School districts across the country face challenges as students reenter the classroom. historic number of teacher vacancies — an estimated 300,000According to the National Education Association, NEA, this is the largest U.S. teacher union.
How are political leaders responding to this? A number of rural Texas areas have moved to a four-day school scheduleThis can create major problems for working parents. Arizona’s new law will address these issues. no longer require a bachelor’s degree For full-time teachers Florida is allowing military veterans To temporarily teach without prior certification. Florida’s Broward County recruited over 100 teachers From the Philippines
These temporary solutions ignore the root causes behind the teacher crisis: low salaries and burnout.
A new Economic Policy Institute report Teachers made 23.5 per cent less than college graduates in 2021, according to the study. That’s the widest gap ever — despite the extraordinary challenges teachers have faced during the pandemic. The gap is even larger in the states with the greatest teacher shortages, such as Arizona, where it reached 32 percent.
Since 1996, the real wages of public school teachers have been virtually flat across the country.
The NEA surveyed teachers earlier in the year. 55 percent They plan to leave the profession sooner that they had planned. A majority of respondents cited burnout as their main concern. 96% supported raising salaries to address this issue.
Some states are getting the message: In New Mexico, lawmakers have instituted minimum teacher salary tiers based on experience — beginning at $50,000 and maintaining a $64,000 median wage. They’re also aiming to codify annual 7 percent raises so that teachers don’t lose ground to inflation.
“These raises represent the difference of being on Medicaid with your family, the difference of having to have a second or third job or doing tutoring work on the side, the difference of driving the bus during the day and having to take extra routes just to make ends meet,” said New Mexico teacher John Dyrcz in a recent interview with More Perfect Union.
Teachers are also using their collective bargaining power in other areas to make their demands known. Teachers in Ohio, Washington state, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C. and Washington, D.C. took part. strike During the first weeks of each academic year.
The educators’ union in Columbus, Ohio demands a simple, public “commitment to modern schools”: not only pay raises but also smaller class sizes, decent air conditioning, adequate funding for the arts and physical education, and caps on numbers of periods taught in a row.
Read one picketer’s sign: “You think we give up easy? Ask how long we wait to PEE!”
Meeting such demands requires public investment. Too many legislators prefer to line the pockets of the wealthy rather than fund our school systems.
2021 will see the following: Columbus Dispatch estimates Schools in the city were denied $51 million by local real estate developers. New York City’s $200 million reduction in school budgets has sparked public outcry in a place where luxury builders have enjoyed a large share of the profits. well over $1 billion in tax breaks each year.
The Columbus teachers union quickly became a reality. “conceptual agreement” with the city’s schools, ending their strike. Let’s hope this is a sign of a turning tide. Through a constant pandemic vicious censorship of curriculaWe cannot afford to continue to cut corners on education and spend our money on the rich, given the rising inequality.