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Student Scores Lower for States That Spent the Most
Bloomberg | August 28, 2001

Posted on 05/28/2002 9:37:25 AM PDT by First_Salute

Washington, Aug. 28 (Bloomberg) -- High school students in states that spent the most per pupil last year had some of the lowest scores on the SAT, the most widely used U.S. college entrance exam, according to a Bloomberg News analysis.

Students in New York, for example, which spent $9,757 per pupil, received an average score of 1000 on the SAT exam, when verbal and math scores were combined. Utah, which spent $4,120 per pupil in the 1999-2000 school year, had an average of 1145.

Republicans seized the statistics as evidence that more federal money isn't the answer. "It shows educational spending doesn't lead to improved academic results,'' said Kevin Smith, a spokesman for Republican Representative John Boehner of Ohio, chairman of the House Education Committee.

Democrats and other supporters of higher spending said the comparison is useless because in most high scoring states, the SAT is only taken by the very best students. They said the states that spend the most tend to be the urban northeast states, which must work with diverse populations, students who speak English as a second language, and students from low income homes.

"It's a lot more complicated than money,'' said David Griffith, a lobbyist for the National Association of the State Boards of Education. "There are cultural and societal factors and you have to spend money to overcome all the factors, all the strikes against students.''

Debate in Congress

The debate over the relationship between spending and academic performance is central to congressional action on President George W. Bush's plan to improve the public education system. House and Senate negotiators have yet to agree on funding after month-long talks on an education bill based on Bush's plan.

The bill passed by the Democratic-controlled Senate would provide $41.8 billion for public education programs. The House set aside $22.9 billion, and Bush asked for $19 billion.

Republican Representative Johnny Isakson, who favors the House bill, said the SAT scores are of limited value because only college-bound students take them, and they don't represent the students toward whom federal money is directed.

"These are the poorest, most disadvantaged kids'' who often drop out of high school, the Georgia Republican said.

Education Secretary Rod Paige said the limitations of SAT's ability to measure performance of all students illustrated the need for annual tests that monitor progress in grades three through eight, a cornerstone of Bush's plan.

More Money Urged

Many Democrats, backed by representatives of teachers and school administrators, say more money must be spent to improve public schools. They also say comparing test scores between states doesn't give an accurate reflection of education needs.

"Reform without resources is a waste of time,'' said Dan Gerstein, a spokesman for Senator Joseph Lieberman, a Connecticut Democrat.

Scores for the 2001 SAT test, which is mostly used by colleges and universities in the eastern half of the U.S., were released today by the College Board Inc., which owns the exam. Bloomberg News compared those scores with the latest spending figures from the Department of Education.

The top 25 states on SAT scores spent an average of $6,059 a pupil and scored 1123. The bottom 25 states spent $7,469 a student and averaged 1014.

Students from Southern states such as Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama and Tennessee, which on average spend less than $6,000 a student, scored above 1100.

Other Scores

Scores for students in Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and other northeastern states, where average per student spending was more than $7,500, hovered around 1000.

Students in North Dakota, which spent $6,901 on each pupil, scored the highest, averaging 1191. Washington, D.C., finished at the bottom with an average score of 956. The city spent $10,069 a student.

Only Wisconsin and Minnesota bucked the trend in the top 25. Minnesota had an expenditure of $7,700, the 12th highest, and scored 1169, ranking fourth.

Wisconsin spent $7,951, ranking ninth in spending, and had student scores of 1180, the third best.

A look at scores from the ACT, a test used for college admission in the West and South, showed similar results.

"We have spent a lot of money in the past 20 years on education,'' said Andrew LeFevre, director of the education task force at the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group that wants to scale back the federal role in education. "We really haven't gotten a return for our money.''

View Questioned

Regional differences are reflected in the scores. Students that take the SAT test in the West and South tend to be gifted students applying to Ivy League and other elite schools.

For example, 4 percent of North Dakota's students took the SAT compared with 81 percent of New Jersey students.

The criticism is echoed by the College Board itself, which warns about making state-by-state comparisons.

A 1996 study by Brian Powell, a sociology professor at Indiana University, found that rankings of states like New York and New Jersey would rise if adjusted for the percentage of students taking the tests.

The spending comparison also glosses over the disadvantages faced by low-income children, such as education level of the parents, Powell said.

The comparison "is not unlike two runners, one of which is carrying 50 pounds,'' Powell said. "We're saying, 'Look, the other one is so much faster.'''

This year's average verbal score of 506 was one point higher than last year. The increase continues a trend of higher verbal scores over the past decade.

The average math score remained at 514, the same result as in 2000. The average for all students was 1020.

Women made up almost 54 percent of the test takers. More than a third of the test group consisted of minority students, who trailed their white counterparts on average in verbal and math scores.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: education; educationnews; funding; results; scores; teachersunions

1 posted on 05/28/2002 9:37:25 AM PDT by First_Salute
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To: NativeNewYorker;EdReform;mommadooo3;JeanS
Originally posted last August, re-posted here in the new FR arrangement; F.Y.I.
2 posted on 05/28/2002 9:38:31 AM PDT by First_Salute
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To: First_Salute
Student Scores Lower for States That Spent the Most

and

More Money Urged

Kind of says it all.
3 posted on 05/28/2002 9:43:40 AM PDT by Dimensio
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To: Dimensio
Bush = More Money Spent
4 posted on 05/28/2002 9:47:46 AM PDT by GuillermoX
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To: First_Salute
Democrats and other supporters of higher spending said the comparison is useless because in most high scoring states, the SAT is only taken by the very best students. They said the states that spend the most tend to be the urban northeast states, which must work with diverse populations, students who speak English as a second language, and students from low income homes.

Excuses, nothing but effing excuses for their collossal failures. The liberal education establishment has a leather jack boot on the necks of of those in public "skools"; which are namely minority. There is tons of data which show that spending does not lead to better education, but rather simple values such as discipline, community, curriculum, and family involvement lead to better education.

5 posted on 05/28/2002 9:47:52 AM PDT by KC_Conspirator
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To: First_Salute
This is no surprise. States like Utah, North Dakota, et cetera, have comparatively few minorities. That's why their scores are higher. It has nothing to do with money. As for why minorities score consistently lower on all educational tests across the board, that's a topic for another time. One thing is for certain -- while the SAT may in fact be a culturally biased test, no educational organization has devised a test in which minorities (except for Asians) score higher, or even equal to, Caucasians.
6 posted on 05/28/2002 9:57:02 AM PDT by Mister Magoo
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To: KC_Conspirator
"'Democrats and other supporters of higher spending said the comparison is useless because in most high scoring states, the SAT is only taken by the very best students. They said the states that spend the most tend to be the urban northeast states, which must work with diverse populations, students who speak English as a second language, and students from low income homes.'

Excuses, nothing but effing excuses for their collossal failures. The liberal education establishment has a leather jack boot on the necks of of those in public "skools"; which are namely minority. There is tons of data which show that spending does not lead to better education, but rather simple values such as discipline, community, curriculum, and family involvement lead to better education."

There is another much better response to the assertion that the higher score states are helped by an advantage in the quality of students who take the tests--like a number of the things the liberals say, there is no data to support the assertion--from anecdotal evidence available here, I have reached the conclusion that it is simply not so.

Further, again from observation of the facts here in the small southern town in which we live, a number of the students that did not do well in elementary school down here have been helped by higher standards and increased discipline at the high school level; the NA and lower income group students are studying harder and are doing better in school and thus can be expected to do better on the exam.

7 posted on 05/28/2002 9:59:03 AM PDT by David
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To: Mister Magoo
States like Utah, North Dakota, et cetera, have comparatively few minorities.

They have a much higher proportion of intact two-parent families, too.

8 posted on 05/28/2002 9:59:43 AM PDT by Kevin Curry
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To: KC_Conspirator
IT'S FOR THE CHILDREN
9 posted on 05/28/2002 10:00:24 AM PDT by GailA
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To: Mister Magoo
This is no surprise. States like Utah, North Dakota, et cetera, have comparatively few minorities. That's why their scores are higher.

But the article points out:

Students from Southern states such as Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama and Tennessee, which on average spend less than $6,000 a student, scored above 1100.

As a native Southerner, I promise you we have a large minority population.

10 posted on 05/28/2002 10:04:00 AM PDT by TontoKowalski
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To: First_Salute
"These are the poorest, most disadvantaged kids'' who often drop out of high school, the Georgia Republican said.

No one is forced to drop out of high school. Kids either make a choice to drop out of high school or have made choices (such as getting pregnant, 100% preventable) that lead to them dropping out of school.

Their choices KEEP them poor and disadvantaged.
11 posted on 05/28/2002 10:12:23 AM PDT by xrp
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To: First_Salute
Is there an existing link for this story?
12 posted on 05/28/2002 10:14:27 AM PDT by denydenydeny
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To: First_Salute
Our RINO governor here in Tennessee has proposed that if we just give him an additional $100 MILLION PER YEAR, that the schools would actually start teaching the children to read. He seems completelly oblivious to the fact that if the schools aren't providing something as basic as reading education, that giving them more money isn't going to help them.
13 posted on 05/28/2002 10:26:46 AM PDT by Blood of Tyrants
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To: denydenydeny
It's an older, pre-Sept. 4, 2001 post, in the "classic" Free Republic database. Such stories cannot be debated because they are "locked out" by FR. It's an old Bloomberg story which you might find in their archives.
14 posted on 05/28/2002 10:29:22 AM PDT by First_Salute
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Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: First_Salute




17 posted on 05/28/2002 10:42:42 AM PDT by Straight Vermonter
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To: First_Salute;*Education News
"Many Democrats, backed by representatives of teachers and school administrators... "

That'd be unions, as in the National Education Association. Get the NEA out of public education, and you just might see some improvement in the schools.

Help defund the National Education Association

18 posted on 05/28/2002 10:44:21 AM PDT by EdReform
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To: denydenydeny
Source data (?): http://www.alec.org/meSWFiles/pdf/education2000.pdf
19 posted on 05/28/2002 10:52:16 AM PDT by Eugene Tackleberry
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To: KC_Conspirator
Democrats and other supporters of higher spending said the comparison is useless because in most high scoring states, the SAT is only taken by the very best students. They said the states that spend the most tend to be the urban northeast states, which must work with diverse populations, students who speak English as a second language, and students from low income homes...

I know that virtually everyone on FR has hear this from me before, but I'll rehash it one more time for those of you who need ammo in this argument. My wife and I live in a small town in Westchester NY. There are a total of 1500 students in the school system in a middle, and upper middle class town. Minorities make up approximately 5% of the total student body.

Last year we paid $18,600 per student, and this year will were hit with a 9% increase. That makes the new budget $20,300 per student.

For this princely sum, only 67% of the 8th graders are passing the state required standardized tests, and the average SAT score is below 1000. That means that we are the single most expensive, failing public school in the United States. The next time someone asks you how bad the schools will get before the NEA is chucked out, tell them these statistics, and remind them that we have no recourse. Short of burning the school to the ground, there is nothing we taxpayers can do to reign in an administration drunk with funding.

We can vote down the budgets (and have every year for the last 4) but they enact them anyway. We can lobby the school board, but 1 member is a teacher, and two of the others have their wives working in the administrators office so they are bought and paid for, and would never consider lowering a budget, or turning down a request for more funding. We can vote out the school board, but since they rotate their terms, it would take 4 years to affect any change, and my wife and I can't affort to stay while the issue is debated.

We're told that we can expect double digit increases for a minimum of the next 4 years. This year we will vote with our feet, just like 15% of our town is doing right now.

20 posted on 05/28/2002 11:02:34 AM PDT by tcostell
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To: First_Salute
Great post, and one of the NEA's dirty little secrets. Although low-spending states have some of the highest scores and vice versa, the negative correlation between per pupil spending and SAT score is actually pretty weak -- if you plot it up, it looks like a shotgun pattern. Spending more or less doesn't seem to make much difference.

The NEA's complaint that one can't compare SAT scores is a red herring. The fact is that spending per pupil is demonstrably uncorrelated to virtually any measure of educational performance. I pulled the numbers below mostly ffrom the NEA's own website. The dollars per teacher data are for 1993. The rest are 1995. "% Fed $" is the federal contribution to the state's education budget. For fun, try copying the statistics into your favorite spreadsheet, making some charts, and showing the results to your favorite liberal!

(Be sure to plot $/Teacher versus $/Pupil. The only significant thing coming from higher per pupil spending seems be to raise teacher salaries.)

State SAT Pupils/teacher $/Teacher $/Pupil % Fed $ Grad %
United States 910.00 17.40 35027.00 5421.00 71.2
Alabama 1029.00 17.40 26953.00 3616.00 52.88 66.10
Alaska 934.00 16.80 46019.00 8450.00 50.28 74.10
Arizona 944.00 18.70 31352.00 4381.00 45.47 72.70
Arkansas 1005.00 17.00 27433.00 4031.00 52.21 78.30
California 902.00 24.10 40035.00 4746.00 38.89 68.60
Colorado 980.00 18.30 33541.00 5172.00 39.03 75.10
Connecticut 908.00 14.30 48343.00 8017.00 32.26 80.40
Delaware 897.00 16.70 36217.00 6093.00 31.31 69.60
District of Columbia 857.00 13.30 38702.00 9549.00 81.88 62.80
Florida 889.00 18.40 31172.00 5243.00 50.53 65.00
Georgia 854.00 18.00 30051.00 4375.00 37.51 63.70
Hawaii 889.00 17.60 36470.00 5420.00 52.09 78.10
Idaho 979.00 19.60 27011.00 3556.00 48.75 81.10
Illinois 1048.00 16.80 38632.00 5670.00 30.85 78.60
Indiana 882.00 17.60 35066.00 5074.00 33.03 76.00
Iowa 1099.00 15.80 30130.00 5096.00 43.03 87.60
Kansas 1060.00 15.20 32863.00 5007.00 44.87 80.50
Kentucky 999.00 17.30 31115.00 4719.00 53.53 69.80
Louisiana 1021.00 16.60 27617.00 4354.00 54.49 52.90
Maine 896.00 14.10 30250.00 5652.00 53.57 81.10
Maryland 909.00 16.90 38753.00 6679.00 58.96 76.10
Massachusetts 907.00 15.00 38223.00 6408.00 38.01 79.10
Michigan 1033.00 19.50 43604.00 6268.00 30.74 70.90
Minnesota 1085.00 17.60 35093.00 5409.00 29.95 89.20
Mississippi 1036.00 18.20 24367.00 3245.00 63.90 62.10
Missouri 1045.00 16.20 29382.00 4830.00 49.96 73.20
Montana 1009.00 15.80 27617.00 5423.00 69.04 85.50
Nebraska 1050.00 14.60 28768.00 5263.00 43.29 87.20
Nevada 917.00 18.70 34119.00 4926.00 31.71 70.70
New Hampshire 935.00 15.60 33931.00 5790.00 34.59 78.10
New Jersey 898.00 13.60 42680.00 9317.00 31.05 84.10
New Mexico 1015.00 17.60 26532.00 3765.00 77.10 67.80
New York 892.00 15.20 44999.00 8527.00 34.69 66.60
North Carolina 865.00 16.70 29315.00 4555.00 36.61 68.50
North Dakota 1107.00 15.20 25211.00 4441.00 65.25 87.50
Ohio 975.00 16.90 34500.00 5694.00 36.75 72.40
Oklahoma 1027.00 15.50 25918.00 4078.00 55.39 76.30
Oregon 947.00 19.20 35880.00 5913.00 37.71 73.50
Pennsylvania 880.00 17.00 41215.00 6613.00 45.06 81.50
Rhode Island 888.00 14.30 37933.00 6546.00 50.46 76.80
South Carolina 844.00 17.00 29224.00 4436.00 47.25 58.10
South Dakota 1068.00 15.30 24289.00 4173.00 58.72 85.30
Tennessee 1040.00 19.40 28960.00 3692.00 42.82 68.70
Texas 893.00 15.70 29935.00 4632.00 39.22 56.00
Utah 1076.00 24.20 27239.00 3040.00 41.21 81.10
Vermont 901.00 14.00 34824.00 6944.00 42.57 82.40
Virginia 896.00 14.00 32306.00 4880.00 63.34 74.00
Washington 937.00 20.20 35759.00 5271.00 44.98 76.10
West Virginia 932.00 15.20 30301.00 5109.00 65.07 77.00
Wisconsin 1073.00 15.50 35926.00 6139.00 31.85 82.20
Wyoming #N/A 17.20 30080.00 5812.00 52.83 83.80

21 posted on 05/28/2002 11:07:53 AM PDT by OBAFGKM
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To: Mister Magoo
The percentage of non-whites has nothing to do with it. The SAT is a very pathetic test. It tests only 2 of the 4 core subject areas for God's sake. I got only a 1270 on my SATI (650 verbal, 620 math), but a 1390 on my SATII (630 writing, 760 American History). The SAT doesn't really mean anything. I didn't do so well on it and I got a 5 on my AP US History and Government tests and a 3 on Comparitive Politics (class wasn't even offered at my school). The AP tests are A LOT better at gauging student ability than SAT tests because they are comprehensive in individual areas.

An interesting bit of information I got from one of my teachers in high school, VA's SOL tests are significantly harder than Texas's SOL (standards of learning). The US History SOL we took was about as hard as an AP test. He said that he was confident that most regular US History students in VA could pass the Texas SOL, but a major chunk of them at my school failed VA's tests. For the record, only 4/25 students in my AP class didn't pass the test.

22 posted on 05/28/2002 11:13:45 AM PDT by dheretic
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To: First_Salute
bump
23 posted on 05/28/2002 11:16:40 AM PDT by Captainpaintball
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To: 2Jedismom;
Homeschooling bump.
24 posted on 05/28/2002 11:17:22 AM PDT by Artist
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To: OBAFGKM
Well the question those stats raise is simply, what are the standards in each state? I would be surprised if anyone who graduated last year from my high school was illiterate or unable to do basic algebra. About 1/6 of my graduating class were AP students about another 1/3 in honors classes (not as good as AP, but definitely a bit better than regular). College life has been somewhat boring for me because I was so used to constant work that the joke geneds we must take are a joke for me. I used to get tested on 60-90 pages of US History or Government ever 1.5 weeks in my AP classes. I cannot speak for most states, but VA's AP classes tend to be much more intense than most people realize. The AP calc class at my HS was considered about as intense as the average calc class at Tech, UVA or JMU.
25 posted on 05/28/2002 11:20:44 AM PDT by dheretic
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To: dheretic
"The SAT doesn't really mean anything."

Not so. There is a strong correlation between high scores on the SAT and subsequent high marks in college. That's what the SAT statisticians have always tried to achieve, and they've been mostly successful. That's also why so many colleges include SAT scores among their admission critia.

26 posted on 05/28/2002 11:23:25 AM PDT by OBAFGKM
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To: First_Salute
Students that take the SAT test in the West and South tend to be gifted students applying to Ivy League and other elite schools.

I guess the western and southern students are all gifted...
27 posted on 05/28/2002 11:29:28 AM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: superdestroyer
The more interesting statistic would be to compare the median score of white students whose parents are college educate and make the median income of the state in question. Then you may be able to tease out the effect of money from other factors.

Trying to "tease out" the effect of money is still a chicken and egg problem. Academic success usually results in economic success later. If one assumes intelligence is a heritable characteristic, then more intelligent people are going to succeed academically and economically. It will continue generation after generation. The converse would be true as well. Persons of low intelligence will not succeed academically and will bear the consequences in the form of poor economic success as well. The failure will continue...generation after generation. No amount of money will change the situation.

Every population has a distribution of intelligence. The "heritable" nature of the characteristic must also be considered as exceptional individuals arise on either end of the spectrum. Academic instruction needs to maintain a high standard so the "cream of the crop" has an opportunity to rise and be nurtured. A lowered standard will never give the top performers a chance to stand out. The schools need to recognize that group of students that will never succeed academically and provide a reasonal vocational track for them. It is better that they have productive jobs than be placed on the government dole.

28 posted on 05/28/2002 11:34:22 AM PDT by Myrddin
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To: dheretic
"Well the question those stats raise is simply, what are the standards in each state?"

That's the first point of order teachers generally raise when confronted with such statistics. But it's a red herring because, so far as I know, there is absolutely no measure of academic achievement having a positive correlation with per pupil spending.

If SAT scores can't be used, fine, I won't argue. Use something else, graduation rate for example. If that can't be used, tell me something that can. We'll plot it up.

At some point, I begin to suspect that any measure failing to demonstrate the merits of more spending is deemed biased and unusable in the minds of the education establishment.

29 posted on 05/28/2002 11:36:06 AM PDT by OBAFGKM
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To: OBAFGKM
>But it's a red herring because, so far as I know, there is absolutely no measure of academic achievement having a positive correlation with per pupil spending.

Actually, this whole education issue when viewed on the same graph with spending may be very enlightening in a much bigger way.

The Feds spend huge amounts of money on lots of different things. Can any area of Fed spending justify itself if questioned about the spending?

How many billions go to black ops? Did any of the known/unknown black ops people stop 9/11?

How many billions are spent trying to cure cancer or AIDS? Has any medical advance happened that couldn't reasonably be explained by normal advancement of the state of the art?

The problem doesn't seem to be education spending. (Though that's certainly a problem.) The problem seems to be that EVERYTHING the Feds throw our tax dollars at seems to go NOWHERE...

Mark W.

30 posted on 05/28/2002 11:45:43 AM PDT by KissOfTheSith
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To: First_Salute
They said the states that spend the most tend to be the urban northeast states, which must work with diverse populations, students who speak English as a second language, and students from low income homes.

Sorry, but this argument won't wash. New York City was always a mecca for immigrants who were poor and couldn't speak English. The Irish, Italians, Germans, Poles and countless other people went to public schools, mastered the language and did extremely well on standardized exams. It's the schools themselves (and mediocre teachers) responsible for the low scores. Don't blame it on the poor.

31 posted on 05/28/2002 12:11:03 PM PDT by Attillathehon
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To: First_Salute
Betcha those New York janitors are happy.
32 posted on 06/30/2002 12:36:44 PM PDT by dr_who
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To: dr_who
It would seem, but the cost of living in the area including taxes probably eats away 7/8ths of the income. I don't know for sure, but the janitors may be A.F.S.C.M.E. members or with the Plumbers union; either way, the politics are probably also a tax burden, so to speak.

Any way, the bureaucrats are at the head of the class, if you get my drift.

33 posted on 06/30/2002 1:02:08 PM PDT by First_Salute
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To: First_Salute
Including "living wage" politics perhaps?
34 posted on 06/30/2002 1:09:21 PM PDT by dr_who
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To: First_Salute
The bureaucrats are probably the head of the class in school systems everywhere, but I wouldn't put all the blame on them.
35 posted on 06/30/2002 1:11:09 PM PDT by dr_who
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