I just got back from my son’s First Grade Spanish/Music class play.
It was pretty good. The kids did well, and I’m reminded how good our teachers are doing.
Shame they don’t get paid more.
That’s the big issue in West Virginia right now, with the teachers on strike for the fourth day in a row.
I think the original issue was that the 4% pay raise wasn’t sufficient to cover the cost of their insurance.
So the governor decided to give them 5%, and the bill is winding its way through the WV legislature.
Alas, those teachers are smart. They know that 5% ain’t gonna cut it either, so they’re still on the picket line.
The teachers’ health insurance premiums are too high, so a 5% pay increase is automatically wiped out.
So 33,000 school employees remain on strike, and 277,000 students are sitting at home. Who knows how many parents are out of work because of this, too.
It’s a major economic hit to that state, with tons of lost productivity and business down the drain. Kinda funny, too - big companies will drop states if they don't have transgender bathrooms, but they don't give a damn if teachers can't put food on the table.
All of this could be avoided if we both paid our teachers more, and had a healthcare system that’s neither corrupt nor antiquated.
West Virginia has the 48th lowest teacher salaries, with $32,533 to start and an average salary of $45,453.
Only Wisconsin and Wyoming are lower.
Montana is 26th for salaries, with teachers starting at $27,274 and having an average salary of $48,855.
It must be hard to start teaching here in Montana, especially with a monthly insurance cost of $250 if you’re married, or $327 if you’re married and have kids.
That’s $3,000 to $4,000 a year taken out of that teacher's check, meaning in effect, a starting teacher can expect to make about $23,000 a year.
That’s shameful, and shame on us for allowing some of the most important members of our society to be treated so poorly.
As I left the school play I turned on the radio to News Talk KGVO and heard a bit from Ryan Zinke.
I think it’s pretty cool that the head of the Department of the Interior takes time out of his day to talk to a local Montana radio station.
- He mentioned that it’s important to remember where you come from.
- He discussed the critical nature of water, and how it’s so tough to get through the bureaucracy surrounding it.
- He spoke about our terrible wildfires, the immense cost to fight them, and how we could avoid a lot of this with better management policies.
- He said, it’s hard for older folks in places like the Bitterroot to just pick up and leave for a month when fires surround them. Most just don’t have the money for that, if they even have a place to go.
I don’t really have any complaints with the job Zinke is doing.
I know that Don over at ID has a lot of problems with Zinke, and chastises him all the time. I’m just not sure what this accomplishes.
It reminds me of the Dems and their constant pestering of Daines and/or Gianforte for not doing town halls, or meeting with constituents.
Who gives a shit?
I sure don’t, but then I’m not one of these lunch-hour protesters that goes down and tries to make a scene, hoping they’ll make the local news.
I have a life.
On top of it, when politicians do have town halls you get 50 to 100 people. Hell, even the protesters outside only number around 20, if that.
The state has over 1 million people and around 400,000 of them vote. And when they do vote, they pretty much vote in the folks that don’t do townhalls, that don’t give a shit about protesters.
One thing you won’t hear about much is how Bullock seems to be forgetting about the state he’s supposed to be running.
Instead he’s jetting off to Iowa to support an AG candidate there, while also testing the waters for his own 2020 presidential run.
Am I the only one that sees the emperor wearing no clothes here?
Bullock…president? Are you freakin’ kidding me?
But then these rumors have been around for some time. Like I’ve said before, his only hope is that a Dem wins the White House and then makes Bullock a cabinet member. And that’d only happen if Bullock managed to get through at least two to three months of the primary process, probably dropping out after the Super Tuesday showings in March.
With the current crop of Dem hopefuls, I don’t see Trump losing in 2020.
It’s just like the crop here in Montana – none of those folks are gonna beat Gianforte. It’s simple math – they put in $1 million, GG puts in $2 million. They up the ante to $3 million, he raises it to $6 million.
I’ve said it before – there’s just nothing to get excited about.
It’s boring, the whole damn political process and primary battle and lead-up to the general.
All of these candidates – Ds or Rs – are boring!
You see it in the images they share on social media – a handful of people showing up to their coffeeshop townhalls.
I remember when 9,000 showed up to see Bernie here in Missoula.
But then not everyone can channel America’s anger like he could, or like Trump still can.
Trump figured out what Americans wanted to hear, he ran on it, and he won.
Democrats in Montana just can’t seem to figure out what other Montanans want to hear.
It’s why they have boring campaigns that ultimately lose, and I think we’ll see that again this year.
But lots of stuff could happen. It’s only the beginning of March, and I think this spring and summer just might surprise us.