Reward Teacher Heroes, Not Those Who Stayed Home

This teacher deserves society’s thanks.

by James A. Bacon

In his state of the Commonwealth speech last night, Governor Ralph Northam made some proposals worth cheering and some that bear closer scrutiny. I’ll get to them in future posts. But one remark in particular stands out as totally wrong-headed — the idea, in the year of COVID-19, of giving every teacher a pay raise. Said the Governor:

School staff and teachers have made great sacrifices this year, and I thank them. … Investing in education includes giving teachers a pay bonus.

A few weeks ago Northam proposed giving teachers a bonus bump in pay. With an improving revenue picture, he said in the speech, “We’re going to have more money than we thought. We need to make this teacher bonus a raise, and make it more than two percent.”

This teacher deserves nothing.

Time for a reality check. Some teachers and staff have made extraordinary efforts during the COVID-19 epidemic. They deserve society’s thanks, and they fully warrant a reward for their selflessness. But not all teachers and staff did.

Many, most visibly those associated with teachers unions, have scuttled efforts to return to in-person learning despite the facts that (1) most private schools and some public schools in Virginia have demonstrated that teaching students at school can be done safely, and (2) a vast body of international experience says the same thing.

The only way in which many teachers can be said to have made “great sacrifices” is their willingness to sacrifice the well-being of Virginia’s children to avoid any risk to themselves.

Here’s my proposal: Stick with the bonus instead of an indiscriminate across-the-board raise. Reward those awesome teachers, bus drivers and staff who surmounted their fears and serve children in-person at school. They are the heroes and heroines, and they should be recognized for their devotion to Virginia’s youth, not those who chose — nay, demanded — to stay home.

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27 responses to “Reward Teacher Heroes, Not Those Who Stayed Home

  1. Baconator with extra cheese

    Dr Governor told us the public education system is systemically racist.
    Why would Virginia reward racists? Virginia should be rooting out those racists.
    Maybe only BIPOC teachers should get rewarded, after all we have been told they can’t be racist because they don’t have power.
    Play stupid games and win stupid prizes. Words do matter Dr Governor.

    • What’s your point? That we should be persuaded by anecdotal evidence of deaths?

      • anecdotal teacher deaths from covid in-person teaching…. hmmm…

        • Yes, Larry, the plural of “anecdote” is STILL not “data”.

          • well doesn’t it depend on the anecdote and/or who claimed it was anecdotal?

            Can you negate, refuse to deal with the reality by saying it’s anecdotal?

          • “Can you negate, refuse to deal with the reality by saying it’s anecdotal?”

            The information being anecdotal has NOTHING to do with whether it is true, correct, flawed, or complete bullshit.

            Since you clearly do not know the definition of the term anecdotal:

            Anecdotal, adj. – Based on individual accounts, rather than on reliable research or statistics.

          • reports of actual deaths from covid are anecdotal and thus not relevant?

            I’d say what Jim and Conservatives are peddling about covid in the schools is “anecdotal” also.. because the reality is that covid has been in some schools and yes, people did die but if you believe him it never happened or if it did , it don’t matter.

            no go be quiet for a change.

          • “I’d say what Jim and Conservatives are peddling about covid in the schools is “anecdotal” also.. because the reality is that covid has been in some schools and yes, people did die…”

            FINALLY. Thank you. It’s like pulling teeth with you…

          • No. THANK YOU Wayne! ;–

      • That’s right. I forgot. Fake news.

    • Can one person die from covid more than once?

      • Well, it can be reported more than once, but dying more than once? Wait a minute, I’ll ask my friend. HEY LAZARUS! WAYNE WANTS TO KNOW….

        • You’d think if Jim/Conservatives was actually talking about “rewards” for teachers and recognitions, at the least, he’d want to recognize the ones that actually DID die from COVID from in-person, no?

  2. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    Bonus for school that opened all the way or partially. No bonus for the virtual.

  3. Well, when only 9 or so schools in Virginia go in-person and Conservatives are blaming anyone and everyone who did not , what does that really mean?

    Same deal other states and in other countries.

    Let’s hear from others besides Conservatives.. I bet there are two sides to this… but as usual only Conservatives have the “right” side.


    • “Let’s hear from others besides Conservatives.”

      Okay. Go ahead.

    • Why are we not hearing from you, Larry? What do you have to say about the merits of what Jim is saying?

      • Oh I think you have but here:

        When Covid Subsided, Israel Reopened Its Schools. It Didn’t Go Well.
        As countries consider back-to-school strategies for the fall, a coronavirus outbreak at a Jerusalem high school offers a cautionary tale.

        JERUSALEM — As the United States and other countries anxiously consider how to reopen schools, Israel, one of the first countries to do so, illustrates the dangers of moving too precipitously.

        Confident it had beaten the coronavirus and desperate to reboot a devastated economy, the Israeli government invited the entire student body back in late May.

        Within days, infections were reported at a Jerusalem high school, which quickly mushroomed into the largest outbreak in a single school in Israel, possibly the world.

        The virus rippled out to the students’ homes and then to other schools and neighborhoods, ultimately infecting hundreds of students, teachers and relatives.”

        Won’t hear that from Conservatives but I can assure you teachers can read… and so can parents…

        • We asked YOU to tell us what YOU think about the article.

          You responded by posting a news article. Do you rely on others to formulate ALL of your thoughts for you?

          • more than you? bahahahah… indeed…

          • That is quite possibly the lamest response you have ever made to one of my comments.

            [cue grave unsmiling but compassionate visage]

            I am disappointed in you, Larry, VERY disappointed…

          • I’m totally destroyed Wayne… lord have mercy…

          • I thought you would be. I almost didn’t post it, but I also thought it was important that you know the truth…

          • the truth? from you ? 😉 we’ve gotten to know each other by now and I feel like I DO know you… no?

  4. “They are the heroes and heroines…”

    Except according to the front pagers of this blog…they aren’t. The constant drum beat has been that people going into schools were in no danger, so the staff who continued to do so have risked nothing and overcome nothing. Their work life has continued uninterrupted. If you’re in no danger and you have no obstacles to overcome for the continuation of your duties then you’re not a hero.

    Conversely, every teacher who has gone all virtual has had to deal with learning new technology, figuring out how to keep students engaged in a virtual setting, and keeping tabs on any of their own children. That doesn’t make them heroes, but it does mean they’ve overcome obstacles to continue fulfilling their duties.*

    The truth is that both groups have continued to provide educational services to the best of their abilities during what has been a hectic and dangerous year. And both groups deserve the raise they’re being offered.

    *I assume your counter will follow something along the lines of “Those are the challenges they put up!” And that’s fine, but if that is your perspective then I’ll remind you that not all teachers are politically active in their associations and that even the ones who disagreed with virtual still stood up and did their jobs; and that the following should carry water with someone who believes last Wednesday’s actions in D.C. that resulted in an attempted coup were “mostly peaceful” because of all the people around the Capitol who didn’t storm the building and beat a cop to death with a fire extinguisher.

  5. “This teacher deserves society’s thanks.”

    But will she get it?

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