“It’s about the kids.” Not.

by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Among the several hundred “teachers, public workers, renters, health care advocates and college students” who clogged the State Capitol in a last-ditch budget protest yesterday was Maria Pacheco, a Spanish teacher in Rotterdam-Mohonasen schools, who complained that cuts in state education aid will force her Albany area district to lay off 44 teachers.  Ms. Pacheco and the other protestors were loudly demanding extension of the so-called “millionaire tax” as an alternative to the aid cuts.

“It is about our students,” [Ms. Pacheco] said. “Not the millionaires.”

Actually, it’s about teacher pay increases.  It seems that nearly half those threatened jobs in Rotterdam-Mohonasen could be saved if the district’s unions would accept a wage freeze recently requested by district officials.

By the way, as shown on SeeThroughNY.net, Ms. Pacheco was paid $92,522 in 2010, a nice increase from her $85,042 salary the previous year.  The raise apparently included a retroactive pay hike under the latest Rotterdam-Mohonasen teachers’ contract. The five-year deal reportedly granted teachers a 15 percent salary boost, on the heels of the worst recession in decades.

- E.J. McMahon is the President at the Empire Center for Public Policy.