I also wish that liberals would see the teachers union as exactly what they are, a special interest group. That is what they are. They don't represent families or children, they represent the desires of teachers as it relates to their employment.

    Signed, A Conservative County Commissioner