Better Pay for Teachers

I’ve always been a proponent of public education and better salaries for teachers. Today that stance has been dealt a severe blow.

I still think teachers deserve better pay, especially those whose classrooms more resemble daycare centers (k-3rd grade, roughly), and those teaching in areas where it’s literally dangerous for them to show up for work each day. However, it would appear from the linked article that teachers need first to get back some of their union dues, and a hefty settlement against the fraudulent organization that claims to represent them. I’m sure any working teacher in the country would happily accept a fair portion of the $65 million wasted on the likes of Jesse Jackson, et. al.

The problem here is that organizations such as the NEA have lost any interest they may have had in supporting their members, and have turned into a politically driven sideshow.

No wonder the liberals hate the Bush Whitehouse so much. As long as the President keeps appointing people like Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao to his cabinet, their little shell game becomes more and more exposed.

OpinionJournal – Featured Article

If we told you that an organization gave away more than $65 million last year to Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Amnesty International, AIDS Walk Washington and dozens of other such advocacy groups, you’d probably assume we were describing a liberal philanthropy. In fact, those expenditures have all turned up on the financial disclosure report of the National Education Association, the country’s largest teachers union.

Under new federal rules pushed through by Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, large unions must now disclose in much more detail how they spend members’ dues money. Big Labor fought hard (if unsuccessfully) against the new accountability standards, and even a cursory glance at the NEA’s recent filings–the first under the new rules–helps explain why. They expose the union as a honey pot for left-wing political causes that have nothing to do with teachers, much less students.
When George Soros does this sort of thing, at least he’s spending his own money. The NEA is spending the mandatory dues paid by members who are told their money will be used to gain better wages, benefits and working conditions. According to the latest filing, member dues accounted for $295 million of the NEA’s $341 million in total receipts last year. But the union spent $25 million of that on “political activities and lobbying” and another $65.5 million on “contributions, gifts and grants” that seemed designed to further those hyper-liberal political goals.


  1. I taught school for 29 years, both elementary school and high school. I have always belonged to NEA, and I’m currently a retired lifetime member. This has always been a source of great distress because of much that NEA has always stood for.

    Why have I given them my money over all these years? Liability insurance!! To work in a school environment without it is suicide. Even now, if I substitute teach, or help out with a special project, I am in danger if someone chooses to sue me, so insurance is an absolute necessity.

  2. I had some great teachers when I was going to public schools, probably about 10% of them. Another 30% or so were good enough. The remainder were pathetic – mostly just not very smart and not able to or interested in teaching. Advocating higher pay for teachers – I don’t think so. How about advocating pay for performance instead. Higher pay for the good one and lower pay for the bad ones.

  3. We don’t need to pay our teachers more until they do a better job at teaching our kids. If a teacher needs higher pay to teach better, we need a different teacher. We also need for our school districts to do a better job at spending the money that the State and Federal Governments allocate for schools.

    Math and sciences are being almost forgotten and it is no wonder why we are falling behind other countries in technological advances.

  4. In response to those against higher pay for teachers – how about if higher standards are applied at the same time? I understand the concerns about quality teaching, but to think you’ll get better teachers without offering incentive is counterintuitive.

    Raise the pay. Raise the standards.

    Then maybe we can have it better all around.

  5. Like I said if a teacher needs more money to be a better teacher they are in the wrong profession. I beleive in outcome based compensation for teachers. if your student perform then your compensation increases.

  6. I understand what you said, Jon – I simply countered with the suggestion of using the same tactics used in any other industry. When you want better performers, you have to give them incentives.

    Bad teachers do not deserve more money, but good potential teachers are not going to be lured away from corporate jobs (or private school positions) without incentives.

    I don’t think we disagree here, since the ultimate objective is to provide a better education for American children. I just think you’re stalled at the thought of the lousy teachers you’re familiar with getting a pay raise.

  7. Jonathan,

    You are right, I can’t agree withan across the board payraise that rewards poor teachers. I do however agree with your point if we need to lure high quality teachers away from a current non teaching job in order to improve the quality our schools than I would be all for incentives.

Comments are closed.