IEA president's salary comparison was faulty

Posted2/5/2014 5:00 AM

In the Jan. 26 edition of the Daily Herald, Illinois Education Association President Cinda Klickna had a half-page advertisement titled, "The Ingredients for Better Schools." In it Ms. Klickna states that there are " ... core areas that directly impact our classrooms." Ms. Klickna goes on to say, "These include teacher preparation, salaries, and funding." As usual this is just another plea for more taxpayer money.

Ms. Klickna goes on to state that "Finland continues to excel in education thanks to several key initiatives and programs." She says that one of these initiatives is " ... teacher salaries that compare to doctors ... ". Yet according to, this is far from reality. The average gross monthly salary of a general physician in Finland is $6,996 (amounts are in 2005 U.S. dollars) while the average gross monthly teacher salary in Finland is $3,635 -- 51 percent of a physician's salary.

In addition, there is an article on the Scholastic website titled "Finland is #1!" that is about a group of educators who went to Finland to review the education system. The article refers to a member of Ms. Klickna's national union: "A member of the National Education Association on the CoSN trip inquired about the teacher salaries, no doubt expecting that Finnish counterparts would be better paid. But it wasn't the case. Salaries are roughly comparable, and in total Finland spends about $1,200 less per student than the United States' $8,700 per-pupil average."

Ms. Klickna's contention that teachers in Finland are paid salaries comparable to doctors is just not true. It is appalling that our education leadership has to resort to such tactics in their unending quest for more taxpayer money.

Ken Hofrichter

Elk Grove Village

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