Teacher Salaries

It is generally known that teacher salaries are extremely low. Yet teacher salaries make up the majority of education expenditures in the united states, developing really a conundrum. If teachers are paid more, education rates will skyrocket. Most american states and local governments will not have the means to afford it. Still at exactly the same time, can anybody really afford the hidden expense of very low teacher pay?

The first thing to know about teacher pay is that it does vary from state to state. Some of the worst performing states and districts in the country hold the largest teacher salaries. So it is not good to claim that there’s a dollar-for-dollar correlation between higher teacher pay and positive educational outcomes.

The reasons for this trend are manifold. First and the majority certainly, the price of living varies in different regions of the country. A first year teacher in New York City, making more than $40,000 a year, may not be more effective off than a first year teacher in Mississippi, making lower than $20,000. The money simply does not go as far in York that is new. So it is crucial to keep in your mind that teacher salaries do and really should change depending on the area cost of living.


Another reason we see terrible correlation between educational outcomes and teacher salaries is that not all teaching work is equal. The work that a professor does in a failing Bronx high school may not compare at all on the work done by a teacher in a well-run, middle class suburban school, in terms of workload. Teaching at risk children is incredibly hard work. One regrettable thing about teacher salaries is they don’t reflect this difference. Teachers who are working with the most challenging pupils under the most challenging of circumstances get compensated the same salaries as those who are working in much more favorable conditions.

So is it good to say that paying teachers more money won’t create a positive change and won’t improve education? Not really. Teachers do need to have higher salaries. It will improve education in America in case they do. And the logic is very simple. Higher teacher salaries are going to attract far more qualified people to the field. Administrators are going to be able to hire from the cream of the crop, as opposed to settling for candidates who were not qualified to do much better.

Furthermore, higher teacher salaries helps keep the very best and most effective teachers at the highest need schools. Right now, about half of all the new teachers leave the public college system within 5 years. Just how many brilliant, competent and eager teachers have been driven away by the low salary? Let’s stop the bleeding away of teachers which are effective, lastly pay them what they are actually worth.
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