"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804.


Randy Dorn

It was impolitic, true enough, in that people could predictably react negatively, and it wasn’t the whole story, and there are objections. But still.

Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn (first elected not all that long ago, in 2008), evidently isn’t happy about his annual salary of $121,618. (Well, that was before he called it “a good salary,” maybe after rethinking his words.)

Speaking to the House Ways and Means Committee a few days ago, he pointed out that he is paid less than 121 local school superintendents around the state – that’s not just larger urban district, but getting down into small rural ones with few kids, teachers or staff. And he compared his pay to the $9 million that Cliff Lee is paid by the Seattle Mariners to play baseball.

The heavens rained down on Dorn, naturally. And the fact that $121,618 really is a decent salary at least by the standards of most of us.

But there’s a point to reflect on. How much we pay for this or that says something about us. Dorn probably did a bit of a service in pushing the point into the realm of public discussion.

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