“Touch me, baby.” - Jim Morrison
In Frans de Waal’s 2003 study about labor and fair financial rewards, experimental capuchin monkeys would rebel, including going on strike, when getting screwed on the pay (grapes) for their work.
In Las Vegas, public school teachers sadly have allowed themselves to keep getting swindled on their salary (money to buy grapes) as they have passively accepted ongoing economic deprivation, from 1999 thru 2013, with little protest.
Total dumb shits.
Education funding here ranks near the lowest in the country, about 27 percent below the national average. That’s because our main economic engine, the gambling industry, with its ridiculously low 6.75 percent gross gaming tax rate, has strip-mined the town of capital to invest in places such as China, where it happily pays about 40 percent in taxes to support Chinese schools. Yet teachers here neither go on strike, which would be illegal, nor do they boycott casinos, which would be intelligent.
At a recent school board meeting, teachers’ inept union officials were gushing with slave-like gratitude to trustees for granting a minuscule 1 percent cost-of-living wage increase to teachers this year. This has raised teachers’ total cost-of-living hikes for the past 14 years to 18 percent during a time when the actual cost-of-living has gone up around 50 percent, an amount police and firefighters have received.
In other words, there ain’t much for teachers in Vegas.
However, education reformists have been promising merit pay to educators for decades now. But that has failed to materialize. Former State Superintendent of Schools James Guthrie had proposed paying $200,000 per year to top-performing teachers. Yet when Gov. Brian Sandoval, who appointed Guthrie, saw this would cost taxpayers $200 million extra per year, he told Guthrie to pack and leave.
Personally, that depressed me. Why? Because in my 25 years with our school district I have been praised for raising school-wide test scores twice, about 16 percent both times, in different at-risk high school environments. Plus, I’ve been credited with literally saving the lives of three students. I have near perfect attendance. And I’ve received several awards for classroom excellence. Hence, when Guthrie was state superintendent I was counting on that doctor-type pay he had been crowing about. But, alas, that chicken never hatched.
Which brings us back to monkeys and rewards. In fact, back to my favorite monkey, the bonobo, a docile creature along the Congo River in Africa that uses sex for social currency. According to National Geographic, bonobos promiscuously engage in “oral sex and genital caressing by hand” to give goodwill and rewards to their furry colleagues.
Thus, since the money as merit pay thing hasn’t worked out for teachers, then perhaps, following the bonobo reward system, oral sex and hand-jobs from school board members and reformist politicians could help lubricate teachers’ limp morale a bit. Also, the president of the state Board of Education (giving billion-dollar blow jobs!) and Nevada’s reform-minded governor should get in on rewarding good teachers, too.
Vegas is a horny town. But since a poor teacher can’t even afford to talk to the whores on Boulder Highway anymore, well - c’mon and touch me, baby. And watch my performance data rise.
Chip Mosher is a simple classroom teacher.