“Teachers should make $100,000 per year: Here is how.”
By Leo Cole January 2, 2012 10:30 am
When I first started teaching in the 80’s, my principal told me that education was the place to be for all the right reasons and that very soon the salaries would increase to reflect our worth as educators.
The school system I worked for in those years was one of the highest paying counties in the state and starting salaries were about $18,000 per year.
Fast forward 30 years later and the starting salaries for teachers are around $33-40K per year. Almost twice as much as then but with the cost of living changes in the last couple of decades, entry to mid level teaching salaries are still at or below city sanitation workers, enlisted military soldiers, truck drivers and prison guards.
We educate the nation and are expected to produce citizens capable of regaining our foothold in technology, math and the sciences, but we are relegated to an economic life of worry over day-to-day expenses.
It’s time to change this once and for all. Other great societies know and understand the importance of education and make sacrifices or allowances to obtain the best educators in their perspective fields. With the economic divide so prevalent between the rich and the poor, the middle class teacher is being pushed down to the lower middle or poor class.
This is wrong and should stop now! Large public schools systems are no longer needed in our high-speed technology driven society. Local school district departments can be all but eliminated through contracted services and efficient software programs. We must rethink educational infrastructure in the coming years and streamline those departments and warehouses which are no longer cost-effective or can be run more efficiently. Teacher salaries can be supplemented with the elimination of many now obsolete departments and previously allocated cash can go to higher teaching salaries.
Teachers can weather academic assessments and accountability hurdles with confidence and bad teachers should be sorted out. But if we want the best for our students and our country, let’s also want the best for its legion of dedicated educators. Let’s move teachers to upper middle class by paying them salaries that will help pay back their student loans with ease and allow them to raise their families in the best spirit of America’s work smart, study hard can do credo. Sure $100K salaries maybe a few years away, but $50K starting salaries should and can happen now!
I am sure that probably a great number of our best educators left the field to make sure that their families were secure, safe and healthy financially; never to return to help produce the next group of great citizens in our country’s history.
“So teachers, principals, parents and congressmen, take out your PPD and occupy education!”
Leo Cole is an educator, artist, entrepreneur, musician, and blogger