Oil Patch Prosperity Isn’t Reaching Teachers?
Under the headline, “ND oil town’s prosperity doesn’t reach teachers,” the Associated Press’ James MacPherson (perhaps one of the most biased reporters covering the state’s oil boom) tries to insinuate that teachers in oil-impacted communities aren’t getting a fair shake:
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – The busiest city in North Dakota’s booming oil patch is bracing for a big influx of students next school year.
Williston expects to gain about 1,200 students, bringing enrollment to about 3,800 from about 2,600 last year. To keep pace, school officials are hiring 52 new teachers.
But while the average wage has risen dramatically from $32,000 a year to about $80,000 since 2006, pay for teachers hasn’t kept up.
This story was quickly seized upon by liberal gubernatorial candidate Ryan Taylor who has made opposition to the state’s oil boom central to his campaign.
Maybe pay for teachers isn’t skyrocketing along with other salaries in the oil patch because the schools there have no shortage of applicants despite housing shortages and a rising cost of living:
…school superintendent Viola LaFontaine (luh-FOUN -tuhn) says applications have come in from around the country, despite the city’s high cost of living, lack of housing and the low teacher salaries. She says administrators have already hired about 40 people.
It seems to me that compensation which is high enough to attract and maintain an appropriate number of qualified candidates is perfectly adequate. Just because truck drivers and rig workers are pulling in six-figures doesn’t mean teachers automatically get raises.
But hey, any negative spin we can put on the oil boom, right?Tags: bakken, Education, media bias, North Dakota News, oil