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  • Debate 2012: Do We Need More Teachers?

    “Governor [Mitt] Romney doesn’t think we need more teachers,” President Obama said last night. “I do.” The President’s confidence that “we need more teachers” to improve education is misplaced, and his proposal to subsidize teacher hiring using federal dollars would do more harm than good. Adding teachers is intended to … More

    Government Employees Work Less Than Private-Sector Employees

    A new Heritage Foundation study shows that government employees work around three hours less per week and roughly one month less per year than private-sector workers. Substantial differences in work time persist even after controlling for occupational and skill differences between sectors. The “underworked” government employee should obviously be of … More

    Chicago Teachers' Retirement Benefits Are Extravagant

    When Chicago teachers began their strike on Monday, critics rightly pointed out that the city already pays one of the highest average teacher salaries in the nation. Even more important, however, is the generous retirement package received by Chicago public school teachers. A Chicago teacher who retired in 2011 after … More

    Obama Proposes Federal Paychecks for Local Teachers

    This week, President Obama proposed a new $1 billion federal program that would establish a “Master Teacher Corps” in 100 locations across the country. This is not the first time the Administration has proposed subsidizing teacher salaries, but it is the first proposal that would give federal-issued paychecks directly to … More

    Pensions Are Deferred Compensation—a Lot of Deferred Compensation

    Last week, The Heritage Foundation released important new research on the real cost of public pensions. In response, many different public-sector advocates have offered the same, curious, fallacious argument. Heritage found that, in Wisconsin, for example, total pension costs are more than two-and-a-half times what government actuaries estimate. (The difference … More

    Mayor Bloomberg Is Right About Public Pension Costs

    In a Sunday New York Times article about public pension costs, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has the following quote: “If I can give you one piece of financial advice: If somebody offers you a guaranteed 7 percent on your money for the rest of your life, you take it and just … More

    Even After Walker Reforms, Wisconsin Public Workers Still Overpaid

    “What Mr. Walker and his backers are trying to do is to make Wisconsin—and eventually, America—less of a functioning democracy and more of a third-world-style oligarchy.” New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was more theatrical than most in denouncing Act 10, the set of public-sector reforms signed by Wisconsin Governor … More

    CBO Sets the Record Straight on Federal Pay

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report yesterday showing that federal employees receive substantially more compensation than similarly skilled workers in the private sector. National media, from The New York Times to National Public Radio, reported this “news.” The CBO report was spurred in part by two years of … More

    Education Secretary Duncan Wants to Overpay Teachers Even More

    Education Secretary Arne Duncan called for dramatically raising teacher pay last Friday on MSNBC, declaring that the current average salary (about $55,000) should be doubled to improve teacher quality. It’s a familiar refrain for Duncan, who in the same interview declared himself a “radical” when it comes to paying teachers … More

    More Pay for Public-School Teachers Won't Increase Quality

    In yesterday’s “Room for Debate” feature, The New York Times asks whether public-school teacher compensation should be increased. The answer we give, based on our recent report, is that teachers already receive more compensation than comparably skilled private-sector workers. If the current compensation bonus has yet to increase the quality … More