Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Herald Goes Over the Top on Community Colleges

I get that "state employees add to their already generous salaries" is the Boston Herald's bread and butter, but I have to take exception to Dave "I committed libel" Wedge's latest story about community college salaries. Wedge describes the schools as a haven for "perk jobs" for politicians, cops and judges. When he actually gets around to describing these jobs, they turn out to be the few thousand dollars one would get for teaching a course at the school. The largest "perk job" is about $4,000 for teaching a semester-long course. Is the Herald's position that community colleges should not offer courses taught by people in the real world, or do they think that those who teach should not be compensated for their time? And $4,000? I've had week-long training seminars that cost more than that, let alone semester-long courses. The community colleges are getting a deal, as far as I'm concerned!

As for the six-figure salaries for the community college presidents, I couldn't quickly find numbers that were limited to community colleges specifically, but puts the numbers the Herald reported at the low end of the curve for College Chancellors.

I also understand that Governor Patrick's plan to eliminate tuition on community colleges would be expensive, and that's lead some to call him a "dreamer". The point of coming up with these ten and fifteen year plans is so we don't have to pay for all of this all at once. We can phase things in as funds become available and we figure out what works. But if you don't have a goal, you'll never reach it.