In a recent publication (PDK50, 2018), they report that parents increasingly don’t want their children to grow up to be teachers because the pay is so low. Unfortunately, it’s too easy to not increase teachers’ pay because their salaries are paid by taxes, rather than directly, and the results of their work are not immediately observable. It creates an easy target for reducing allocations in budgets.
But how many educators are in politics?
Unfortunately, not many teachers are in politics – it’s a significant career change. But without their voices represented directly, decision makers can not only adjust salaries without realizing the implications in the classroom but education policy can also suffer from top-down decision making where politicians, instead of teachers, are defining parameters. These two issues may seem isolated to those with children but instead, they are more accurately described as national issues because when our children of tomorrow only have access to the lowest cost, technically acceptable education that is defined by individuals who don’t have a background in education…we create a long term problem for employers, social security recipients, and defense. Without young people working, the social security pots are not replenished. Without building resilience into our youth and other social and emotional skills, the ripple effect of adult decision making and emotional issues becomes a greater problem.
The teachers of Los Angeles have finally had enough and taken to the streets to remind us all that we need to support them, their salaries, and respect and appreciate their abilities to encourage and empower the next generation.
Thank you to all our teachers – WE LOVE YOU!!!