The typical starting salary for teachers should be $40,000, the head of the country's largest education union said Sunday, pledging a renewed fight for higher pay.
But the National Education Association's challenge is enormous. Not a single state pays its new instructors an average of $40,000, with the U.S. average hovering close to $30,000 for beginning teachers, according to the American Federation of Teachers, another teachers union.
NEA president Reg Weaver, speaking to reporters at the union's annual meeting, said his officers will work with their state and local chapters to lobby state leaders and school boards.
Weaver, poised to begin his second three-year term as the union's president, said higher pay for veteran teachers and classroom aides will also be a political priority for the NEA. No cost for the ideas was given, but they would likely require hundreds of millions of dollars or more.
"The issue is where the money is going to come from," Weaver said. "And to respond to that, my answer is I don't care. I don't care where the money comes from. Because when this country thinks and decides that something is important, they find the money."
Teacher pay has long been a point of contention within education. Salaries are often seen as an important reason why schools struggle to hire and keep teachers, which is particularly true for young instructors, men and minorities, Weaver said. But an increasing number of states and districts want to make classroom performance or student scores a bigger factor in teacher pay.
Source: Yahoo News
It amazes me that teachers, whose hands nurture our most valuable assets, are payed so little, while sports stars and celebrities are paid millions and millions of dollars for work that is clearly less important. In this age of globalization we need to strengthen our education system and raising the starting salary of teachers, so that more people are interested in becoming teachers, would be a step in the right direction.