It's no secret that teachers across America do some of the nation's most important work for some of its most measly pay. Unfortunately, this has been an ongoing trend for decades, but now it may have reached a boiling point as teachers quit at the fastest rate on record.
The Wall Street Journal reports that teachers quit at a rate of 83 departures for every 10,000 teachers per month. While this is lower than the national average of departures due to the noted job stability of teaching, the departures are still the fastest in the 17 years since the statistics started being recorded.
The report notes that teachers across the nation protested working conditions, low pay, and minimal wages throughout the year. In some cases, some of the protests led to temporary shutdowns of their respective schools.
Americans weren't exactly surprised.
@AliVelshi Gee I wonder why. Low pay, too much stress, too much paperwork, too large class size, pressure to teach… https://t.co/9S3tysW7xQ— Carl Yackey (@Carl Yackey) 1546034880.0
@AliVelshi It’s a combination of so many factors. Poor pay, focus on testing that means nothing in actuality, a so… https://t.co/XrdQ0gZ4nT— Kealoha (@Kealoha) 1546003450.0
@AliVelshi I don’t blame them. The pay is horrible.— Joane Garcia-Colson (@Joane Garcia-Colson) 1546011716.0
Present and former teachers weighed in as well.
@AliVelshi I was a public school teacher for almost 20 years and resigned not because of the pay (I did very well)… https://t.co/EXBEl1LsAf— Earthstar (@Earthstar) 1546084293.0
@AliVelshi I retired about three years earlier than I could have, due to the current state of education.— Sally🌻Sunshine (@Sally🌻Sunshine) 1546100684.0
@AliVelshi As a public school teacher of 33 years, I’d discourage anyone from entering this profession. The overemp… https://t.co/eycmckVxBV— NebraskaMom (@NebraskaMom) 1546136090.0
In addition, national calls from many Republicans to arm teachers in the case of a school shooting are awakening undue expectations with no certainty of a proportionate pay increase.
So we can’t -afford textbooks for our children -regularly fund inner-city schools -pay our teachers a livable s… https://t.co/P7fxBpImRz— David Hogg text VOTE to 954-954 (@David Hogg text VOTE to 954-954) 1535069346.0
@AliVelshi Is anyone surprised? In the absence of sensible gun control regulations, they should be demanding combat pay.— Karen (@Karen) 1546003203.0
@nytimes The average teacher spends $479 a year on classroom supplies. Federal money should be used to pay them wha… https://t.co/AehvDvgoX4— Andrew Weinstein (@Andrew Weinstein) 1534993681.0
@AliVelshi Also getting shot at school or the school wanting you to carry a gun is probably the straw that broke the camel's back.— 4Realinlife (@4Realinlife) 1546009083.0
@nytimes Or how about giving teachers raises instead?!— Bryant Huddleston (@Bryant Huddleston) 1534993755.0
That wasn't all Americans had to say.
Many cited the ineptitude from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, whose lack of qualifications have vexed the public since her confirmation hearings.
@AliVelshi The Betsy Devos effect. https://t.co/zdgDJkwuh8— Sheriff Bart 💬 (@Sheriff Bart 💬) 1546082740.0
@AliVelshi As Koch’s and Devoses planned— David Magee (@David Magee) 1546003724.0
@AliVelshi @MelbieToast Betsy DeVos is not a capable leader for the Department of Education.— Kay Shan (@Kay Shan) 1546011045.0
And several pointed out—as did the Wall Street Journal report—that teachers see leaving for other career opportunities as a better chance of making a more adequate living.
@AliVelshi My young co-teacher just quit. She took a job as a dental assistant and immediately made more money.— This Won’t End Well (@This Won’t End Well) 1546180309.0
@AliVelshi Walmart pays better these days.— Chahlie Jones (@Chahlie Jones) 1546012330.0
@AliVelshi Good. They can get a better job.— 🙌🏻❤️🙄☀️🤦🏼♀️🧢 (@🙌🏻❤️🙄☀️🤦🏼♀️🧢) 1546144924.0
It's clear that teachers deserve better pay and the education budget needs a boost, but it's also possible that the education system needs an overhaul in respect to standardized tests and delineation of funds as well.