Planning a party with the teacher pay raise

By TIM BEELAND,

I no longer have a dog in this race since my wife retired from the teaching profession with the state of Mississippi in 2016. But, I sure do have an opinion when it comes to the State Legislature’s latest attempt at insulting teachers. I’m referring to their proposal to give teachers a $500 per year pay raise for the next two years. Wow, let’s have a party.

Look at it this way. Mississippi teachers get paid once a month so let’s begin by dividing that $500 raise by the 12 months that are in a year. Those teachers taught us how to do that, you know,  so even without a calculator — excuse me those are called cell phones now — even without a cell phone, I know that comes up to a $41.67 per month raise before taxes and retirement.

Let’s keep going. When my wife was gainfully employed with the Scott County School District, those little deductions that add up so quickly on everybody’s pay stub — state and federal withholding, social security, medicaid, state retirement — amounted to somewhere around 30 percent of her paycheck.

Now, let’s see what 30 percent of $41.67 is. I’ll use my cell phone to be precise. It comes to $12.50 in estimated deductions. So, $41.67 minus $12.50 — in my head this time — is $29.17 in take-home pay.

Now it’s time to party for sure!

Chips are about $5 a bag these days. We can make some Rotel dip for another $4 or $5 depending on what kind of cheese we use, and if we are only having a two-person party. We’ll save some money by using real plates and napkins.

Hot dogs will go further with our new-found fortune and we’ll even get a name brand, and soft buns instead of day-old ones off the sale rack. I like those little red Bryan Wieners and sometimes they are 99 cents a pack and the buns are about the same, I think.

We’ve only spent about $10 or $12 so far, so we can get a six pack — of Cokes mind you — for about $3 more and move on to the bakery for a cake to celebrate. I think we can still do that without breaking our budget. Ouch, $8! Oh well, it ain’t a party without a cake. I know, I know those teachers taught us not to use “ain’t” but I was a bit rebellious at times. Plus they made a whole lot less back then and didn’t have health insurance, which could have made them bitter over the ain’t word.

Check-out time!

The grocery bill for our Teacher Pay Raise Party comes to $23 to $25 if we add in that Tradewinds magazine on the checkout counter. I like to see what all is for sale, and I’m spending the wife’s raise anyway.

Oh shoot. Forgot the tax. That’s about anorther $1.75 which leaves us with $2.42 to use at the gas station because we were running on fumes two days ago. I sure hope that will be enough to get us home for the party!

Oh, wait. I forgot. We’ve got a doctor’s appointment this week. And  the dogs are just about out of food. And the kids need some more lunch money. Oh, and it’s Momma’s birthday and we wanted to get her a pretty card. Cards are expensive these days.

And, you know what, we wanted to plant a garden this year to help with the grocery expenses and give us plenty of good, fresh, healthy veggies all summer long and maybe fill the freezer for next winter. But...but we don’t have any gas for the tiller, and it’s got a flat tire too.

Whoa, how much has that propane bill gone up after the cold snap last month? Dang cell phone company raised the rates again too. Seems like everything costs more these days.

You know what, we better put the party items back. I won’t even get that Tradewinds. Maybe we’ll celebrate next year when she gets that other $500. We’ll just have to wait and see. Sure glad we didn’t invite anybody to the party.

Ya’ll get the point?

Come on people if you’re going to give teachers a raise, give them a raise, but please don’t insult them in the process. I mean, do you really think they are only worth $41.67 more a month? Really?

Oh, and I know, they taught us not to use “y’all” either. Or, at least they tried too!