RUSH: According to a new study from the Bureau of Labor statics, public school teachers are now the highest paid state workers. Public school teachers. In fact, public school teachers receive more than twice as much in average hourly wages and benefits as workers in private industry, on average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Public school teachers "are paid an average of $56.59 per hour in combined wages and benefits," which is twice the $28.24 an hour in wages and benefits paid to workers in the private sector.
Now, some of you are probably saying, "I don't understand, Rush. Why are you upset about that? I mean, I've heard you say that you're all for everybody doing well. I've heard you say you're all for everybody being as wealthy as they can get. Have you changed your mind, Rush?" No, I haven't. The problem with this is -- and I will say it again -- is that the people who earn $28 an hour on average are the ones paying the people making twice that. And we're not talking about evil CEOs. We're talking about these teachers' neighbors. With public school teachers we're also talking about a protected class of people. Whether you want to believe me or not, a sizeable portion of Obama's stimulus was earmarked for states to keep public employees on the job.
A sizeable portion of the stimulus was to make sure that teachers and other public sector employees did not lose their jobs. It wasn't out of compassion. It was pure politics. Every one of those teachers and every one of those public sector employees is a union member, and as such they have dues deducted from what they're paid, and those dues, as we know, all end up back in the coffers of the Democrat Party. And that is why the stimulus was structured so that public sector employees state to state would not be laid off. So the people who are earning on average $28 an hour are paying public sector workers $56 an hour on average, with the largest pay being for teachers. That can't go on. In any formal structure, that is not sustainable. I give you Wisconsin. And there will be other states. I give you the city of Detroit.
This kind of thing just can't go on. And that $56.59, don't forget, this includes pensions, lifetime health care that the people whose taxes pay these salaries are not given. They don't have lifetime pensions. They don't have lifetime health care benefits. They have to find that on their own. Now, while they have to pay for their own, they're also paying for the public sector union employees. So that's why it's just a little unfair, I guess -- let me throw that word in -- I like using that word. It's unfair. Well, the left likes to always tell us how unfair things are. This is the epitome of unfairness.
Now, let me add one more thing to this. In addition to public school teachers now being the highest-paid state workers at an average of 56 bucks an hour, according to the study by the Center on Education Policy -- which a nonpartisan think tank -- this year, "a record number of public schools failed to meet the adequate yearly progress benchmarks established by the No Child Left Behind Act." Forty-eight percent. For those of you in Rio Linda, it's almost half: 48% of all public schools in the country failed to meet the No Child Left Behind standards for reading and math proficiency.
So while teachers are making more than they have ever made with lifetime pensions and health care paid for by people who earn half what they earn, their job performance across the board on average -- on balance -- does not warrant this, in a merit sense. Amazingly (ahem), amazingly, Washington's public schools are ranked near the bottom. Eighty-seven percent -- 87% -- failed to meet the No Child Left Behind standards. In reading and writing and math, 87% of the students failed -- and we're not talking about standards that require you to be Mensa, here. Basically all you have to do is know how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich by being able to read "peanut butter" and "jelly" on the various labels.
Only Missouri, my home state can be did worse than Washington. That's right. Eighty-eight percent of Missouri schools are failing. You got me. Eighty-eight percent of public schools in Missouri are failing the No Child Left Behind standards, "even though, according to the Census Bureau figures in 2009, Washington is second only to New York in the amount they spend per student. New York spends $18,000 per pupil. Washington spends $16,000." I don't know what Missouri spends. New York: $18,000 per student; Washington: 16,000, and they're near the bottom in student performance. So we know it's not a problem of money. But yet remember now, item number one: Teachers earn twice on average what the people paying them via their taxes in the private sector are earning.
RUSH: By the way, by the way, that story I just had on the schools and how the students there are faring according to the No Child Left Behind stashing, that doesn't account for all the cheating that went on, for example, in Atlanta. For ten years, remember all the phony grades that were awarded by the teachers, or the waivers from the No Child Left Behind standards. It's pathetic! The state of public education is pathetic. I don't mean this as an attack on the individuals in it from the standpoint of teachers. I'm just telling you: The whole education system has been corrupted by liberalism. It's not even an education system anymore. It is an indoctrination, a series of indoctrination camps. It's not education. It's been totally taken care of and corrupted. I know so many teachers are activists, maybe more than I'd like to believe. They are legitimate liberal activists, disguised as teachers. But it is why so much insanity exists. It's why there's so little knowledge of the point of and the beauty of free markets.
It's a concept not even taught.