HI54UNI wrote:Putting more money into schools is generally just dumping it down a rathole because more money almost always means more strings attached requiring stupid stuff that doesn't help kids. We've actually had a big push in Iowa the last couple of years to reduce red tape and other bureaucratic issues for schools. That has actually played pretty well with our Republican legislature and governor and we have seen some positive changes.
Some teachers should be paid more but there needs to be a differentiation between disciplines rather than just paying all teachers more. History and PE teachers are easy to find. Math, science, and industrial tech teachers are hard to find. Yet under a lot of union contracts they are all paid the same. If you're a math whiz why would you become a teacher when you can go be an actuary and make 50%+ more?
And when it comes to teacher salaries you have to keep in mind that most are probably on 190 day contracts +/- a few days. Most people work 230-240 days +/- based on 260 work days per year less 10ish holidays and 2-4 weeks vacation. So a teacher making $50k gets paid an equivalent of $63k at a regular job when you compare the number of days worked. And benefit packages should also be part of the comparison when looking at teacher salaries.
Ibanez wrote:I don't know about $80-90k but teachers should be paid more. More money should be put into schools. And it should be easier to oust bad teachers and retain/promote the good ones. Why wouldn't we want to give the majority of kids in this country the best education?
90% of people who go into teaching do it because it's "easy" and they get summers off. There's not many who have a burning desire to be a great teacher/mentor. The inability to rid the system of those leeches is 90% of the problem.
I spent 5 years substitute teaching and while I definitely experienced teachers who got into it because they thought it would be easy it was nowhere near 90%. Most teachers want to do a good job but are handcuffed by the system (too rigid of a curriculum, too much testing rather than teaching, too little discipline/consequences, too large of class sizes, etc.).
Teachers in strong union districts can make a really good salary but it's based on longevity not the quality of their teaching. Starting salaries for teachers tend to be low so the profession doesn't always attract the best candidates. The impact of longevity on salary makes moving to a new district a tougher decision which is too bad because teaching can burn you out and a change of scenery could reinvigorate an experienced teacher.
Fiver is right about the varying salaries. History majors don't have as many options as Math and Science majors. From my experience teachers also spend a lot of their own money on their classroom and their students (especially in lower-income districts) and they can spend their evenings grading papers and preparing lessons for the next day or week (I know a lot of other salaried jobs require evening and weekend work). And that $50K might project out to $63K in a full year but a teacher that wants to work over the summer to make extra money is probably looking at a job in the $10-20/hour range depending on where they live.
Education is critical to the long-term success of the US and it's gotten worse over the last few decades so we need to look outside the box on how to fix it. Throwing money at the problem without really changing anything isn't the solution but strategically investing money in the right ways might be. Let's let state and local governments try different things like what Fiver talked about and see what works rather than having the federal government dictate a one-size-fits-all solution.