I have long been a proponent of the idea that teachers are the unsung heroes of the world. Outside of our own parents, very often, teachers are the ones to shape us throughout our formative years, and those lessons mold us into who we will become for the rest of our lives.
It seems like an impossible task with so much pressure to get it right when your job is to educate and inspire the young minds of each new generation that will take the mantle and lead the country. That’s why it’s always been so strange to learn how little money teachers earn and how little support they get from the federal government; many of them even buying their own school supplies with their personal money. There is something wrong with that picture on a national level.
There will be a new day of much-deserved respect and compensation on the horizon for teachers though if Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has his way and lands the highest office in America.
According to a new report from Yahoo Finance News, Buttigieg has a distinct vision of increasing salaries of teachers, starting with the conviction that he would like to see educators paid more “like doctors” and honored “like soldiers.”
Of course, as with any major legislative proposal, the inevitable question will be, “how do we pay for this?” To answer that, Buttigieg has released a released K-12 education, including budget and salaries, he would work to implement if he were to become the 46th President of the United States.
A few of the highlights from Buttigieg’s education plan are as follows:
Buttigieg’s proposal would:
- eliminate the wage gap for Title I teachers.
- Teachers currently earn an average of $30,666 a year, according to payscale Under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Title I provides funding to the states and districts that want to improve education for children from low-income families.
- support strong unions for educators and staff.
- establish the Education Access Corps to prepare and retain future educators and provide high-quality teacher preparation programs that would serve as teaching academies.
- reduce the number of years of service required for teachers to be eligible for loan forgiveness: Three years of teaching would result in their loans forgiven by 25%, and fully forgiven after 7 years.
Personally, I am all for this because it seems counterproductive for a nation to not re-invest in the fundamental educational needs of its citizens. Teachers, knowing the salary limitations, still decide to pursue this as a career.
Many teachers go far beyond just lessons. They become mentors, they can help assess a child’s welfare at home, and sometimes they have to confront combative and disruptive students while still trying to maintain order in their classrooms. Again, this career choice is entirely voluntary, and they should be compensated far better than they are today for such a commitment to our societal development.
Read the full story with details of Pete Buttigieg’s educational plan at Yahoo Finance