Not surprisingly, the largest pay gaps can be found in the same states that saw large-scale protests this year over salary and education funding: Arizona (36.4 percent),  North Carolina (35.5 percent), Oklahoma (35.4 percent) and Colorado (35.1 percent). State of California was filed in May 2012 by a group called Students Matter on behalf of nine California students. Construction and building repair could not only give a much-needed jolt to a depressed employment market but also could help boosts teaching and learning in these transformed buildings. While benefits such as health insurance and retirement improved for teachers relative to other professionals during that period,  the total compensation (wage and benefit) penalty for public school teachers grew from 10.5 percent to 11.1 percent in 2017. “This growing compensation penalty is a key part of the story of changing teacher pay but shouldn’t obscure the importance of the wage penalty alone—only wages can be saved or spent on housing and food and other critical expenses,” the authors write. Joining her in analyzing the results were Jim Messina, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff and Campaign Manager for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, Kevin Madden, former Senior Advisor to Governor Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, and moderator Libby Nelson, an education reporter from Vox Media. According to the 21st Century School Fund, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CPBB), an initial $50 billion school renovation program would employ 500,000 workers — a third of the 1.5 million construction workers now unemployed — and could be scaled up. According to a recent report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, seven of the 12 states that have cut education funding by at least 7 percent over the past decade also enacted deep tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals and corporations, costing hundreds of millions of dollars.

Libby Nelson displayed a journalist’s skepticism when she pointed out that education usually attracts high numbers in public opinion polls merely because very few people want to be seen as opposing programs that benefit children. This is one that many people across the country believe in.” Read the full poll results The overdue national attention on the erosion of teacher salaries across the nation couldn’t come at a more urgent time. As the EPI paper makes clear, blaming the Great Recession for the widening teacher wage gap no longer holds any water in light of fiscal policies in states – including Arizona, Oklahoma and North Carolina – where the teacher pay penalty is largest. Although the plaintiffs have already announced they will appeal, review by the California Supreme Court of today’s unanimous and decisive ruling is unlikely. The 21st Century School Fund, EPI and CPBB have proposed the Fix America’s Schools Today initiative (FAST!).

According to the poll, 71 percent of voters—including 60 percent of Republicans—support this investment even if it increased the deficit in the short term and paid for itself in the long-term by improving children’s education. It was manufactured by a David Welch, a Silicon Valley millionaire and founder of Students Matter, to silence the voices of educators by stripping their due process to make it easier to push a corporate education “reform” agenda. An overwhelming majority of Americans appreciate the value of early childhood education. On the same day the Vergara decision was handed down, a lawsuit was filed in Minnesota which, like Vergara, is sponsored by a well-funded reform group and also argues that the state’s due process laws violate the state’s constitutional guarantee to a “thorough and efficient” education. Only when teachers, school boards, and administrators work together can we ensure that there is a great public school for every student.” While the decision was good news for educators, said California Teachers Association President Eric C. Messina believes that the support for expanded early childhood education runs wide and deep enough to break through the polarization in the country. “I do think there’s been a fundamental change in this issue,” he said. ” I agree with you that for the 25 years I’ve done campaigns, people always said, Oh, talk about education, talk about education. Legislative action actually might help lift its dismal approval ratings out the gutter. “It’s a no-brainer, except for the logic-free zone called Washington, DC,” Messina cautioned.

Heins, it was a huge win for students. “Today’s ruling reversing Judge Rolf Treu’s decision overwhelmingly underscores that the laws under attack have been good for public education and for kids,” said Heins. “Stripping teachers of their ability to stand up for their students and robbing school districts of the tools they need to make sound employment decisions was a wrong-headed scheme developed by people with no education expertise and the appellate court justices saw that.” See Also: Top 5 Myths and Lies About Teachers and Their Profession What Teacher ‘Tenure’ is – And What It’s Not Why Are Teachers Being Asked to Swap Due Process for a Pay Raise? Why Due Process is Vitally Important to the Teaching Profession In February, the attorneys representing 400,000 California educators appeared before the panel in the California Court of Appeal to urge the justices to overturn Judge True’s meritless decision. And the fact that Americans across party lines think that it’s okay to even spend into the national debt on this issue shows you the complete support this thing has.” Both Messina and Madden agreed that this issue should be high on Congress’ priority list with midterms looming in the next couple of months. But this issue has now calcified at the very top.” “The numbers speak to the fact that this isn’t an issue that’s defined by any one individual or one person, and it ought not to be viewed through that lens, as an Obama idea,” Madden added. “Because it’s clearly an idea that is not one that’s top-down, but instead it’s one that’s bottom-up. It’s a “man-made crisis” says NEA President Lily Eskelsen García, and it’s the students who pay the price for low teacher salaries. “Public school teachers deserve professional pay for professional work,” Eskelsen Garcíasaid  “Low teacher pay comes at a very high cost. In 1960, female teachers earned 14.7 percent more than comparable female workers, an advantage that lasted throughout most of the 1970s but was completely erased by the 1990s. These voters want Congress and the Obama Administration to make early childhood education – the second highest priority among voters according to the poll – a top legislative priority.

Specifically, school modernization decreases overcrowding, safety and environmental concerns due to aging structures, and helps meet the demands of modern technology. Today, students attend public schools that were built, on average, 40 years ago. Judging by a recent poll by Phi Delta Kappan that found two-thirds of Americans believe teacher salaries are too low (and would support educators in the own communities if they went on strike for higher pay), the public appears wiser to the reckless decisions made by lawmakers that are hurting our schools. A few years ago, everyone said they were for high standards but the Common Core has become one of the divisive political issues of 2014. “If you want to elevate this and make it a more important political issue, how can you ensure that it stays as bipartisan and keeps these sort of high approval levels that we’ve seen in the poll results today?” Nelson asked. According to a new paper by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the teacher pay penalty – the percent by which public school educators are paid less than comparable workers – has reached an all-time high. They understand its return on investment.

Construction and building repair generally create 9,000-10,000 jobs per billion dollars spent. State of California issued in 2014, which held that laws governing so-called teacher “tenure” were unconstitutional. “Today was a win for our educators, our schools and most importantly, our students,” NEA President Lily Eskelsen García said responding to the ruling. “Now we must return to working on real solutions to ensure all of our students succeed. The male teacher wage gap is actually much wider, standing at 27 percent in 2017. A new bipartisan national poll released by The First Five Years Fund reveals that both Republicans and Democrats favor a strong federal investment in early childhood education. Eliminating the teacher pay penalty is crucial to building the teacher workforce we need. So that the program doesn’t contribute to the deficit in the short term, they recommend closing gaping tax loopholes that benefit the oil and gas industries. Overall, weekly teacher pay lags by more than 25 percent in 16 states.

On Thursday, the California Court of Appeal, in a unanimous decision, overturned the deeply-flawed lower court ruling in Vergara v. Not only would this help reduce the cost but would compliment nicely with the energy-efficient buildings that would result from school repairs. “FAST! is a smart infrastructure program that is fast-acting and labor intensive,” Bernstein told the Huffington Post. “It fits the criteria of a good bang for the buck.” They argued that the foundation of his ruling – that due process protections were deterrents to good teachers being hired in high poverty schools — was clearly unsupported by the facts. In 2017, the wage gap for female teachers was 15.6 percent. Eliminating just half the backlog in repairs and improvements would, over a period of years, create more than 2 million jobs. Madden agreed that early childhood education presents an opportunity for bipartisan teamwork. Emerging from the courthouse confident that the appeal would be successful,  attorney Michael Rubin told reporters afterward that “there is no evidence—zero—that these statutes are the cause of any constitutional violation.” The appeals court agreed.  “Plaintiffs failed to establish that the challenged statutes violate equal protection,”  Justice Roger Boren wrote, “primarily because they did not show that the statutes inevitably cause a certain group of students to receive an education inferior to the education received by other students.” Vergara v. This issue finds itself on the ladder of priorities for many voters, and the fact that it’s at number two…Republicans have a real opportunity to talk about how they want to impact that debate, and how they want to essentially offer very solution-driven policies to address some of the challenges that we face in today’s economy,” Madden explained. In a nationally syndicated op-ed column, Jared Bernstein of CPBB, Mary Filardo of the 21st Century Fund and Ross Eisenbrey of EPI called the project a common-sense solution that accomplishes two critical goals and would be politically popular with the American public. But the lawsuit never had anything to do with what is best for students.

Kris Perry, Executive Director of the First Five Years Fund, participated in a discussion of the poll at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on July 17. The teacher pay penalty has grown significantly among women.  Still, challenges to due process are not going away. There is no state where teacher pay is equal to or better than that of other college graduates. “Wages for teachers have been falling relative to comparable workers all over the country for many years,” says Lawrence Mishel, EPI Distinguished Fellow and co-author of the paper with University of California at Berkeley Economist Sylvia Allegretto. “Deteriorating teacher pay is not just a fairness issue. In order to recruit and retain talented teachers, school districts need to address the inadequacy of teacher pay,” said Mishel. “As we’ve seen across the country in states like Washington, Arizona, and Oklahoma, teachers are tired of working demanding jobs with low pay.” In large part because of meager pay – along with increased pressure from testing, ballooning class sizes, and deteriorating working conditions – many school districts have been unable to fill teaching positions in 2017-18. The poll digs down into specific early childhood programs and finds that voters favor deep and wide investment: 91% favor making early education child care more affordable, 86 percent favor funding programs that meet specific quality standards, 85 percent favored building better and more homework market accessible preschool services, 79 percent favored making high-quality, early learning programs more affordable, and 77 percent favor volunteer home visiting and parent education programs. When they adjusted for education, experience, and demographic factors, the gap had barely shrunk – 18.7 percent, up from 17 percent in 2015.

Educators across the country know that these lawsuits do absolutely nothing to help students and take much-needed attention away from the real work of ensuring that every student has a great teacher. “Striking down teachers’ due process rights will not help our most at-risk students,” said Eskelsen García. “High-poverty districts do not suffer from too few teachers being removed; they suffer from too much teacher turnover. Overcrowded buildings with leaky roofs, faulty electrical systems, and outdated technology are the standard in many communities. “Educators are smart enough to learn lessons from history,” Van Roekel wrote in the letter, “and history has shown time and again that federal investments in infrastructure and other middle class job-creating initiatives is the fastest way to not only put Americans back to work, but to improve the country overall.” On Tuesday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan hinted strongly that education would be a prominent part of the president’s speech. “Tens of billions of dollars are necessary for the repair of school buildings,” Duncan told reporters. “There’s tremendous need in rural, suburban areas.” The backlog of much-needed repairs has been repeatedly delayed due to severe budget constraints. To recruit and retain talented teachers for the long-haul we have to pay them what they’re worth.” For Perry, the biggest revelation in the poll  was “its strong bipartisan support for increasing federal debt in the short term in order to achieve greater economic gains through investment in quality early childhood education.” That support, Perry noted, “includes a majority of Republicans. They demand that Congress funds programs that meet high quality standards.” “The country’s already decided that we need this kind of funding to help our kids walk into kindergarten as the best-prepared kids in the world,” said Jim Messina. “And they deserve exactly that. When adjusting only for inflation, the researchers found that teachers, compared to other college graduates, are paid nearly $350 less per week in salary in 2017, or 23 percent less.