Philadelphia columnist Will Bunch couldn’t believe the onerous, mean-spirited proposal made by school officials to the city’s teachers. They are asked to accept a cut in pay and benefits, larger classes, a longer work day, and, adding insult to injury, no copying machines or supplies, no water fountains or parking facilities, not even desks.

Students will be in larger classes, in schools with no libraries, no librarians, no guidance counselors, and a corps of beaten-down teachers.

Way to go, School Reform Commission! I am reminded that the best corporations in the United States pamper their employees and make sure they have excellent working conditions. They want their employees to have high morale. In Philadelphia, they want to crush their teachers’ morale. The school officials are not employing a business model, unless they have in mind the 19th century idea of treating workers like scum.

If ever there were conditions for a strike against witless, cruel management, this is it.

Bear in mind that Philadelphia has not had an elected school board in over a decade. The School Reform Commission is appointed by the governor and mayor.

Will they care if there is a mass exodus of teachers? Will they happily employ scabs? Do they care about the quality of education? Or is driving down the cost of teachers more important than anything else?