Who is worth what in Washington County Public Schools?
To the editor:
The allocation of wages is usually a good means of describing how we value people. The most productive members of society, like engineers, doctors and businessmen, tend to make more than the norm and for good reasons. These people provide us with the latest in technology, treat the sick and supply us with goods and services that enrich our lives.
Using wages as a measure of value can also be applied on a micro level. Take a pharmacy, for example. The pharmacist is likely going to make the most because he provides the most value. He or she has a specialized knowledge of drugs that can save someone's life. Pharmaceutical technicians are likely to make less. They do not bring the same value to the business and to customers as the pharmacist. Lastly, you have sales clerks who clean the store and operate the register. The sales clerks are not skilled and do not provide lifesaving services like the pharmacist. It makes sense to have the most valuable people make the most money because it creates an incentive structure for people to strive to be valuable.
I would hope that Washington County Public Schools would structure its pay scale the same way. Unfortunately, after reviewing the 2011 operating budget, I question this. The top 10 annual earners in WCPS are testing and accountability programs professionals, middle school assistant principals, resource teachers, professional career and technology program employees, high school assistant principals, elementary school principals, middle school principals, Office of Instructional Supervision professional regular program employees, high school principals and last, but not least, Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan, who makes $182,905 annually.
Notice how there are no teachers in this list. The average high, middle, elementary, kindergarten, and pre-kindergarten teachers make substantially less than the administrators listed above. Pre-K teachers, who make the most out of the traditional teaching positions, make one-third as much annually as Morgan. Who is providing more value — the administrators and bureaucrats or the teachers?
What does this mean? Apparently, WCPS values administrators and bureaucrats substantially more than its teachers.
I would like to thank all WCPS teachers for the valuable service they provide, despite WCPS valuing it at a fraction of the administration services.