If states can't afford to keep teachers at the relatively low salaries they're paid now, why are we even discussing the possibility of more money?
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan used his SXSWedu keynote address earlier this week to advocate for more professional development and higher salaries for teachers. Duncan argued that teacher salaries should start at about $65,000 a year and range up to $150,000 a year for highly rated veterans.
That sounds good in theory—teachers work incredibly hard, staying at their school sites long after students have left the building, taking student work home, and planning lessons on the weekends. Many work second jobs over the summer and pay for professional development events out-of-pocket—of course they deserve to be compensated at the same level as other highly trained professionals. But considering the draconian budget cuts that have led to thousands of teacher layoffs nationwide, every teacher who hears Duncan's suggested salaries has to be asking themselves where that money is supposed to come from.