OT: Venting about coaching salaries

Submitted by Magnus on February 18th, 2010 at 9:12 AM

This post is a bit self-serving, but I needed to vent.

The governor of my state just put forth a proposal to eliminate 100% of funding for extra-curricular salaries for next year. He wouldn't be cutting the programs themselves, just the coaches and advisors who run the programs. To go along with my school district's proposed 2.5% pay cut for all employees, this would ultimately result in losing 12.4% of my annual salary.

I know I'm lucky to have a job in this kind of economy when a lot of people don't. But the thought of doing the same work (actually, MORE work, since class sizes will be larger) for 12.4% less compensation is frustrating.



February 18th, 2010 at 9:17 AM ^

Something like that won't go through. People will sooner support a quarter millage or something than cut extra-curriculars completely. I mean, that would eliminate salaries for band directors, after school anti-gang program directors and everything else. It's grandstanding.


February 18th, 2010 at 11:18 AM ^

Don't be so quick to assume...

We have seen so many frustrating and incomprehensible decisions in Michigan. It depends on what State it is and how dire things are. And if it were in Michigan, it wouldn't matter because you can't pass millages for expense items.

Magnus, I don't know your situation, but sorry to hear about more stress and challenge for you.

Huntington Wolverine

February 18th, 2010 at 9:18 AM ^

I hate that the education system is where we look to make cuts, we undercut our present-future when we don't invest in young people. I will remember you as we pray for folks making adjustments in a still-tough economy


February 18th, 2010 at 9:21 AM ^

When this wasn't about how coaches get paid too much to coach football. I completely agree with you Magnus. How much money does your average school make off of football attendance alone? What about concessions stands at the game? It's ridiculous to think that you can't pay the revenue coaches some money for their time.

You could always quit and get a second job if it really is hampering your budget? (Although I know how much of a passion that you have for coaching so you'd never do that)


February 18th, 2010 at 11:21 AM ^

High school sports aren't like college sports. It isn't like the athletic director is thinking about how much of a signing bonus to pay Magnus with funds from seat licenses.

Still, so many schools have gone to a pay to play model that results in the sports NOT being the same size drag on budgets.

Argh. It is an extremely frustrating topic.


February 18th, 2010 at 9:24 AM ^

That sounds rough, but I will say at least in Michigan you have to deal the best you can...I would say about 1/3 to 1/2 of the people I know have had to take a pay cut, and 10% was usually the number.



February 18th, 2010 at 9:31 AM ^

The facts are that many people had to take pay cuts(20%) here. If the taxpayers of your state have had to make sacrifices than the public servants should as well. The fuck you to you Magnus as well as us is that the idiots proposing the cuts probably are not taking a cut, have free health care and a pension waiting for them for basically doing part time work and taking bribes, while you actually working with kids and providing a service have to take a cut. It sucks, but your preaching to the choir.


February 18th, 2010 at 3:07 PM ^

Everyone has already taken that hit. It's just reaching the public sector because everyone who has taken that hit isn't making enough money to pay the taxes that support the infrastructure. Politicians have just avoided it till they have no choice to avoid cheesing off their special interest groups. And trust me, as many here will attest, it's better to take a cut than be downsized out completely.


February 18th, 2010 at 9:40 AM ^

That's really bad news, sorry to hear it Magnus. My high school was rife with hypocrisy. They eliminated several sports including bowling (yeah yeah I know, but I was the captain), and asked other sports to pay to play. Then what do they do? Replace our 2 year old computers with brand spanking new ones. Sweet guys.

Hopefully everything works out for you.


February 18th, 2010 at 9:56 AM ^

All businesses have had to make significant cuts in the last few years whether it be through layoffs, pay cuts or both. The fact is city, county, state and federal governments are large businesses and need to make cuts. The governmental problem is that even in the booming economies they are still running at deficits. Now in the tough economy with their tax bases significantly down they finally realize they need to get real. So may I propose this question without seeming to offend anyone, where in the heck are the governments supposed to make these necessary cuts? Are they supposed to shut down all infrastructure spending? School budgets? Public services? We, John Q Public have allowed them to get us in this mess now we have to suck it up and help solve it through sacrifice. You, Magnus, have to take a paycut. The rest of us have to pick up the slack with our kids and do more work with them at home because they are not getting as much teacher attention at school with growing class sizes. It truly sucks but where are governmental cuts supposed to come from?????


February 18th, 2010 at 10:12 AM ^

Well that is all fine and dandy about parents taking up the slack, but that's pretty utopian. Yes, there are good parents out there, like yourself or mine, but a hell of a lot of kids aren't so lucky. Football and other sports help to keep a lot of kids safe and off the streets. Look at the Pahokee gang, football kept them out of gangs and the like. I applaud coaches like Magnus, it's not glamorous to coach HS football, but it sure must be rewarding.

Proposed Cut: Water. I mean come on, who actually drinks water anymore?

Blue in Yarmouth

February 18th, 2010 at 9:58 AM ^

I hate hearing about anyone losing jobs or having to take pay cuts. Especially given that our politicians get paid what they do for what little work they actually do.

In my province they just auditted the provincial government and found some unbelievable things. Our current member of the legislature had purchased a $5000.00 dollar generator, a $2500.00 plasma screen TV and paid $500.00 to have it installed and bought multiple computers, laptops and some furniture with tax payers money. They sad thing was he was not nearly the only one doing this type of thing.

I have yet to meet a politician who wasn't corrupt to some degree and it has seriously jaded my outlook on the future.

Anyway, enough of my rant. Sorry for the bad news Magnus, and if it helps any (which I am sure it won't but anyway), coaching at the HS level in Canada is volunteer with no pay whatsoever. Actually, education is under the provincial umbrella so it is possible that other provinces pay coaches, but here we don't.


February 18th, 2010 at 11:06 AM ^

He bought a dollar generator? Maybe thats where the money is coming from......

All kidding aside, the one positive aspect of a recession is that it forces businesses and government to streamline operations. The threat of being laid off or having to take a pay cut is terrible, but hopefully the U.S. will emerge as a leaner and stronger nation. Corrupt and/or wasteful public officials will be removed, showing younger generations the ramifications of poor governance.

As Warren Buffet once said, "You never know who is swimming naked until the tide goes out."


February 18th, 2010 at 10:00 AM ^

I am truly sorry, but I will counter that in this economy an new tax/millage probably would not pass. Honestly I would love to see our school system de-coupled from our government. Sports are one of the most obvious places to cut (also any extra-school activities). These are things that are not central to the mandate of the schools which is education. I have seen many schools slash athletics/band/drama etc as these are not required to graduate. I am sorry for the loss of these activities but at the same time as a tax paying person, I must look at what is central to the school, if parents in the area want band/football they usually become a club sport or activity.


February 18th, 2010 at 10:33 AM ^

Here is the issue, when you reduce salaries, you reduce the disposable income, which causes people to spend less, which reduces the amount of taxes that are collected, which causes additional programs, services, salaries etc. to be cut, starting the cycle again.

Either as a community we are going to say we value education, road maintenance, public services, etc. and properly fund them which may require an increase of taxes or we say we don't care about that stuff and we care about is selfishly making sure we are taxed as little as possible.

I know where I stand, which is tax me more and give me world class schools, roads and public services.


February 18th, 2010 at 11:18 AM ^

That's a great slogan for your city. We'll tax the shit out of you so you won't have any money left, but you'll have a kick ass library and good schools. So no businesses will move in and the only people willing to live there will be young parents. Fail. How about bring some businesses in and get people working on like actually building something and axe about 50% of the dead weight working in government admin jobs and you won't have to raise taxes to generate revenue. You'll have plenty of money for schools and cops.

Zone Left

February 18th, 2010 at 11:16 AM ^

My wife is in the same position. The city is negotiating an 8% or so cut in teacher salaries while raising class sizes. She's very frustrated too.

Side bar: California is a great place to live. The weather is awesome and the people are friendly. However, the state government is a disaster. It's about evenly split between a conservative south and liberal north and the legislature has done a fantastic job of gerrymandering almost every district to the point where almost each seat is a Republican or Democrat safe seat. That combined with the ability to get anything on the ballot as an initiative creates a bizzare network of laws and mandates that wastes an ungodly amount of money...

Sorry, felt the need to vent. Trying to keep sides out of it.


February 18th, 2010 at 12:07 PM ^

That sucks to hear. I think that having extra-curricular activities is essential for an evolving and intelligent school body. Without avenues to express themselves outside of the strictures of formal education, lots of kids fall through the cracks, failing to find anything meaningful in school and, in the process, foregoing its benefits. I'm not saying that money should be thrown at school districts without oversight, but funds need to be distributed across a broad spectrum of programs, not just in the classroom.

/ steps away from computer, hopes Internets do not become angered.


February 18th, 2010 at 1:20 PM ^

This is why I quit teaching. And coaching football. Not because of the money (which ain't great considering my credentials), but because idiots will always see you as an overpaid public slave.

When I walked out of those high school doors for good I took my flawless evaluations, and some of the highest test scores in the county, with me.

Now I work in the private sector where I work less and make more.

The worst is that people tell me how lucky I am that "I've landed on my feet" and that "it all worked out for the better." Yes, congratulate me: I've sold my students down the river for about $100 apiece.

Good Luck, Magnus.


February 18th, 2010 at 2:34 PM ^

If you continue to cut teacher's salaries as well as other public official's, you no longer compete with the public sector for talent. You don't want the public school system competeting with McDonald's for employees, you want them competitng with GE, Ford, Deloitte, etc. The best and brightest aren't going to spend 4 or more years in school plus graduate school and comtinuing education for a near minimum wage job. You want the best and brightest teaching our kids!


February 18th, 2010 at 3:21 PM ^

To have to work more for less money absolutely sucks. I guess if they had to cut something out of the schools, coaches' salaries is better than some of the alternatives, but still, it's a shame.

Is this proposal likely to pass?