We are a country that claims to care about education, but not so much about the education of other people’s children. At the most fundamental level, our children are being raised by two groups of people: families and teachers. Yet, we fail to pay teachers their value.
The United States is facing a teacher pay crisis. Public school teachers earn 11 percent less than similarly educated professionals. Teachers are more likely than non-teachers to work a second job. Ninety-four percent of teachers are paying out of pocket for school supplies. In 30 states, average teacher pay is less than the living wage for a family of four.
The teacher pay gap is a national failure that demands a bold, national response.
Kamala will make the largest federal investment in teacher pay in U.S. history to fully close the teacher pay gap during her first term. Her plan will provide the average public school teacher a $13,500 raise.
Paying teachers for the full value of their work isn’t just a good strategy to improve education: it’s central to building an economy that works for working people. Research shows that attracting and retaining more great teachers improves student performance, increases graduation rates, and leads to higher future earnings for our kids.
When President Lyndon B. Johnson made a major investment in education in 1965, he told the country that it was to “bridge the gap between helplessness and hope.” Fifty-four years later, this gap remains — but Kamala is determined to keep building that bridge as president.