I know. I’m a teacher, and, of course, I would be asking for more money because I don’t feel appreciated… blah… blah… blah. That’s NOT what this is about. This is about education as a whole.
We live in a capitalistic society that places value on things of higher worth. For example, if I drive a $12,000 car and my neighbor drives a $45,000 car, his car must be better than mine, right? A really good baseball player is going to get a contract worth more money than an average baseball player. Value equals more money. If you pay more for something, you expect it to be better than if you pay less.
What is more valuable than our children’s education? So, if towns offered higher salaries, they’d get better teachers, especially in those STEM subjects that tend to attract experts in their fields AWAY from teaching because they can make more in a lab somewhere. This seems to be simple incentive-based economics, but instead districts do exactly the opposite, offering as small salaries as possible or trying to cut as many benefits as possible.
Why? Why do something so counter-productive to the education of our children? Short-term monetary gains, a.k.a. GREED. The more money you put into education, the higher your taxes go. This is why greedy, anti-public school people are advocating for charters, which are basically private schools that receive partial-public funding. This means lower taxes, more money in rich people’s pockets. Poor people don’t pay a lot in taxes anyway. They aren’t contributing large sums of money to public education, but they benefit the most from good education, because that is what helps many poor kids rise out of poverty.
So, politicians and bureaucrats sacrifice better education for ALL children in exchange for more money in their pockets. They don’t care. They can afford private school. But what they don’t realize is that this is only a short-term benefit. By underfunding public schools, particularly teachers, people reduce the quality of teachers in their schools, getting mainly inexperienced teachers or ones that can’t get jobs anywhere else, who only stay a short time and then move on to districts that are willing to pay. This lowers the quality of schools, which, of course affects the property values of a town, bring them lower since people won’t want to live in a place that they wouldn’t send their kids to school. So, taxes go down, but true value of investment also goes down. Not to mention what happens when generations of children grow up poorly educated. They wind up unable to fully contribute to society and American society rots away some more. Gradually, yes, and some kids who go to private schools that can afford to focus on education will survive and succeed, but the majority will decline.
So, save the US and pay teachers more.