About Sen. Hise’s “Nanny -State” Comment and Sen. Berger’s Continued Fear of a Bunch of Teachers Speaking up for Students

If you have not noticed, Sen. Phil Berger released yet another press release attempting to attack the May 1st teacher rally in Raleigh.

For this veteran teacher, this is the most vociferous that Berger seems to have been concerning an action taken by educators and public school advocates in quite a while.

It’s really based on fear. If Sen. Berger did not think anything would come of this, then he would not be expending so much energy making this a partisan issue or issuing the same used lines of how he and his cronies have been “helping” public education.

Or maybe he’s scared that the Rev. William Barber will be there in Raleigh on May 1st to speak some truth to power.

The press release today stated the following:


It is rather ironic that Berger talk about Medicaid when a hospital in his very district had to close because of revenue streams being hurt by not expanding Medicaid. From an WRAL staff editorial on July 14, 2017:

There are plenty of reasons why Morehead, like many rural hospitals across the state and nation, have fallen on hard financial times. But in North Carolina – and Rockingham County in particular – it is neither inaccurate nor unfair to point one finger squarely at the state’s most powerful legislator.

Berger has led the charge to block federally-funded expansion of Medicaid – that would provide health coverage to more than a half-million North Carolinians who don’t have it now. He’s even gone to court to block Gov. Roy Cooper’s efforts to accept the aid and expand health coverage.

Don’t think for a second Berger’s opposition to Medicaid expansion doesn’t have a cost to his community.

In Rockingham County, along with the two rural counties beside it, the Medicaid rejection has meant: 450 fewer jobs created; $171 million less in business activity; and 4,520 people blocked from getting Medicaid. All that is according to the Cone Health Foundation and the Kate B. Reynold Charitable Trust’s detailed examination of the financial impact of North Carolina’s failure to accept the federal funds to expand Medicaid eligibility.

“It’s a rural hospital, we’re a non-expansion state, we know that in an average rural hospital in North Carolina, 70 percent are Medicaid, Medicare or uninsured,” Julie Henry of the N.C. Hospital Association, told N.C. Health News.

When families are affected, the students in those families are affected.

But what Sen. Hise said about the “nanny-state” is even more head-scratching. Maybe he was referring to one of its definitions that suggests that NCAE wants the state to “coddle” people. Or maybe he wants to make people think that the state is having to take too much care of people.

Taking care of students and protecting them is what teachers do. They do it on an intellectual basis for sure, but the care of a student involves so much more in the school setting.

However, taking Hise at his denotative meaning(“nanny”), wouldn’t it be interesting if teachers were paid the same rates as a nanny for the number of students they care for?

Or maybe even a babysitter?

Actually, there has been a time when teachers were referred to as “unaccountable degree-holding babysitters.”


So, why not do some math?

Welcome to http://www.care.com/babysitting-rates. It was the first babysitter calculator website that came in a simple Google search. It seems to be a reliable source.

Now, let’s enter in some numbers.

  • For zip code, I used an Asheville code. That’s where the person who tweeted the above resided at the time.
  • For number of children, I put in 4+.
  • For experience, I entered 10+ because I have over 20 years of teaching experience.
  • And hours? I put in 60 a week. Why? That’s how much time I usually put into all the facets of my job.babysit1

The result is $18.00 dollars an hour.


But there is more math involved!

At $18.00 an hour for four kids, it would need to be higher because I usually deal with 22-30 kids at a time. Actually, in the past few years my class sizes have averaged over 28 students per class. That’s seven times the amount of kids I have would receive $18.00 an hour for babysitting. Maybe if I just multiplied $18 by 7, then I get an adjusted per hour rate of $126.00 an hour.

Yet, I will give a markdown. Call it the “nanny-state / unaccountable discount.”  Half off. That makes the hourly rate $63.00.

Now, I work on average about 10 hours a school day. Multiplying the new rate ($63.00) by 10 hours and I get a rate of $630 a day. Holy cow!

My contract stipulates that I teach kids 180 days a year. So my new daily rate ($630) multiplied by the number of contracted days my “yearly” haul to babysit would be $113,400 for the school year.

Now one may say, “Hey, you don’t spend all of your ten hours a day directly with students.” And that may be true, but with coaching, sponsoring, duties, and preparing to have things for your students to do while I babysit them, I can pretty much say that I am still actively engaging with the kids.

And this new rate that you seem to propose doesn’t even include weekends and other days that I spend at “daycare” to prepare to take care of kids.

“So, what’s the market rate for an unaccountable degree-holding babysitter?”

The answer is $113,400.

I’ll take it.

And while Sen. Hise is concerned with his version of the “welcome mat effect,” maybe he should look at this – the Iceberg Effect:


As a state legislator, he is very much responsible for combating what lies beneath the surface.

Expanding Medicaid would be a step in the right direction.