- For a single parent of one child, that amount is $28,008! (only $2,000 away from assistance)
- For a two parent household with one child (or a single parent of two), the limit is $35,208!
- The median income in Kansas is $40,624!!
- The average teacher's salary in California is $63,640!
And yet in a time of crisis we feel it is acceptable to cut our spending on education while still mandating that those in the field uphold a higher standard and provide an adequate learning environment for OUR CHILDREN!!
I have been working full-time is Special Education for seven years now. I am non-certified so I expect to be paid marginally less than the teachers who take the brunt of the rules. I would personally describe my role as an educator as an important asset. Our classroom teaches what many might consider "unteachable" students. We adapt lessons, provide extra assistance, and struggle to find ways for even the most "challenged" students to succeed. For the students who recieve this assistance, it is an irreplacable part of their education.
I work 10 months out of the year with partial benefits. I do not recieve pay for holidays, vacations, snow days, or during the summer. I have difficulty obtaining respectable summer employment because I am committed to returning to work in the fall. And I do enjoy my job. I love my co-workers, the children, and the satisfaction of believing I've made a difference in the lives of future generations. I pour my heart into children who are viewed as social outcasts and in some cases, misfits or delinquents.
And what does it all boil down to? With seven years of experience, my 2008 W2 reads $10,500 minus $1,300 to taxes! That's right, for a WHOPPING $9,200 I leave my beautiful family to deal with children who whine, complain, procrastinate, and otherwise avoid all parts of education. I do so with a smile and after seven years I still love it.
But that doesn't change the fact that it's really not worth the money. I wouldn't be surprised in the least to learn that a high school student was making more than I am. I obviously don't work in education for the money!
Is it any wonder that we have put laws into effect that prevent teachers from going on strike?
We, as a country, seem to be certain that there will ALWAYS be people who are willing to teach! But I ask you, "How sure are you?" Are you certain enough to risk YOUR child's future? There may be laws in place to prevent a strike, but there are none to prevent teachers from finding new occupations. And while thre are incentive programs to encourage people to seek degrees in education, there are none that encourage them to remain in the field long term. We have already reached the point where we are actually IMPORTING educators in order to find people willing to work for the pay this country offers. Our small rural district has been forced to recruit graduates from over-seas because they are willing to work for the smaller salary.
So tell me, America. How much are you willing to sacrifice for the sake of a dollar?
And for those in this country who might be fortunate enough to know they can BUY the finest education . . . keep in mind, that will not prevent YOUR TAX DOLLARS from supporting all the children who did NOT recieve an adequate education because America did not view it as vital to funding!