Underpaid Teachers

“That has become the rallying cry of many of America’s public-school teachers, who have staged walkouts and marches on six state capitols this year. From Arizona to Oklahoma, in states blue, red and purple, teachers have risen up to demand increases in salaries, benefits and funding for public education. Their outrage has struck a chord, reviving a national debate over the role and value of teachers and the future of public education.”

Source: Exactly How Teachers Came to Be So Underpaid in America | Time

According to the article, teachers’ salaries–when adjusted for inflation–are less today than they were in 1990.

I see no excuse for that. My father was a university professor. His salary was probably among the lowest in our neighborhood. My mother was a teacher before she was married. Low pay, of course. I was a teacher and couldn’t make ends meet.

Experts will cite reasons for the small amount of money states spend per pupil and the problems with teacher’s pay. I can boil that down to one reason: we really don’t care enough about our kids to pay for schools that will make a difference. We wonder about drug usage, students addicted to texting, the fact that schools don’t teach more technical (job-oriented) subjects or life skills (how to balance a checkbook) subjects, the fact teachers are being forced to teach the test, and the fact that it’s apparently no longer safe for kids to walk to school forcing somebody to drive them there and pick them up in the middle of the adult workday.

Yes, all those things matter. But we’re not willing to pay what it takes to fix it.

Frankly, I’m tired of hearing the excuses.

–Malcolm

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