Education
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Wash. state lawmaker tells teachers: quit whining about money, enjoy your summer off

Washington state rep. Liz Pike has unleashed the fury of teachers and schoolmarms in general across The Evergreen State after she suggested in a Facebook post that teachers who want to make more money should find a different line of work.

Pike, a Republican from the southwest corner of the state who favors small government and low taxes, prefaced her “open letter to public educators” by noting that she has received a number of emails from teachers who are unhappy because teachers across the state have gone without a salary increase for two years. Some teachers have taken a pay cut of nearly two percent.

“Congratulations on enjoying your last day of the school year,” Pike’s post reads. “If I had the opportunity to choose my career all over, I would have opted to get the necessary degree and teaching certificate so that I too could enjoy summertime off with my children, spring break vacations, christmas [sic] break vacations, paid holidays, a generous pension and health insurance benefits.

“Instead, I chose to work a career in private sector business so that I could be one of those tax payers who funds your salaries.”

Pike’s electoral website says she has been a small business owner for the last 15 years, running the Pike Advertising Agency. Before that, she worked at a small newspaper. She also has two grown children and operates a small-scale sustainable farm.

After some words of gratitude to various “excellent instructors” who are “inspiring our children to reach their full intellectual potential,” Pike cuts to the quick.

“[W]e have unions that only care about the adults in the system,” she charges. “Since the rise of teachers’ unions in this nation, our public education system has deteriorated.

“If you are uninspired because of the lack of a cost of living increase, I encourage you to speak with your neighbors who work in the private sector,” she advises. “Ask them when was the last time they were guaranteed pay increases that were not based on performance standards.”

Pike then goes on to explain her small-government beliefs — and rudimentary economics — in stark, simple terms.

Naturally, reports The Seattle Times, many teachers were seriously displeased with Pike’s Facebook post.