Sunday, May 19, 2013

What About Teacher Pay?

A poster calling herself "Sally Gooden" made the following remark on the TimesDaily site today in reference to salaries in education:

Lets put this in perspective. Working as a Special Needs paraprofessional, in Lauderdale County my yearly compensation is approximately $12,000. I fully support folks that go to work everyday being paid a living wage. Trust me when tell you this is NOT true when it comes to education employees within the state of Alabama. Most must work at least ONE additional job JUST to keep the utilities from being turned off. Morale is low, workers are exhausted as a result of burning the candle at both ends. A ONE PERCENT cost of living raise to someone making $12,000 comes to $120. That computes to a whopping $10 a month. We are struggling with whether to cut the grass once a month or take the kids for a treat at McDonalds wth our increased income. Thank you Gov. Bentley! As you once said, "you are a FRIEND of education. Now, those of you that do not know the true reality of the situation.......THE FLOOR IS YOURS.......!!

Let's look at Sally's faulty logic. First Sally calls herself a paraprofessional; that means she has no teaching degree, but works as an "aide," if they still use that term. It also means she has two to three months each year, plus other large blocks of time, when she's free to work elsewhere if she chooses.

Second, let's take Sally's logic a step farther. Let's look at physicians. A friend of ours has commented that many of his profession have done without for so long, they overspend when they first set up practice. These doctors invariably spend every cent they make. Are they underpaid?

What about those other misunderstood doctors? Yes, we mean those of the juris doctor persuasion. Years ago a local attorney became seriously ill and was forced to sell his home and possessions in order to pay medical bills. The home was in a somewhat exclusive area and the estate sale offered gold and platinum jewelry. Was he underpaid or did he just overspend without thought for the future or was it both?

How about those who are actually teachers? We once heard of a male teacher who often stated if he were married to someone who didn't work and had three children, his offspring would be eligible for reduced price lunches. Hmmmm. In reality, he wasn't married and had no one but himself to support.

While we're sure most people do the best they can financially, let's remember that teacher aides are not the only ones in the state who are underpaid. The private sector in Alabama is not known for excessively high wages. Most individuals with more than one degree or advanced certification work more than one job. For some it's a balancing act. Some do work seven days a week to bring in the income they desire (notice we didn't say need).

Are teachers underpaid? Not to the degree they once were. If any readers are visualizing their grandmothers teaching in a one-room school house for a few dollars each month, just check out the current salaries those in the education field make. Teachers in the Shoals area know going in that the education field is one of several in the area that don't have enough positions for each graduate. It's a crap shoot. Can it be fixed? Not with the current economy and the law of supply and demand.


And now a little Sally Goodin for ya:


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