Today, two stories dealing with teacher salaries were of interest to me. The first one came in the local newspaper, the Windsor Star with the headline “Premier warns of public service sacrifices“. The article goes on to talk about the hiring of a consultant at $1500/day to try and arrive at some suggestions for the legislature to deal with its financial problems.
The second story “Teachers Decide To Work For Free After Budget Cuts Leave Pennsylvania School District Without Funds For Salaries” was a heart warmer for the profession in once sense but unbelievable for a solution in another sense. Is there no auditing body in Pennsylvania that would have identified what they’re calling today’s mismanagement long before this?
While there’s no direct relation between the two, the underlying message from both goes to the importance that society places on teachers. Fortunately, in Ontario, a teacher salary is enough to live on although my rings of educator friends who have a significant other typically have both with jobs. Many of my US friends are in the same boat or have a second job to make ends meet.
Talk to any politician and they’ll let you know the importance of teachers in society. Every one of them wants to be the “education prime minister”, “education premier”, or “education president”. Yet, somehow when the times are tough, teacher salaries are always targets for a solution.
What would it take … what would it really take for this lipservice to be turned into reality? Schools don’t run without teachers; why should they ever be targets for anything except genuine appreciation for all that they do?