Quoted from zr11990:
I could go into a tirade about some athlete who is often enough nothing more than a thug getting paid millions of dollars to play a game when teachers, who are trying to prepare future generations for the life ahead of them get paid 50-60 thousand a year to put up with more abuse than you can imagine. Last week a 2nd grader punched my daughter and told her the shut the fuck up and nothing happened to him. Or the fact that cops and firemen get paid nothing. Or I could say that because of the huge salaries of athletes it costs $100 for a seat in the nosebleeds for a football game. But, that's my opinion.
I won't argue that athletes could live with getting paid less and teachers more. However it is indicative of our society that we value entertainment and celebrity more than education or public safety. Pay is always relative. Athletes makes obscene money compared to teachers because there are:
1) much fewer of them (scarcity)
2) the people above them (team owners, GMs, TV advertising Execs, etc) all make EVEN more money. The pie that gets split up is much larger than what we as a society have collectively been willing to contribute to the public works sectors. More money in and industry, higher salaries.
My point is this though. Much like athletes knowing what other athletes get paid has led them all to receive more money, and allows to have better negotiating points in their contracts. The same could happen in the education sector if all salaries were public knowledge. If a school board administrator made 100k/year and all of the teachers made 30-40k/year, they could leverage that fact if it were public knowledge. Same could be said of firefighters or police officers. Knowing what their bosses make, and what the bosses of bosses make always helps the individual worker and will increase pay. By not having exact knowledge of pay rates throughout the system, they are hamstrung and left to mire only in speculation. More knowledge is always power.
Hidden knowledge only ever benefits the holder of the resource : be it a pinball machine, a used car, or the public school/fire district budget. Make all expenses and salaries open knowledge and that will not allow those few with the power holding the resource to pilfer the lion's share for themselves.
Transparency about money shines a light in the darkness and doesn't allow cretins and crooks to hide in the shadows.