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Where’s The Evidence, Senator?

Virginia Senator Creigh Deeds (D-Bath County), who plans a run for governor in 2009, is a twitter because his Senate Bill 267 was approved in one committee of the Senate, and it’s on its way to the Finance Committee, according to today’s Roanoke Times.

The newspaper reports the bill “would cost the state more than $400 million this year alone if it’s approved. That doesn’t include the local share, which would come down on cities and counties.” The paper quotes Deeds as saying:

"It's got a huge fiscal impact but the truth is the numbers don't lie . . . If we're going to require or demand excellence in the classrooms, we've got to step up to the plate and pay for it."

The senator claims that some localities “are so far below the (national average) they serve as feeder systems for the higher paying school systems,” such as those in Northern Virginia. Nationally, Virginia ranks 31st in teacher pay, according to the Roanoke Times.

Hey Senator, where’s your proof? He presented no evidence in his bill that some school districts are experiencing excessive teacher turnover. And guess whose numbers are cited in the bill’s impact statement? You guessed it, the national teachers’ union, the NEA. And if teachers in the Arlington Public Schools are paid above the national average, will they be required to take a pay cut? Basing teacher pay on some arbitrarry national average is akin to putting teacher pay on auto-pilot.

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