This spring has seen the first statewide
teacher strikes in recent memory. Teachers have a legitimate complaint: For
college educated professionals, their pay in many states as mediocre, and has
declined nationally by two percent in real terms between 1992 and 2014. But the
notion that taxpayers are defunding schools is just wrong.
Even as teacher salaries fell across the land during that period, inflation-adjusted per-pupil spending grew by 27 percent. But much of this funding has
gone to non-instructional costs. While student enrollment was up 20 percent
over that 22 year period, non-teaching staff was up by more than twice that: 47 percent.
Teacher benefits are also more generous than those of the taxpayers who pay for
them. School teachers receive more than three times the retirement benefits per
hour of work than the average civilian employee! Look, there’s a deal to be
struck here, but if teachers want sustainable pay increases, school
spending needs to be tackled in a way that addresses the concerns of teachers,
students, and taxpayers. What do you think about the teacher strikes? Let us know in your comments. Also, let us know what other topics you’d like our scholars to
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