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Letter to the editor: Enough about teacher pay

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Enough about teacher pay

No, Douglas County property owners should not pay higher taxes for teachers. The recent article “Poll finds most Americans think teachers are underpaid” written by the Associated Press and printed in this paper asserts “Americans overwhelmingly believe teachers don’t make enough money.”

The AP article’s interpretation of the poll, taken during the recent teacher strikes, sides with teachers and advocates their agenda with quotes such as “to educate children and barely make a living is obnoxious” and “I’m a parent and benefit directly from what teachers do.” The statistical findings in the poll may be valid, but the slogan that “figures don’t lie, but liars figure” applies.

The average 2016-17 salary for a public school teacher is $58,950, with spring, fall and Christmas breaks and summers off. The average pay for a school administrator is $69,247. The current national average for a journalist, equally (or more) qualified by education to teach, is $37,000, with one in four without benefits (but they love their jobs and don’t complain).

Teachers don’t start out in the college of education expecting to make high salaries. I know because I married one.

Expectations rise later when they begin socializing with other teachers in the teachers’ lounge. Teachers by nature are risk averse and seek the security they find with labor unions and unabashed claims of righteousness defending what’s best for their children.

Compare teachers with science, business, engineering, and even liberal arts majors, who fill the vast majority of jobs in the private sector, where unlike teachers, they’re compensated for performance.

Smith Young

Parker

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