Will students fail if teachers can’t make a living wage?

Pressured out of the middle class — is that what a master’s degree and 16 years of experience get you as a teacher in America?

I wasn’t surprised to read about educators struggling financially, and not just because it was one of the biggest sticking points in recent teacher-contract negotiations in New York City and Anchorage, Alaska, and because it’s an ongoing point of contention in Los Angeles as well as Illinois and Wisconsin.

I was one of a dozen classroom teachers who helped to develop and analyze Educators for Excellence’s Voices from the Classroom, a national survey of over 1,000 teachers, which found that economic concerns are top of mind for today’s teachers. In their responses to survey questions, teachers expressed anxiety not only about salaries, but also about how the distribution of school resources creates deep inequities in our education system.


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