If Marc Litchman has his way, teachers in California will soon make six figures. Litchman, who runs the educational non-profit Great Teachers, Better Schools, has created a ballot initiative that would tie teachers’ pay directly to state legislators’, making it illegal to pay educators less than lawmakers.
Currently, most state legislators earn $104,118 per year, reports The Los Angeles Times. Teacher salaries in the state range from $40,000 to $96,000 per year, according to the state education department.
The initiative, which is called The Teacher Fair Pay Act, may appear on the ballot in 2018. However, Litchman acknowledges that the proposal has a way to go before it makes it before the voters.
“It’s a long shot. It is,” he tells The Times. “But it’s important and hopefully will get some traction and make the ballot.”
In a press release at Digital Journal, Great Teachers, Better Schools says:
An effective teacher is the most important school-based determinant of education outcomes and it is, therefore, crucial that school districts recruit and retain the highest quality teachers available.
New teachers leave the profession at a rate six times greater than other public employees, and 50% faster than police officers, firefighters, and other first responders.
Most new teachers assigned to our neediest schools quit within the first 3-5 years.
Paying for the Salary Hike
If the initiative becomes law, The Teacher Fair Pay Act will create a trust fund to pay for the program, which will be endowed by a state sales tax hike of two cents. The money would supplement existing state funding and allow school districts to offer competitive compensation to teachers who could command top dollar in the private sector.
Funds could not be used for administrative programs, but would go directly to teachers’ salaries.
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