Opinion: If you want to attract teachers, increase pay

The truth is that until money is supplied to teachers, people like me, who love and care for educating our children, will not be able to work in the education field.

  • Tuesday, June 29, 2021 9:55pm
  • Opinion

By Anthony Rhodes

I am a born-and-raised Alaskan who had to move away for the money. I work in cyber, but I have the credentials to teach if I wanted. I was even approached to teach while I was in school learning.

The truth is that until money is supplied to teachers, people like me, who love and care for educating our children, will not be able to work in the education field. It’s a matter of rationale, I mean, I can do more if I can afford to live, then donate time in local interest groups. Whereas; if I work as a teacher in my given field, I am literally cutting my pay down by two-thirds.

My family, my friends, and the community would look at me and say, what is wrong with you? And I don’t know what I could argue.

Still, if we want to get teachers into the schools who actually want to stick around, and who have pay that accounts for the impact they have on educating the population, then we will have to add a calculation to the pay rate of all teachers. My suggestion is to take the policy boasted by a recent presidential candidate Andrew Yang, related to the caring economy. His policy accounted for the impact of jobs that are directly impacting care giving and education. It would probably increase the income of teachers by two-thirds, which would make the idea of teaching much more possible for interested individuals like myself.

As a lifelong Alaskan who was born and raised here, I feel that this would get to the heart of your question. But I wonder: Do we have the strength to conquer this education frontier? I think we do, if I know Alaskans. We could pioneer the way.

Anthony Rhodes works in information and technology. Rhodes was born and raised in Alaska.

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