The Price of Education Labor Peace in Rhode Island
It would be a step back to have labor unrest in our schools
It is quite possible that former Senator Chafee – along with many other people – is truly unaware of the price that has been paid to avoid “labor unrest”.
Property Taxes: 7th Highest
Teacher Salaries: Top 20%
and contrast with
Academic achievement: Bottom 20%
Senator Chafee proposed mediation between the union and the city. The drawback to this course is the prospect of yet more money being placed on the table. But look at where we are now: compensation on one end of the scale and academic achievement on the opposite end. Clearly, money has not been the answer.
Further, the senator presumably does not believe that Rhode Island has been paying this high price solely to achieve peace. Of course, the goal has been to secure a good education and a better future for our children. The answer, then, is not to exacerbate the polarity between price and education achievement by endlessly increasing the price. It is to begin bringing results in line with the price that we have been paying and, as a first step, to be clear that the goal is more than labor peace.