6 Benefits to Increasing Teacher Pay
The poor remuneration for teachers is nothing new. Teachers have protested low pay at state capitals around the nation, and the issue has influenced presidential candidates’ platforms. Competitive compensation is an apparent and significant method to recognize the hard work teachers put in every day, but raising teacher pay has even more advantages supported by research. The top six are as follows:
- Increasing Teacher Pay Strengthens the Pipeline
Few people desire to become teachers when there are issues with teacher salaries. That’s how easy it is. According to a TIME poll, most respondents (76 percent) agreed that the low compensation for teaching discourages many people from entering the field. As a result, fewer teachers will be looking to fill the increased need for teachers and fewer teacher education program graduates.
Raising teacher salaries may improve the next workforce’s quality. Only 23% of teachers in the United States received their college degrees in the top third of their class. In contrast, practically all teachers graduate at the top of their class in Singapore, Finland, and Korea. The general appeal of teaching as a career would increase with increased remuneration.
- It Keeps Teachers in the Classroom
Unsurprisingly, research has found that teacher salary lowers turnover (which, in turn, increases student performance). An average of 8% of instructors leave the profession rather than switching to another school, and there is an annual turnover rate of roughly 16%. It’s noteworthy to note that in the United States, the Northeast, where compensation is higher and there is more investment in education, has the lowest teacher turnover rate (10.3 percent).
- It Helps Staffing in Urban Districts
Urban school systems have a challenging difficulty filling all of their posts. Increasing teacher salaries in areas with significant needs can entice educators to work in those institutions. For instance, a San Francisco study discovered that the quantity and caliber of teacher candidates increased when the pay for teaching was raised.
- It Means Fewer Teachers Working Second Jobs
18% of teachers in the United States had side occupations in 2015–2016, including anything from retail to online teaching. Compared to non-teachers, teachers are 30% more likely to work a second job. Increasing teacher salaries would help them maintain their focus in the classroom and improve their morale as they wouldn’t need to perform a second job.
- It Means Less Dependence on Government Programs
Because of their low salaries, it is common for teachers in some places to be eligible for public assistance programs like food stamps or general health care plans (like children’s health insurance programs). This is true for teachers who are the family’s leading income provider or have prominent families. For instance, in states ranging from Minnesota to Maine, mid-career teachers were eligible for up to seven government benefit programs in 2014.
- Higher Pay for Teachers Means Students Do Better
Students do better when teachers are compensated more. According to one study, a 10% increase in teacher salary would result in a 5–10% improvement in student performance. Students also gain long-term advantages from teacher compensation. Students complete more schooling, earn 7 percent more, and have a lower adult poverty rate when per-pupil spending is increased by 10 percent for every 12 years of education. For families living in poverty, these advantages are much more significant.
It’s unclear why pupils perform so much better when instructors are paid more, possibly because of improved teacher quality or adult assistance. Whatever the cause, it’s evident that teacher salary needs to rise.