According to TeacherPortal (http://www.teacherportal.com/teacher-salaries-by-state/, accessed 3.9.2019), the average starting teacher salary in the United States (with data from 2012-2013) is $35,641.
There is also a movement afoot to raise the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour. That would translate to a $30,000 a year salary…which is still below what the starting teacher makes. But…
An education major needs to pass a Praxis I (basic knowledge) and a Praxis II (specialization area) test to gain state certification. They must also pay for the privilege of taking those tests to be considered for employment in a public school district where state regulations and standards require the creation of curriculum designed to help learners achieve at a proficient level and appropriate for all of the students’ preferred learning style. They must also come to grips with the special needs of every student, as well as be responsive to parents, maintain an anti-bullying atmosphere, and educate themselves just in case the unthinkable happens to protect children.
Then there’s the additional educational hours and expense required to maintain certification.
But wait – then there’s paying for the four years of college to achieve the diploma.
A starting full-time fast food worker would make almost the same amount of money. You may also get meals at a reduced price.
If you were a young adult, which path would you choose?
What would your answer be upon realizing that fast food franchises would fold faster than you can say, “Would you like fries with that?” since franchisees would never be able to maintain the required payroll structure without raising prices significantly if minimum wage was $15/hour.
On July 1, 2018, San Francisco was the first U.S. city to raise its minimum wage to $15/hour.
Here’s the interesting part: the minimum wage was set to provide workers a “fair wage” for their labor. Unfortunately, the rallying cry has been that the current minimum wage (if State decides to follow the national guideline) STILL keeps a family in poverty.
But where does it say that the minimum wage is designed for families? It doesn’t. If the current minimum wage of $7.25 applies to both a husband and wife who work, that would bring $14.50 per hour into a household, translating to $29,000 per year, which is slightly above the poverty level for a family of 5 (currently $28,410. Source: https://www.parkviewmc.com/app/files/public/1484/2016-Poverty-Level-Chart.pdf. Accessed 3.9.2019). The minimum wage is designed for individual “workers.”
While it can be argued that the minimum wage needs to change, the conversation also needs to change. Education provides individuals the opportunity to advance. The “hope” is that individuals that do so will be able to provide for their families. The conversation says nothing about being able to raise a family, since, if it did, would mean that the government would have to support the concept of a family…which is something that is constantly being redefined by the government.