Mia Love's current education plan includes bringing the Department of Education's salaries in line with Utah teacher's salaries. It said so on a TV ad I saw tonight. It says so on her web site. She even said so to the Salt Lake Tribune, as captured in this video:
It sounds nice, doesn't it? However, the reality is going to be difficult. First, let's look at how much an employee at DoEd makes. According to Politifact, the average DoEd salary is somewhere in the neighborhood of $103,000. How does that compare to the average Utah Teacher Salary? According to the Daily Herald, the average Utah Teacher salary comes in at just under $50,000.
However, a dollar in Utah gets you further than a dollar in Washing DC, where those DoEd workers live. According to this Cost of Living Calculator for CNN Money, Someone making $50,000 in Salt Lake City Would have to make $73,578 to have the same level of living in Washington DC.
And, I won't even touch worrying about education requirements or anything else at this point. Nor will I talk about the logistics of cutting someone's salary by half or even a quarter.
However, if Mayor Love wants to look at some expensive salaries, one need look no further than right here in Utah (all of these salaries include benefits):
The Assistant City Manager in Saratoga Springs makes $118,000. He is the 6th-highest paid person on Saratoga Spring's payroll. (source)
The State Superintendent for public schools is costing the state of Utah $250,000 (or over 2 DoEd employees or 5 Utah teachers) (source)
UTA's Rail Service General manager is costing us $511,000 (or 5 DoEd employees or 10 Utah Teachers). (source)
And, let's remember that, should she win next week, Mayor Love's salary will be $174,000. Significantly higher than that of a typical DoEd staffer. And over 3 times the salary of a Utah teacher.
Maybe we should bring Congressional salaries in line with Utah teacher's salaries.