Eduwonk has a very thoughtful post about the possibility of using adjunct teachers to help out where needed. I was leaning against this idea until he mentioned that a rational health care system might make it easier. With that, I couldn't agree more. I happen to work as an adjunct, but I certainly couldn't afford to do so in lieu of my regular gig, which provides me and my family with health insurance.
In fact, I know people who work as paraprofessionals not for the salary, but simply for the insurance. I was speaking with one and telling her she might do better as a teacher.
"Teach?" she said. "Who needs those headaches?" And if that's how she feels, she shouldn't do it. Of course, if she didn't need the insurance she might be able to afford doing something she liked better.
Here's my response to Eduwonk:
Amen to your notion of a rational health care system. I think if we were to have such a thing, we’d have a lot more common ground on educational issues. Many things would be possible in a country like that, and I hope we live in such a place one of these days.
The reality, though, is UFT President Randi Weingarten is looking at privatizing the NYC healthcare network, and her prime reservations seem to relate to how big a cut will reach union coffers and a very short-sighted temporary stop on turning over the company. It’s sad Ms. Weingarten feels she can’t operate her patronage mill on a piddling 80 million a year.
Still, it’s remarkable that her myopic vision indicates teachers need what the rest of the country has. Particularly in terms of health care, the rest of the country needs what teachers have, and the sooner the better.
Let's say a prayer that Ms. Weingarten doesn't get her way and sell us off for the usual pittance she manages to negotiate. I'd say more money to pay her propagandists and sycophants ought to receive the lowest possible priority from working teachers (who might get sick one of these days).