Monday, July 17, 2017

Teacher Pay Penalty Driving Educators Away From Profession

Teacher Pay Penalty Driving Educators Away From Profession:

Teacher Pay Penalty Driving Educators Away From Profession



Randy Pontius makes less money now as an Indiana social studies teacher than he did when he started 15 years ago.
“I know of no other profession where you have that many years of experience and have consistently received evaluations of highly effective or effective and your pay goes down rather than up,” he says.
After eight years in the classroom in Hamlet, Indiana, Pontius was laid off because of budget cuts. When he began teaching at his current school he was offered a first year teacher salary of $34,000 despite his prior experience. He now earns just $40,000 a year after 15 years in the classroom and a masters degree.
“With three kids ages 9, 10 and 11 and my wife to support, I have definitely thought of leaving the teaching profession to better support my family,” Pontius says.
The average teacher salary in Indiana is $45,841 according to the latest research, one of the lowest in the nation. The rate of teacher attrition is also among the highest with 18 percent leaving the profession during the 2015-1026 school year.
But low pay isn’t the only reason educators leave. Pontius says he and his colleagues are fed up with the enormous pressure they are under to have their students perform on unreliable, high-stakes tests. Job stress on top of the stress of making ends meet becomes overwhelming resulting in educator burn out.

The Teacher Pay Penalty

“Wages for teachers have been falling relative to comparable workers all over the country for many years,” says Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute. “Teachers were paid two percent less [than comparable workers] in 1994, Teacher Pay Penalty Driving Educators Away From Profession:

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