Home > Uncategorized > This Just In: If You Pay Teachers Less and Disrespect Them Teacher Supply Will Diminish

This Just In: If You Pay Teachers Less and Disrespect Them Teacher Supply Will Diminish

Mother Jones reporter Patrick Caldwell offered a gloomy but predictable result of six years of Scott Walker’s leadership in Wisconsin:

Wisconsin’s attack on public sector unions has created a shortage of public school teachers, as teachers retire and look for jobs in other states and fewer young people embark on careers in education:

The school of education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison never used to have trouble attracting applicants with dreams of becoming teachers. Its graduate program is ranked fourth in the country by U.S. News & World Report, and until recently, its undergraduate program in elementary education typically received between 300 and 400 applications for its 125 spots. Now, says Michael Apple, a professor in the program, it only gets about one applicant per opening.

And why might teacher candidates in Wisconsin look elsewhere? Mr. Caldwell offers one very good reason: the compensation for teachers has dramatically fallen over the past six years! How much?

A new study from the left-leaning Center for American Progress (CAP) offers a new set of numbers to quantify the effects of Act 10 on public education in Wisconsin. Median compensation—salary and benefits—was $10,843 lower in the 2015-2016 school year than before Act 10, a 12.6 percent reduction.

And while the compensation for the “greedy teachers” has diminished the taxpayers did find the money needed to “attract new businesses” to Wisconsin by offering outlandish incentives to the tune of $3,000,000,000! It’s always important to attract new businesses! New teachers? Not so much! But instead of offering higher compensation, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the GOP in the state have a better idea! Lower the standards for certification!

But as Mr. Walker launches his campaign for a third term as Governor, he remains undaunted and unaffected by the facts. He’s certain he’s improved schools and will continue to do so if elected, as Mr. Caldwell notes in his closing paragraph:

Meanwhile, earlier this month Walker announced his intention to run for a third terms as governor. “I love traveling the state and hearing how the things we’re doing are helping,” Walker said in a digital ad kicking off his reelection campaign. “But there’s more to be done. Investing in training for our workers. Helping people create jobs. Making our schools even better.” But as he continues traveling the state, Walker will have to explain how the teacher shortage created by his anti-union law has improved schools.

 

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