According to a new article in USA Today, Hannah Martin is a 23-year-old second year pre-K teacher in North Carolina. She makes $34k a year and shares a house with four other women. She does as much babysitting as possible in her spare time to help make ends meet. She also receives a total of $100 to buy classroom supplies for the year which means Martin typically ends up spending $500 out of her own pocket to ensure she has the supplies she needs to effectively do her job.
She is not alone, my own sister is a Special Ed teacher in the Rochester, NY city school district. And while she does make more than Ms. Martin but this is also an area with a higher cost of living than NC, her salary is in no way exorbitant. She and her husband are comfortable, but they really can’t afford, and shouldn’t have to, kick back part of her pay to the school district–yet she does that every year to the tune of $1,500.
Part of the reason for this unacceptable situation, asking those who teach our children to pay for their own supplies to do their job, is the fact that the GOP is unwilling all over the nation and in Washington to fund education. They would have you believe that the “bloated” paychecks for teachers which is driven by the “greedy” unions which are protecting “bad” teachers. This is not the case, teachers could all make more money doing other things with their educations, they do it for the love of the mission.
Earlier this summer, the TEApubs circulated a spending plan that would further cut appropriations to Labor, Education and Health and Human Services by 20% below the limits imposed by the sequestration. The Pentagon, meanwhile, would get $512 billion, a 6% increase over the max allowed under sequestration while Labor, Education and Health and Human Services would be capped at $121.8 billion, $28 billion below the post sequester best estimate. That would be 26% less than 2010 when the Democrats last had control of the process.
It would seem that the TEApubs remain firmly in control of the GOP and therefore have the power to block any remedy to this unacceptable situation. If the mainstream of the party does not wrestle control from the extreme right wing, they are dooming the party to failure in national elections for a long time to come.