Teachers deserve to be paid more

Jason Adams, Courier Staff

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Recent media attention has been drawn to Oklahoma where teachers across the state are about to go on strike which could lead some schools to be shut down indefinitely according to a recent report from CNN. The reason for the strike is obvious, the teachers and school administrators feel like the school faculty aren’t getting paid enough. The state recently passed legislation to raise teacher salaries but many teachers feel that the compromise that was made wasn’t enough. Even with the raise, they’ll still be struggling to make ends meet. Recent videos have been published online that are spreading that feature teachers and all the additional work they have to do to make ends meet. One teacher interviewed worked a total of six jobs including being a full time high school math teacher, bus driver, coach, umpire and lyft and uber driver. He rarely comes home in time to put his kids to bed.

Although this is only referring to one state, teacher salaries are still a problem across the country. Oklahoma has just the worst of it. Even with the $6100 raise reported from CNN, Oklahoma barely escapes the lowest 10 percent of states for teacher salary according to a report from CNBC last year. Those wages still aren’t enough to solely support a family depending on the area you live in. Teaching requires a lot of time and a lot of involvement. You would figure that they would be paid enough where the can focus solely on that, but that’s not the case. Teachers are having to take extra jobs just to make ends meet which pulls focus away from the classroom. Some states are losing teachers who are going to neighboring states that pay more so they can support their family better. It’s a sad reality but they are doing what’s best for their family.

Teachers are in an important position where they work with our future and try to help them prepare for the world when they graduate. Their job is to give their students the knowledge and the resources they need to succeed in the real world and be prepared for life. Yet it’s a career that for the isn’t taken very seriously. Anytime there’s a budget deficit, one of the first cuts we see usually comes out of education. It’s gotten so bad to the point where teacher strikes have become such a common event. Coming from the Chicago area and having an uncle who used to work for Chicago Public Schools, teacher walkouts were something seen in the local news quite frequently. I mean at this rate teacher walkouts are a holiday that CPS students plan for. So why are we willing to pay people who deal with our children and future so little when they have such an important role to play? Mostly greed. Our school system in the U.S. is beyond screwed up in a variety of ways, but this is still something that should have been fixed a long time ago.

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