Teaching is hard work, but despite the education, dedication, and expertise it demands, teachers are startlingly underpaid compared with other professionals with similar education and training. That's true across the board. However, teachers' pay varies widely state-to-state. This year, South Dakota has decided to take action in order to move their teachers up the pay ranks and help their schools and students succeed. Let's take a closer look at how they'll do it, and what encouraged them toward this action.
Education is a field that's ever-changing, as most teachers are no doubt aware. You have to be mighty flexible to be a teacher, rolling with the punches of curriculum changes, priority shifts, and societal/cultural evolutions that make your job feel brand-new each every year. (Sometimes, each and every day.) So, what's new in 2015? Well, teacher shortages, for one thing. Let's take a look at a few points educators should be aware of about this school year's job market.
What are the hottest career news story of the week – or at least, the ones that mean the most to your career? If you're drowning in headlines and don't have time to click every one, tune into PayScale's new weekly career news show, Workplace Wonk, starring PayScale's Managing Editor, Aubrey Bach. As the Workplace Wonk, she'll tell you which stories got the most attention from recent readers, plus offer insight into how they can affect you and your job.
On Thursday, Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, effectively allowing businesses to refuse to serve gay customers. In the days since, some companies have responded by restricting or terminating their investments in Indiana.
Technology has changed the way we work -- you already knew that. Executives and business owners used to be the only people who took work home; now lots of people either take work home or work from home exclusively. The problem is not working in the evening from the comfort of your own home; the problem is that the blue light in your computer, tablet, or e-reader screen is destroying your sleep cycle and causing the symptoms of sleep deprivation, even if you technically sleep through the night.
"The shadow of crisis has passed," said President Obama, in last night's State of the Union address. "And the state of the union is strong." While receiving standing ovations for job numbers (and getting in an ad-libbed dig at Republicans about winning the presidency), Obama outlined a vision for the country that focused on middle-class growth.
In December of 2014, a task force in Philadelphia that was formed to study the issue of the benefits and pitfalls of paid sick leave came to its conclusion: Paid sick leave is necessary. Now, two Pennsylvania state senators are announcing their intent to propose legislation to preemptively prohibit mandatory paid sick leave for employees. Two steps forward, three steps back.
For the first time ever, Congress may move to cut pension benefits to current retirees. Proposed legislation, which would take the form of an amendment to a $1.1 trillion spending bill, would cut benefits for multiemployer plans, common in the grocery, trucking, and construction industries, and often managed jointly by employers and unions.
Last year, Obamacare, formally called the Affordable Care Act, helped 10 million Americans sign up for health insurance. Being insured is now a requirement, so it's important to be sure your coverage is all set for 2015. If your employer provides your insurance, nothing has changed and no action is required on your part. Just keep doing what you have been doing. But, if your employer doesn't offer health insurance, (or if you're a freelancer, or currently between jobs,) enrollment is a great option to get the coverage you need.