A lot more third-grade boys are about to get crushes on their teachers in Buffalo, New York as the city has instituted a program that allows teachers to get plastic surgery and pass the bill onto the city. All 3,400 Buffalo public school teachers are permitted to get any cosmetic procedure they wish without price limits. The program will create a projected $42 million deficit in the Buffalo Board of Education’s 2013 budget.
The teacher’s union is using the controversial plastic surgery benefit program as a bargaining chip to get better pay for teachers in Buffalo, who have attempted to get pay raises over the past nine years since their contract expired.
How much a teacher should be paid is a matter on which reasonable people can disagree. And whether or not a teacher is entitled to tax-funded cosmetic surgery is a matter of political ideology. Police and firefighters in Buffalo are entitled to similar plastic surgery benefits, an issue that is considered less controversial.
However, it’s hard to argue that $42 million dollars might not be better spent on bettering an American public school program that now ranks only “average” in the world according to a recent OECD report. The U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan called the report, “An absolute wake-up call for America.”
The report compares the knowledge of 15-year-olds in 70 countries around the world. American 15-year-olds ranked 14th out of 34 for reading, 17th out of 34 for science and 25th out of 34 for math. The United States also ranks third to last in percentage of 15-year-olds enrolled in school, above only Turkey and Mexico. The rankings do not take into account how sexy the teachers are.