Everyone agrees that teachers do important work; they handle the futures of our children every year in hopes of giving them the education they need for a brighter tomorrow. Those kids grow up to be doctors, scientists, business owners, and voters. Democrats and republicans alike should be working to make a good impression to teachers and students everywhere.
The root of the problem is not whether teachers should get more pay, it’s how. One dreaded word seems to come to mind; taxes. That is what’s keeping more than 38% of republicans from backing the idea. But, while it’s no surprise that democrats don’t mind raising taxes to pay teachers for the same reason they don’t mind paying for fireman and police, we are also seeing a growing number of republicans admit they don’t mind giving up some of their own cash for the same reason; it’s just the right thing to do.
That being said, Republicans will most likely try other means of raising teacher pay first like they have before, but it’s normally not very good for the schools. One such example that they have tried in South Carolina is consolidating school districts. This could get teachers more pay because there would be less staff sharing the pool, but this could be very hard on everyone involved due to an increase in class sizes, not to mention the pushback from local communities against the idea. Taking away funding from non-educational services the school provides like food and transportation is also an option that Republicans tried in Indiana. It too, came with problems of its own.
The problem with these alternative ideas is that in most areas these options are already pushed to the limit. Growing class sizes, for example, is one of the main reasons teachers are striking in LA right now. Teachers everywhere have made it clear; it’s about more than just pay, it’s about improving schools as a whole. Isn’t this something we can all get behind as a good idea for our kids and our country’s future?
With their backs to the wall, Republican lawmakers should keep in mind that their support for teachers could also prove to be very beneficial for their future campaigns. The words “raise taxes” might be taboo, but showing that one is not afraid to do it in extreme circumstances like this would show voters and opponents alike that they are willing to do the right thing when all other options have failed.
Let’s work together on this important bi-partisan issue. Let’s increase pay for these vital services that help assure America’s strong future. It’s a win-win!
You can start here by writing to your political leaders today and asking for their support.
Photo by kmb43xgame.