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According to the U.S. Labor Department, Lawrence School District teacher pay is on par with jobs such as civil engineers, public relations specialists, administrative assistants and janitorial managers. Are teachers paid appropriately?

Response Percent Votes
No, they should be paid more
56% 243
Yes, they are paid appropriately
32% 141
No, they should be paid less
10% 44
Total 428


coolmom 10 years, 9 months ago

they deal with this countries future.

situveux1 10 years, 9 months ago

Pay cops and firefighters more...teachers I'm not on board with. They take work home during the school year but have summers off. Studies have shown that Registered Nurses must have the same level of education and continuing education but on an hourly basis get paid less than teachers. Yes, they shape this countries future, but are nurses any less important? Is police protection any less important? I don't think so, I think they are all important, you can't put one above the other.

If they should be paid more, how much more? What's the magic number that's going to satisfy them? If a magic number can be determined, why weren't raises given when the legislature passed the $1 billion increase in ed funding a couple years ago? The local school districts could have done that, but choose not to. If I was a teacher, I would have been very upset to see all this cash flowing into the district and none of it into my pocket.

In the end, teachers teach because they believe in what they are doing...just like cops and firefighters. The difference is in their respective lobbies. Teachers lobby for more money but then never see any reach their own personal pocket books while cops and firefighters just don't have the lobbying power to get more cash.

Anyway, if teachers deserve more, then I can think of a whole bunch of other folks that deserve more too.

mikeyj 10 years, 9 months ago

situveux1 - the "summers off" argument isn't too applicable anymore for why teachers should be paid less. Most all teachers stay PLENTY busy during the summer with extended education, district meetings, planning, more meetings, etc. People keep whining about the fact that the US is behind other countries in math and science, people whine about class sizes in public schools, people whine about teachers not being there and all kinds of other stuff, but in truth a great majority of teachers start their schoolday at either 7 or 8 o'clock, go home at 5 or 6, often have evening school activities, spend hours planning, grading, talking to parents, working with students, trying to replace students' bad parents and being activists for their students. There's no room for whining unless teachers are paid fairly for ALL that they do. A whole lot rides on teachers, and we definitely won't improve the quality of our teachers unless teaching is a little more lucrative.

The low pay of teachers goes back to the days when only women were teachers and everyone felt it was ok to pay women half as much as men. I don't see how anyone can argue that that kind of logic works in today's society. Teachers (not policemen, firefighters or politicians) build the next generations of our nation. There's a teacher shortage now, and there'll be an even greater shortage in the next decade(s). Making teaching a lucrative career for the best and brightest of our current generations will ensure that the shortage isn't filled by those who see it as a cop-out job.

situveux1 10 years, 9 months ago

I'm sorry, I must have missed the part of my post that said it was okay to pay them less because women shouldn't be paid as much as men. I'm also failing to see the part of my post that complains of class size and student performance. Maybe you've read another post I'm unaware of.

If teachers should be paid more, then tell me how much more? What is an acceptable salary? Is it $70,000/year? What about $90,000/year? How about $150,000/year? Name your price. It's so easy to say they should be paid more for what they do, but when pressed I've never seen anyone name a price. The problem is they can't. It'll never be enough. Just like I don't think I'm paid enough. Even if my salary doubled, eventually I'll think 'It isn't enough!' and want more. That's called being human.

The notion that teachers are more important in our society than police or nurses is flat wrong and very dangerous. Protecting our society and caring for the elderly are just as important as teaching. And in case you haven't noticed, there's a nursing shortage too, but you don't see them clamoring all over the press for more money. That's because they do it because they like the job, just as I'm sure a majority of teachers teach because of the non-monetary rewards they get from it.

And sorry, but the summer off thing is not old, it's accurate. Unless meetings last 40 hours a week, each week during the summer, then they are getting a nice bit of time off. Not to mention every weekend and holiday off as well. Good luck finding a policeman or nurse that gets every weekend and holiday off.

And if they are taking classes for continuing ed then guess what...nurses and doctors and pharmacists and other health care professionals as well as policeman and firefighters are also taking continuing education classes...while they work 40+ hour weeks. So go cry me a river some place else.

Oh yea, and if they do get to class at 7am and leave by 6pm, then they're still working less hours in a day than firefighters, who usually work 24 hour shifts and nurses who work 12 hour shifts.

And finally if you want to whine about student performance because of low teacher pay, then I'm sure you'll join me in advocating for performance based pay increases. What a great way for the public to get more bang for their buck. And by golly, the good teachers get paid more too, how do you like that...just what you were whining...I mean, looking for.

Emily McEnroe 10 years, 9 months ago

coolmom & situveux1:

Please, it's "country's, not "countries." I'm not trying to be a jerk, but such blatant grammatical errors tend to discredit your argument.


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