How much should teachers be paid?

We can’t afford their proper salary

If we were to pay teachers commensurate with the importance of their job, they would make $100,000 or more. After all, what is more important than the future of our children? But this is not realistic. We are already demanding that our government lower our debt without raising our taxes, so how can we also expect the salaries of public servants to be raised to where they should be? If we assume that teachers are not in the job to get rich, but rather because they love teaching and want to impart knowledge to our children, then we can get down to discussing a more realistic salary. A beginning teacher with a bachelor degree should make at least $35,000, and a beginning teacher with a master’s should make slightly more. An experienced teacher should definitely be making $50,000 to $60,000 a year or more, depending on where she or he lives.” —DeLena Jones

Not all teachers are equal

“My biggest frustration as a school board member was not being able to reword excellent performance and give incentives to bring poor performers up to speed. You can’t say a teacher with specific qualification should receive $40,000. I have seen teachers with under 4 years’ experience and a bachelor’s far outperform teachers with twice the experience and a master’s. Teachers should be paid what they are worth on an individual basis given their performance, and some are not worth $30,000. Some are worth far more.” —Kevin Strand, network technical support specialist, Douglas School District

More than the cost of a prisoner

“Teachers should be paid at least as much as the annual per-capita prisoner cost in their state. In my state it averages $54,000 each. There is ample evidence showing the relation between student failure and incarceration. Ask the prison planners who base their projections on fourth-grade reading scores.” —Ted March

No less than an administrator

Building and district administrators and district-level staff should make no more than classroom teachers, if that much. Many times, resources meant for the education of our children are wasted on top-heavy, cumbersome central office bureaucracies, which is rarely what the taxpayers had in mind.” —Marian Royal Vigil, librarian, Socorro High School, N.M.

Meris Stansbury

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