Friday, February 22, 2008

Prisons and Schools

California is having quite the budget deficit for the coming year, but one segment of our state government is expecting another raise (5% proposed for 2007-08). While most schools are sending layoff notifications to their teachers and plenty of other staff, our prison guards will be offered that 5% raise if the legislators approve the Governor's last best offer. This raise will add to their base salary that ranges from $45,00 to $70,000, which was supplemented by an average of $16,000 per employee during the 2006-07 fiscal year. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm very happy we have lots of folks willing and able to handle the prisons. That's not a job I would personally volunteer for. However, one has to wonder if the current offer is necessary in dire financial times when the state is receiving 130,000 applicants a year for these much sought after positions. Could it be that a sound investment in education might have a positive effect on keeping some folks out of prison?

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