January 19, 2020

What's Really Going On with Teacher Salaries?

“When education-reform activist Sarah Carpenter expressed skepticism about Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s plan to quadruple federal Title I funding for schools, Ms. Warren’s reply was remarkable.

“Listen, I understand that,” the senator said backstage after a November rally in Atlanta. “I got an increase in Child Development Block Grants of 85%, and I told all of my folks back in Massachusetts, ‘You’re gonna get an 85% raise at all of our little child-development centers.’ You know how much of a raise they got? Zero! Somehow it all went to the state government and never made it down.”

This is an amazing admission. It raises questions not only about Ms. Warren’s and her rivals’ proposals, but also the across-the-board increases in school spending that governors and state legislatures of both parties have undertaken in response to teacher strikes.

Red for Ed, the union-backed effort to raise teacher pay, has made state officials—especially Republicans—their bogeymen. Through strikes, sick-outs and rallies at state capitols, Red for Ed is pressuring lawmakers to open the spending spigots. Their tactics appear to be working, as even fiscally conservative governors such as Arizona’s Doug Ducey and Florida’s Ron DeSantis have proposed to raise teacher pay substantially.

Governors are convenient targets because they are high-profile politicians who oversee billions of dollars. But the unions know that state officials can do only so much. They don’t determine teachers’ salary schedules or schools’ staffing patterns—local school boards do. But for decades, those boards haven’t made teacher pay a priority.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Picks

"U.S. President Donald Trump thinks he’s suffered more injustice than the alleged witches of Salem, but it could be worse. Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharaff faced possible impeachment in 2008, leading to his resignation. In the end..."

"The 2000s felt like a decade of looking forward. Wi-Fi went mainstream, phones got smarter, social media connected us, digital tools let us rely less on physical ones. But the 2010s brought a shift. There was still tons of new technology, but..."

"While some women experience pregnancy and childbirth as joyful, natural and fulfilling, others find themselves recoiling in horror at the physical demands of carrying and sustaining a child in their womb, and even more so at the potential..."

"A few months ago, the New York Post’s Steve Cuozzo bemoaned the death of the Manhattan power lunch. Gone were the long, decadent afternoons filled with networking and Negronis: “Suit-and-tie-wearing machers in media and Wall Street gave way to..."

"Economic inequality has moved to the top of the political agenda in many countries, including free-market poster children like the US and the UK. The issue is mobilizing the left and causing headaches on the right, where wealth has long been..."

"If you’re not familiar with the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats — or even if you are — then you probably have many, many questions going into the film adaptation this weekend, especially if you’ve witnessed the widespread bafflement the trailer..."

"Despite his precisely targeted campaign and some unexpected support, the chances of Gideon Saar engineering a surprise defeat of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Dec. 26 primaries for the Likud party leadership are still considered modest.."

"Peter Thiel is Big Tech’s most prominent Trump supporter. He is an unabashed enemy of the free press, having covertly funded a lawsuit that bankrupted Gawker three years ago. He has become one of the most vocal pro-monopoly advocates, taking a..."