Weekly Column by Sharon Byrne
From a slide show of 10 insanely overpaid public employees, there are 3 notables from California:
- Prison doctor: $784k
- Prison Psychiatrist: $737k
- Prison dentist: $621k
Prisons are flush, apparently! But wait, California’s prison systems are over-crowded, requiring the release of 43,000 inmates to county jails, similarly overcrowded. Net: supposedly non-violent, victimless-crime inmates are released right back to where they committed their offense.
Me thinks there’s not just a little waste in the prison system…
Something is rotten in the state of California, but it’s not the molars and psyches of prison inmates, apparently. Our state is often scrutinized in news stories as a shining example of what NOT to do. The state’s pension funds are $500 billion in the red, and over 5,000 retired teachers and administrators receive pensions in excess of $100k. Santa Clara’s retired fire-chief takes home $200k+ in pensions every year, and a consultant’s salary to boot.
Bonus: you can commit a crime on your public sector job, and still get your pension!
California spent $61b for elementary and secondary school systems in 2009, according to the US Census Bureau. Per pupil, that was $9,600, about the same as Georgia.
Being on a par with Georgia is nothing to be proud of, California.
We’re outspending Mississippi, Alabama, North and South Carolina by a few hundred dollars per pupil, but our 4th graders can barely beat Louisiana’s in reading test scores.
Clearly, education needs help, but don’t look to the full-time legislature. They’re busy banning food trucks within 1500 ft of schools, sweating over sugar drinks on campus, and insulting one another. So leave it to the special interest groups to put up three California ballot initiatives to fix the deficit, and fund education. In order of favorable polling: