Today is Teacher Appreciation Day in Mexico, but a new report by a Mexican think tank is not likely to make the public any more appreciative of teachers. Here are some nuggets:
1. “More than 7,100 teachers earn more than the equivalent of $93,100 a year. Seventy are paid more than the $180,000 or so earned by President Enrique Pena Nieto. One teacher, identified only as A. Ramirez Z., earns the equivalent of $561,865 a year at his post in the poor southern state of Oaxaca. Most teachers average slightly under the equivalent of $2,000 a month.”
2. Ghost schools. “812 schools in the state of Guanajuato that receive funding but don’t in reality exist.”
3. “536 secondary schools that are supposed to operate through satellite teaching and digital hookups with computers but don’t have electricity.” That would seem like an obvious necessity.
4. Ghost teachers to teach in the ghost schools! “In Hidalgo state, the payroll shows 1,440 supposedly active teachers aged 101, all with the same birthday, Dec. 12, in the year 1912.” Hmm, that seems likely. What do they put in the water in Hidalgo?
An additional summary of the report (in Spanish), identified the most expensive school in the country. It’s a preschool in the state of Guerrero that has two teachers and one student. The monthly payroll for this preschool is equal to about $7,000, which makes the cost per student even higher than Stanford University. The summary piece helpfully posted pictures of the two schools so readers can see with their own eyes what their tax money is buying.