By Halie Wingo
Teacher pay is currently way too low and extremely unfair for the things that they have to deal with on a daily basis. Teachers deserve a higher salary for the amount of work they do to educate the future generation of leaders and workers. They are some of the most important and vital people in the community and deserve to be fairly compensated for the difficult work they do.
Public school teachers often have to get second or even third jobs to support themselves and/or their families. According to edweek.org, one in five teachers have to get second jobs to make ends meet. Several teachers at WCHS choose to get jobs at restaurants, stores or other businesses in the community after their day is over at school so they can afford to pay for what they want or need. According to the74million.org, in 2017, 80 percent of the teachers with a master’s degree and five years of experienced analyzed could not comfortably afford their mortgage and new teachers cannot even afford to rent a one-bedroom apartment. This is obviously an issue for many teachers and many are open about having multiple jobs. Some make it apparent that they need to have these jobs for more money. Teachers in many states, including Indiana, have fixed salaries and can either choose to receive their pay through a full year, or for only the school year while they are working and not receive pay over the breaks or during summer.
According to nwtimes.com, teachers make around $54,308 per year on average. That is a completely unfair salary for the amount of work they put into educating children and working in and out of school. Many teachers stay after school for hours grading, making lesson plans, meeting with other teachers and tutoring students, then take more work home to make sure it gets done, all without receiving any overtime pay. Teachers have to deal with issues like disrespectful students and rude parents, so they deserve better pay for the hard work they have to put in. Teachers have to get students involved and excited for school and, for some students, they will not participate and get involved. A teacher’s job is to educate students, but the students who refuse to participate make their job extremely difficult. Teachers also have to worry about students’ standardized testing scores as well to keep their jobs which, again, is completely unfair. Science teacher Brittany Hogue has a second job working at Brain Balance of Greenwood. She said she works there three times a week for around 12 hours a week on top of the 40+ hours she works at WCHS through the week. She works for around 8 hours at school, goes to a second job several days a week, and then goes home to grade and repeat it all the next day.
Though people in the community pay taxes that go to the teachers, according to teach-nology.com, teachers are still treated poorly by people and are not paid well. The people that threaten teachers by saying “I pay your salary,” are being extremely unfair and rude. They are angrily lashing out at teachers by saying that they “pay them” but in reality, most of their tax dollars go to other things, not necessarily the teachers their child has. Mainly, the people in wealthier areas are the ones paying the most in property taxes that go to teachers, so not every tax dollar every person pays goes right to teachers. Though taxes may rise in the community for public schools to give teachers higher pay, it is well deserved. Although some people can’t afford to pay more in taxes, they should be raised at least a small amount to give each teacher a little bit more money each year.
Teacher pay is unreasonably low for the amount of work they do and how hard they work for students’ education. Students and parents treat these educators horribly and they aren’t compensated fairly for the work they do. Teachers deserve more for educating the future leaders of the state and the future of the entire country. Teachers prepare students for their lives as adults and do not gain enough credit for their hard work.