It’s For The Kids!

Imagine a typical North Idaho family, Shawn and Jane Doe and their three children Mary, Mike and Becky. Shawn is the assistant manager at a local division of a national company. The Doe family is a comfortable, middle class family and happy, but money seems tight. Jane has been pestering Shawn to ask for a raise but Shawn is hesitant. What if the boss says no?

One day Shawn worked up the courage to ask for a raise. He walked into the boss’s office, sits down and politely explains that he would like a raise. His boss asked “Why do you need a raise?”

Shawn hesitated because he really didn’t have a specific answer. Money was tight but there was no one specific thing that was the reason and he didn’t want to not have a reason so Shawn said “It’s for my kid’s school. They need supplies and money for the bus and lunch.

Well, if it is for your kids, how can I say no.” said the boss.

Jane was delighted at the prospect of having a few extra dollars. “Finally I can hire a part time maid to help with the house chores,” she said. That night Jane put the kids to bed early and then treated Shawn to a romantic evening.

Nearly a year later Jane was visiting with a friend who was telling her about the fantastic exotic vacation they had just enjoyed. Jane listened to the story and began to imagine her and Shawn sipping an adult beverage while lounging on a Caribbean beach, warm sun and a cool breeze. That very night she told Shawn about their need for a vacation and that he should ask for a raise.

So again Shawn walks into the boss’s office, sits down and politely explains that he would like a raise. His boss asked “Why do you need a raise?” This time Shawn has a reason ready “It’s for my kids. Mary is struggling in math and Mike is getting a “D” in writing so they both need a tutor. Also Becky wants to play soccer so we need to buy uniforms and tickets for the team bus.

Well, if it is for your kids, how can I say no.” said the boss.

Caribbean beach here we come!” said Shawn as he hugged Jane. “Why don’t we put the kids to bed early.” He whispered in her ear.

This pattern repeated over the next ten years. Shawn would go to his kind hearted boss and ask for a raise to help his kids and his boss would always reply “Well, if it is for your kids, how can I say no.”

While each raise didn’t seem like much, over the course of 10 years Shawn’s salary nearly doubled. Shawn and Jane had a full time housekeeper and a gardener. They hired a babysitter every Friday and Saturday night so they go out to dinner and dancing. Shawn hired a private secretary and Jane would go to the beauty parlor every Tuesday and Friday. Life was good.

One day the boss called Shawn into his office. “Shawn, I am sorry to say that the downturn in sales due to the economy means we have to cut salaries by 15%.” Shawn walked out of the office stunned. He wondered what he should tell Jane.

When Shawn got home he gathered the family together and said “Kids, my boss is despicable and un-American. He is cutting my salary which means no more tutors, sports or music. You’ll have to walk to school and make your own peanut butter sandwiches for lunch.” The kids ran to their rooms crying.

Jane turned to Shawn and asked “What about the maid and gardener and vacations?” Shawn winked and said “Those are essential.” He then smiled and whispered “The kids are in bed early.

Since 2012, enrollment at the Coeur d’Alene School District (SD271) has remained steady at just over ten thousand students. During that same time 151 new staff members have been added to the payroll. The administration staff has increased 139%, more than doubled. Test scores have remained flat with only about half the students being proficient in math and English.

Since 2012, SD271’s budget has increased 79% while inflation has increased 31% over the same period which means 48% of the budget increase is due to bloat and NOT due to inflation.

Idaho has 91 school districts. The average supplemental levy amount is $2.4 million. SD271’s current $20M levy is the second highest in the state between Lewiston at $24M and West Ada at $14M. If the $25M levy passes it would be the highest in the state.

If the current $20M levy expires without being replaced it would represent a 15% decrease in funding, HOWEVER, Governor Little’s 2023-2024 education budget has a 16.4% increase over the last budget, shifting education funding back to the state. This is hardly the extreme dire situation alleged by the SD271 administration.

Using fear mongering against children IS despicable and un-American and the SD271 administration should be ashamed.

It’s just common sense

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4 thoughts on “It’s For The Kids!”

  1. In my career I’ve had a few employees ask me for raises. “Because my kids need X,” was never going to fly with me. Their personal lives and finances have nothing to do with the business. Heartless? No, if one gives in to every such request, you’re on the “from each according to his need” side.

    I haven’t had a traditional job-job since 2003. But the last time I asked for a raise, which would have been about 2002, I went in to see my boss and asked for a 15% raise. I justified it thus: “Boss, as you know, I recalculated and revalidated our mixing process. As a result of this, we’re seeing an increased yield of about 3,000 units per mixing batch. We do four batches a week on average. That’s 12,000 more units per week to sell, at no additional cost in materials or labor. At our current net profit, we’re now making $36,000 in increased revenue per week. I’d like my piece of that, now that it’s in place and working. So I’m asking for a 15% raise.”

    I got my raise. And that’s how it should be done.

    • I always believed when asking for a raise it was far better to dazzle with your performance and brilliance then it is to try and baffle with bulls hit. Kind of like what you do only in simpler terms.

  2. It’s like what Texas did with the lottery – “The proceeds will go towards the school system”. Pffft! Maybe 10% went to the kids, the other 90% was dumped into increasing administrative roles and other bureaucratic waste. Teacher salaries didn’t really benefit from this influx of cash and student performance did not improve in any measurable metric.

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