The Union Executive’s Projection
This is classic Crowley:
Repeat the lie. Repeat the lie. Repeat the lie. No matter how wrong, no matter how damaging. Repeat the lie. This must be posted in the Projo editorial room somewhere:
Crowley’s first step to this particular platform was finding a bit of data that looks, in the light of a flickering 20-watt bulb, as if it might support the contrarian notion that taxpayers are actually moving in to Rhode Island. He then ignored arguments that his finding was, at best, incomplete. And before you know it, he’s accusing of outright lies those who dare to restate the common (and accurate) knowledge that taxpayers (and people, too) are leaving the state.
You’ve heard the old home remedy that faking a mental illness means you don’t really have it? Well, Pat’s version is to point the finger at his opposition to distract from his own offensives.
Just the other day, when asked what “the teachers” would say to a particular argument, I referred to a year-old letter from Mr. Crowley claiming that “the cost of teaching has risen slower than overall inflation.” His conclusion was that “it isn’t teachers and their exorbitant salaries driving the costs” of local education. I pointed out at the time that, when one teased out the component of “instructional expenditures” that actually goes to teachers, it increased well over inflation, and at the expense of such other items as technology and instructional materials. There’s something perverse about leveraging the decline in spending on an item from which teachers’ ever-growing remuneration has been draining funds to suggest that contracts haven’t been shifting in their favor.
Well, here he goes again:
According to the Rhode Island Department of Education, we are spending less and less of our education budgets on teachers and instruction over the last several years. For example, in 2004, 56.7% of statewide spending on education went to classroom instruction. In 2007, that number fell to only 51.7% of statewide spending, a drop of 5%. …
What does that mean? Well, it means that spending on classroom teachers, their salaries and benefits, are not the things that are driving the cost of education. It also means that the items contained in collective bargaining are not the cost drivers. In fact, spending on teachers is not even keeping up with inflation. In 2004, total statewide spending on education was $1,795,090,933. By 2007, the number had risen 14% to $2,088,669,861. But instructional spending rose from $1,018,276,109 to $1,079,576,386, a rise of only 6%.
In actuality, from 2004 (PDF) to 2007 (PDF), the statewide per-student spending on “instructional teachers” (as opposed to the broader “instruction”) actually rose $880, from $5,490 to $6,370, or 16%. Both the size of the expenditure and its increase are greater than any other item — or category — on the list of education expenditures.
So, as Crowley complains that spending on instruction hasn’t risen in keeping with the rest of education spending, he ignores the fact that teachers claim an increasing percentage of that pie:
A broader investigation of expenditure data would make for a worthwhile discussion, if anybody wishes actually to engage in it.