Lars Larson: Does a teacher strike add up?

By Lars Larson,
NW and national radio host

A week from Wednesday, Portland teachers threaten to go on strike.

While the strike should outrage parents and taxpayers who pay, regardless of whether or not their kids get educated, I’m forced to agree with their labor union on one thing.

Schools spend the majority of the hundreds of millions we give them OUTSIDE the classroom.

Portland, for example, has roughly one paid employee for every five students.

(total employ 8700, teachers 3800)

But less than half of that number are teachers.

Average class size is 22 kids, although some have as many as 30.

That’s despite the district employing enough teachers to provide a ratio of 16 to one.

It makes no sense and if you don’t believe those numbers, I got them directly from the district.

America funds its K-12 schools better than every other country on earth.

Portland spends 15-thousand bucks, per student, per year. That means those 30 student classrooms cost almost half a million bucks, with only about 100-thousand going to the teachers.

How about this solution: fire a bunch of paper pushers, and make sure every teacher drawing a paycheck shows up in front of kids.