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Should lawmakers act to give teachers better pay?

Kids playing on a playground at school.
Kids playing on a playground at school.
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images for Laureus

Most teachers are highly invested in their careers, becoming educators because they're passionate about teaching and preparing their students for the future. Should the very people we rely on to educate our children have to work second, sometimes even third jobs just to make end meet to do this crucial job, for doing far more than just an honest day’s work?

Most teachers today also pay for ongoing training and over 90% buy school supplies out of their own pockets. Examples of financial stress and strain can be found all over the country which has been forcing high quality educators to walk away from their jobs. Is this the reward we want our teachers to get for teaching small children and even college age students for all their hard work and devotion? Will it drive students to higher levels of success?

Teachers deserve more pay

Can you think of another profession where professionals end up using their own money to perform their job's appropriately? Why should teachers have to when most of them make far less than other professionals like lawyers, CPA's, secretary's; you get the picture.

A lot of teachers not only spend their money on school supplies, many even help out their students who don't have money for their lunches or even to get home; this is especially common of those that interact with younger children. Of course teacher's aren't forced to pay for these things, but many of their student's in poor school districts don't even get breakfast before school, so they end up providing them with snacks at school and transportation in some cases.

Seeking financial donations

Growing numbers of teachers are using their free time to seek financial donations for school supplies including the basics as well as computers and funds for science fairs, field trips and supplies for specific projects. With only around 9% of K-12 education funds being provided by the federal government, most of the funding for our schools come from local and state funding and the requests for funding from teachers continues to grow according to's CEO Charles Best. DonorsChoose is an online nonprofit charity group that connects teachers and donors for projects and school supplies.

Most people don't realize that even college educators aren't paid what they’re worth and while pay at the collegiate level is higher, it's still difficult to live on which, when you consider how much the students and their parents pay for a college education, it makes you wonder why. Part time professors have said that many of their salaries aren't much more than minimum wage.

It's hard to believe that some of the country's poorest people work for higher education institutions, and a lot of them are faculty members. Sure, there are faculty members who earn comfortable middle class wages, however most do not. Many of these underpaid teachers are taking on a part time jobs to make ends meet and they now comprise around 74% of the country's college teachers as well.

It seems to me that one of the best ways we can show our appreciation for our teachers is to actually pay them what they're worth.

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