Teacher pay: Sketching a win-win solution | IN 60 SECONDS

Amid this spring’s teacher walkouts, the
outlines of a sensible deal on teacher pay seem pretty clear. First, there’s a need for additional taxpayer
support. Terrific teachers are woefully underpaid and, in many states, average pay should be substantially higher. Second, an across the board increase isn’t
the whole answer. Some lousy teachers are currently overpaid,
even as exceptional teachers are wildly underpaid. Current pay scales simply
don’t create room to use or appropriately compensate teachers who are doing great work. New taxpayer investment should help change
that reality. Third, retirement benefits for educators
cost twice as much as those for other workers. Teachers need to do their part, and agree to overhaul outmoded and expensive pension systems. Doing so will help free up substantial dollars for teacher take-home pay. Such a deal on taxes, pay systems, and pensions
involves short-term sacrifices. But such a bargain has the potential to yield
big benefits for students, teachers, and taxpayers. Do you think we should raise teacher pay? Let us know in your comments. Also, let us know what other topics you’d like our scholars to cover in 60 seconds, and be sure to like and subscribe for more research and videos from AEI.


  • xgladar

    while a reasonable overall proposal, everything said in this video was completely vague . how will you differentiate good vs bad teachers, how much would taxes increase

  • The Stead at Home Mom

    I made decent pay, but retirement benefits suck. I just quit & I didn’t have enough service to pull retirement. All I can do is roll my retirement over into an IRA. It would be nice to pull out my $15k & invest it elsewhere but I’d have to pay a huge tax (penalty) to do so.

  • J Ames

    I'm not claiming I know how to pay for it but, I think politicians, teachers and police personal should be given large even excessive wages. Then the job should be hard to get (due to qualifications ) easy to lose (due to ethical infraction, abuse, or poor performance. )

  • John Anthony

    1) Teachers are NOT underpaid.
    2) If someone isn't capable of researching the pay in their state before choosing that career, I don't want them teaching my kids anyway.

    Teachers are not only paid for MUCH less work than almost every other career, they also get pensions, guaranteed raises, and are almost impossible to fire no matter how incompetent they are. If they want more money, scrap the fucking union and negotiate a better salary. But they won't. They just want to bitch.

  • Tace Cook

    Teachers are actually paid pretty well for working 9 months of the year, extrapolate to 12 and the income differential levels out. There is plenty of money in education in the US–much gets spent on non-education–unions, administration, sports, other activities that don't actually help kids learn. Teaching majors are typically among the lowest test scorers entering college–along with agriculture and social workers. Plenty of other YouTube videos discuss these facts. Solution? End teacher's unions, stop tenure, end the Department of Education and put locals back in charge of their schools.

  • Josh L

    How would you differentiate between a good and bad teacher? What metrics would you use? I agree with the commenter who said this was vague.

  • kajerhoo

    Yeah, lets incentive teachers in the short term with greater pay at the cost of their retirement. Brilliant plan.

    Then while they're stunned from that let's go ahead and create an additional means of job performance evaluation to all the others that already exist to extend the stress of their job even moreso. Go home, your logic is flawed and possibly drunk.

  • Chalky Von Kekian

    Not paid enough? 50k a year with all of those days off and government benefits is way better than the average person.

  • hkmp5s

    Pay them more to brainwash our children, no thanks.

  • Greg Carlson

    If any type of employee is underpaid, there will be a shortage of those workers. If they are overpaid, there will be a surplus.

    Finding a teaching job is really hard and many people have to look throughout the whole country to find a job. There is a huge surplus of teachers.

  • David Lowery

    I would like to put together a home school type education system as it seems to be among the best performing models we have these days. You could use Kahn academy for most of the content, for instance. Add in a few labs and a few papers, and a premium reading program. This should get your kids scores as high as they'll go, I've had great luck anyway. I'm not sure why they need to be in school for academics by the point they're in high school, but there's more to life than academics, and part of academics is apparently learning how to deal with or satisfy the demands of different teachers. Anyway, in this model as much of the per student revenue as possible goes to the teacher. It doesn't go to the administration, it doesn't go to the union, it doesn't go to the grad students, it doesn't go to the government, etc. If stuff is added it is transparent it will cost them money on their paycheck. This makes unionization unlikely, though you could put a line item for that in the policy plan, that way when the union itself asks for too many positions and therefore costs too much it will have an astrix on the pie chart you hand out with the paychecks. While I do expect a founder or investor would make a small amount of money and the school must also save some money for a rainy day, this is a must for every business as far as I can tell, it's not primarily a short term profits business, like an ivy league school, it will eventually thrive on donations from graduates. And, yes, of course you'd have a counselor, officer, staff, and principal as merited by size. In this way class size can be smaller with the teacher taking on rolls of dealing with junior colleges or colleges for enrolling their students in specific classes and handing them off to the next level. Physical fitness is flexible with students who need to polish that area of their lives spending more time on it. Low cost healthy food should be available. With a Kahn academy or home school type approach you end up with a pass or retry only type system. Some educational places may have a problem with this others will be intimidated by it. In high school and higher education I'm non-commital on this one. I don't know, but I know that pass or retry is standard in corporate America as a retrain dynamic, but some people also do wash out and hopefully learn a lesson. I KNOW that if you had a transparent system like this in many cities you could chip away corruption around these school districts, though I apologize to the grad students who can't study or further the mass education system using this massive change in paradigm. I would like to see an associates degree by standard for graduation but not required. You really want flexibility and I really do mean a more home school type model. You need less kids so that you can do things for each one. Teach one to take care of a care (change oil, change tire, check fluids) and so forth or take them to a museum.

  • Delta Oracle

    Could you please cover the third point in more detail concerning the "outdated pension system" and its need for an overhaul? Thank you very much! Great series of videos.

  • King Naga

    Pay teachers more. Take it from increased taxes on large businesses and the 1%. This isn't hard.

  • kmg501

    This is complete crap. Public education is an abomination and should be abolished post haste. With private education comes the good pay for good teachers, it has never happened and nor will it ever happen in public education, especially not in a multicultural cesspool that the US has become. You people live in an elitist tower and are completely disconnected from reality.

  • 1stGruhn

    More taxes are unnecessary… just remove the teacher union and make schools compete for students.

  • curioustgeorge03

    The video doesn't even include how much money is aoebt on other current benefits like healthcare. Teachers have some if he best health insurance policies bc they are well financed!

  • Shane Riddle



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