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Are Teachers Being Paid Enough?

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Personally, I believe some teachers aren’t being paid what they deserve. If it were up to me, I’d pay teachers based on their performance. However, because it is nearly impossible to accurately calculate an individual’s pay looking solely at performance, we are left with the next best thing: salaries.

A quick Google search has informed me that an average public school teacher in the state of California receives between $50,000 and $70,000 a year, which is roughly $30 an hour. Minimum wage in California is $15 an hour. Doubling the minimum wage is not nearly enough for our beloved educators. The teachers’ riots back in April and John Quiñones of “What Would You Do?” would both agree.

Despite these statements, one of our very own Pacifica teachers believes that his pay is enough. Mr. Harvey, a World Civilizations and European History teacher, grew up and trudged through college without a lot of money, even having to live in his car during college. He is able to survive with his paycheck, even when he buys his students materials, by being thrifty and avoiding unnecessary expenses. “Yes, I think teachers get paid enough,” he states confidently. “It’s more about teaching the students, the outcome, than the income.” He continues on saying that money doesn’t bring him the happiness he wants. “Surfing and teaching,” he says, “are the things that bring me happiness.”

Back in middle school, I had an especially intriguing language arts teacher for 8th grade who proudly showed how much she loved her job. For a project, we had to creatively describe our relationship with nature. When I turned in my assignment, she praised me generously for my skill, pushing me forward to continue my writing. If she had not spoken so sincerely, I think I would be a different person today.

Teachers remind me of parents in the sense that no matter how much you try to give back to them, it will never be enough. This begs the question: Is there enough money in this world to repay all that teachers have done for us?

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The student-run news site of Pacifica High School
Are Teachers Being Paid Enough?