Wednesday, February 12, 2020

One reason why it's hard to pay teachers more. There are a lot of teachers.

Some folks say that teachers should be paid as much as lawyers or how about pro sports players. The problem is in the numbers. There are a lot more teachers than there are lawyers so it's harder to be elite if one is part of the majority, in some cases. School districts are often the biggest employers in a community. I think that usually teachers are paid moderately well compared to large segments of the workforce. Restaurant employees, janitors, gardeners, home healthcare workers, Uber drivers, security guards, for instance.

I remember thinking, back in the 1980's that teachers were fortunate to at least have health insurance. Back then, we were starting to realize that a large percent of the workforce didn't have health insurance. In the 1980's there was a big push to try and elevate teacher pay and also the pay of college professors. Various states were worried about loosing their talent, in these professions, to other states that paid more; like the grass is always greener on the other side. Brain drain. I remember thinking, back then, that someone needed to speak up for the many restaurant workers, and so forth, who didn't have healthcare.

Since the 1980's it does look like teacher pay hasn't gone up a huge amount relative to other more elite (in numbers of people involved) professions. It's hard to bring up a large group, compared to a small group such as elite lawyers or a handful of celebrity actors or football stars, or maybe a smaller number of highly specialized technicians. Sine the 1980's there has been a rise of elite tech workers. Smaller, in number than the vast number of teachers in each region. Tech workers are mostly concentrated in a few cities like Seattle and San Francisco Bay Area.

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