I’d never thought I’d draw a comparison between the NFL and teaching, but here we go. From the website Jaguars.com, GOT found a post about the release of five veteran players, four of whom made substantial contributions to the team, but they were expendable because the team needed room in its salary cap calculations to bring in new players.

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson (97) and defensive end Calais Campbell (93) celebrate a third quarter safety against the New York Jets in an NFL game Sunday, September 30, 2018 in Jacksonville, Fla. (Rick Wilson via AP)

To make it in the NFL these days, a team has to continually bring in young, new players to keep the talent high for winning. Too many older players commanding high salaries (worth every dollar for their experience, knowledge, and leadership) means the team has too little salary dollars to maintain good players at all positions.

In other words, push those high-salaried veteran players out the door if a team wants to reach the play-offs. For players, that means sweet bonuses on top of their contracts; for teams, that means extra TV and ticket dollars.

Many have written about the push of school districts to get veteran teachers out the door because their salaries are too high.

I won’t recite what you have read elsewhere many, many times, but given the tendency of state legislators to limit the ability of school districts to raise revenue by mandated millage reductions to offset gains in property value for school taxes, by directing general revenue dollars into categoricals, the term for specifying how money must be spent (another term–micromanaging–comes to mind), by creating as many wacky voucher schemes (Florida, a bullying scholarship for private school? Really? And no one is using it, which is why you are proposing increasing the amount of budget put into it) as possible, is it any wonder that there is no money left over for teacher salaries?

Districts make it work by bringing in teachers on the cheap. TFA (Teachers for America) was a favorite option, until people realized the true cost.

Districts have a limited number of dollars for teacher salaries and that is why they offer inducements for older, veteran teachers to get out. In my district, if you retire early (before you can receive a full Social Security benefit), they will pay your health insurance until you go into Medicare.

Yes, in education, we have salary caps thanks to our parsimonious legislatures. Like NFL teams, districts and schools react by moving the high-cost veterans out of the building.

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