Let's hear it for the 'working class' teachers of Illinois!

Everyone agrees that teachers should be paid a good wage - at least those who have proven themselves to be the best. They've got a tough job and in some places like our current Secretary of Education's old digs - Chicago Public Schools - a near impossible one.

But there has always been the unwritten understanding that working for the taxpayer as a teacher involved sacrifices. Teachers would measure their value to society based on how many young minds they were able to reach, how much they were admired by the community, and how much personal satisfaction they received from the teaching. The job was largely its own reward - at least, that's the way it used to be.

Now, teachers are just another bunch of special pleaders, grasping for as much as they can get from the taxpayer regardless of their performance. Personal satisfaction at being good at what they do is so far down the list it's damn near invisible. This attitude manifests itself in how shockingly bad our schools are and how much at sea the majority of students find themselves after 12 years of public education.

In Illinois, the salary figures speak for themselves:

Recent IRS statistics suggest that those who make over $110,000 a year are in the upper 10% of income earners. But, you might get confused listening to Barack Obama claiming unions are fighting for the middle class. In Illinois, a whopping 14,048 public school teachers made over $100,000 a year in salary in 2010, a 13% increase from 2009. So , who are these working class heroes? Leading the pack is William Mitz a physical education teacher at Adlai E. Stevenson High School with a salary of $191,124 (the highest paid public school teacher in Illinois in 2010). There's Steven Heuerman who made $187,278 in 2010, who's a physical education teacher at Niles West High School. There's Paul Parpet , a physical education teacher at Addison Trail High School who made $184,449 in salary in 2010. David Sebald is a physical education teacher at West Leyden High School who made $177,263 in salary in 2010. Deerfield High School had two physical education teachers making over $170,000 a year in 2010: Carol Myers who made $170,981 in salary, and Gayle Luehr who made $170,012.

Through the "negotiating" tactics of unions, 6 of the 12 highest paid public school teachers, in Illinois, are physical education teachers. Should physical education teachers be paid the highest levels of compensation in public education? Is this the priority that should be rewarded in education? Barack Obama, Pat Quinn, and other Illinois Democrats don't see bothered by 6- figure physical education teachers: those campaign contributions from teachers unions yield an upper class salary. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn would rather raise the Illinois state income tax by 67% than cut the compensation of these upper class workers. It's for the children. Got that?

Let's remember that those salaries are for 9 months work.

The post doesn't mention it, but my guess would be that those Phys Ed teachers are probably football or basketball coaches. More evidence of the skewed priorities found in the union's bargaining.

Given that kind of compensation, are taxpayers being rewarded with superior education? For some, in those upper middle class suburbs, the answer is yes. Deerfield is one of the best high schools in the state. But once you skim off the cream, you are left with barely adequate, even subpar performances by the rest of the students.

The old saw, "If you want to get rich, don't become a teacher" appears to no longer be true.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky

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