Picture of Jonathan Do

Raising Teacher Salaries

Visible to everyone.

Children have always been the future of every nation that has come across the Earth. All the students today will be tomorrow's leaders and hopefully, they will be good leaders. However, in America, many problems still persist in the public education system. Many schools run with a shortage of teachers and unqualified staff. In order to improve the education system in Washington state, I propose that sales taxes throughout the state should be raised by 0.5%. For example, this means in places where the sales tax is 6.5%, the tax will be raised to 7%. The money made will be allocated towards raising teacher salaries so that teaching becomes a more viable career. This will encourage more college students to become teachers and this, in turn, will support the future of America.

As always, there are many facts that should be taken into consideration such as the current teacher salary and how many hours are in a teacher’s work week. First of all, the salary for a teacher is pretty low for a college graduate. According to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction(OSPI), teachers in Washington state have a starting salary of $34,048 a year from the state, a high level salary of $64,174 a year from the state, and, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics, an average salary of $53,571(includes district allocation). Although the starting salary is twice the minimum wage, it does not become very attractive after taking into account that college students have to go through 4 years of college in order to qualify to become a teacher. Also, teachers in Washington state have a high level salary of $64,174 a year through state allocation. Although this is a huge improvement from the starting salary, it is very low for a high level job. Also, the requirements for receiving this level is exceedingly high. In order to achieve the highest level salary, teachers must have 16 years of experience and either a master's degree or PhD (OSPI). There are many other majors other than teaching that require the same amount of college and yet have a significantly higher starting salary than the highest level salary of a teacher. Another fact is that, although teachers have roughly a 40 hour work week, many work past the 40 hour limit. Teachers often stay after school or in class during lunch to help students that are behind in their work or need to ask questions. Although the teacher is still teaching during these times, this does not count as official work time and the teachers do not get paid for this. This means that teachers often work over 40 hours a week while getting paid only about $53k each year. Based on this data, it is necessary to raise the salary of a teacher in Washington.

The primary plan of action is to support this salary raise is a small increase in tax. All sales taxes in Washington will be raised by .5%. According to the Governing In the year 2012, Washington state received $10,614,137,000 in taxes. The current sales tax in Washington is anywhere between 6.5% to 10% with the usual tax being 9.5%. To ensure that enough money is received, the range will be raised to 7% to 10.5% with the usual sales tax being 10%. This .5% raise will give Washington state roughly an additional $558,632,644. There are roughly 53,119 in Washington state. Raising each salary by $10,000 would mean that $531,119,000 would be required. As one may see, the values check out. This plan will be seen as successful if there is an increase in the average teacher salary and if there are more teachers per student in the near future.

The short term implications would obviously be that people would have to pay more taxes and that teachers will be immediately paid more. Some may not enjoy the extra tax but their minds may be changed once they know where the money is going. The long term implications will be that there will be more teachers. More college students will see the job of a teacher as a viable job and will therefore encourage them to pursue a career in teaching. Also, the children will be better trained. With more teachers, there will be less oversized classes and more teachers per student so that the students don’t have to share their time with the teachers with as many students.

The goal of this, as stated earlier is to raise teacher salaries and to encourage more people to become teachers. A higher salary will be achieved through a slight raise in taxes. This higher salary will make current teachers more content with their jobs and will encourage future generations to become teachers. Most people like money and expect to make a good living when coming out of college. Currently, if a student comes out of college with a degree in teaching, they can only make a salary big enough sustain one person. Also, not only will they not make enough money for more than one person, the student will have a lot of student loans to pay off. The salary for one and massive amounts of student loans will discourage students from becoming teachers. As of right now, the job of a teacher does not look very viable. If teacher salaries were raised to a value that could sustain more than one person, then this would encourage more college students to become teachers.

People who support this policy will be parents, teachers, and students.Teachers will like the higher pay and all three will enjoy the smaller class sizes. People who might oppose this are people without children and anybody that doesn’t want to pay a higher tax. People without children might not like this policy because they would have to pay more taxes for a policy that does not benefit them.

The advantages would be that teachers will receive a higher pay, a teaching career will be actually viable, and there will be more teachers per student. Generally, people like being paid more so a higher salary is considered to be an advantage. The higher salary, as stated above will make pursuing a career in teaching make more sense and, because a career in teaching will make more sense, it will encourage more students that want to become teachers to do so. The bigger amount of teachers will reduce class sizes and increase the ratio of teachers per student. The disadvantages of this is that there will be a higher sales tax. Making the citizens pay more to the government is always a disadvantage. It will cost the citizens more money to live in Washington and that means there will be less money for the citizens to spend on themselves. However, the benefits are believed to outweigh the cons and, as far as alternatives go, this seems to be the most efficient way of raising teacher salaries.

This will be a good policy because this will help secure the future of America. Raising salaries will help teaching become a better job to consider, increase the amount of teachers, and will ensure that every child gets the attention they need from a teacher. It may cost taxpayers a little more money, but the benefits are too great to leave behind.






Sources:

http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/states/

http://www.k12.wa.us/safs/PUB/PER/SalAllocSchedule.pdf

http://www.governing.com/gov-data/state-tax-revenue-data.html

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2015/feb/21/more-teachers-needed-new-school-rules/





Permalink