Yesterday the North Dakota Senate debated a massive school funding bill. Democrats attempted a floor amendment to that bill to raise minimum teacher pay in the state to $32,000 per year. That amendment got rejected, but that didn’t mean that minimum teacher pay isn’t going up. The Senate approved Governor Jack Dalrymple’s budgeted $5,000/year increase.
I think even that increase was a little ridiculous – teacher pay should be a local issue, and the state has no business mandating minimums – but even more ridiculous is the way the Bismarck Tribune has reported the issue.
It started yesterday with this tweet from Tribune photographer Mike McCleary captioning state Senator Nicole Poolman (a teacher, as it happens) as being against raising teacher pay:
— Mike McCleary (@mdmccleary) April 11, 2013
McCleary’s photo has now made it to the front page of today’s Tribune, again claiming that Senator Poolman is against raising pay for beginning teachers:
This is all entirely false. Senator Poolman voted to increase starting pay for teachers – as much as I think that’s a mistake – just not by as large an amount as the Democrats and teacher unions wanted.
A 22% increase in minimum pay for teachers is nothing to sneeze at, yet the misleading coverage provided by the Tribune would have some believing teachers got no increase at all.
Update: Well, at least the Tribune was able to serve up the Democrat talking point on a tee for them:
— ND Dem-NPL (@nddemnpl) April 12, 2013