Substitute teachers in the United States are often paid poorly and treated like trash

15 Oct

If you want to discover what America’s leaders at the state and federal level really think about our public schools and the education of our children, look no further than substitute teachers.

“Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé”, my memoir, was reviewed on Sincerely as a part of a book blog tour, and Stacie’s review caused me to think about substitute teachers. In fact, I had trouble sleeping the night that review appeared, because of memories that surfaced when I was a full-time, substitute teacher from 1976 – 1978.

What I found especially interesting was that Stacie was a substitute teacher and a mother of three, because dedicated substitute teachers are  valuable to full-time teachers—so rare, that full-time teachers often book the best, dedicated, experienced substitute teachers as far in advance as possible hoping that another teacher won’t steal them away first.

But, most of the time, for me, there was no way to know who the substitute teacher would be, and a few times, even when I had succeeded in booking a substitute teacher that I knew was good at her job, the district might redirect them at the last minute—without my knowledge—to another classroom or school and send my students to the library without a substitute, and my students would miss another day of instruction.

In this era of high-stakes testing with rank and yank results for teachers, every day lost in the classroom might cost a full-time-teacher her job.

What you learn from this post might shock you—and even make you angry—but the qualifications to become a K to 12 substitute teacher in California have not changed for decades. They are the same now as they were during my thirty years in the classroom (1975-2005).

I copied the following information from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Website:


Yes. The Emergency Substitute Teaching Permit for Prospective Teachers may be issued based on the completion of 90 semester units of course work from a regionally-accredited California college or university, verification of current enrollment in a regionally-accredited California college or university, and having satisfied the basic skills requirement [PDF].

For anyone who isn’t aware of the minimum number of units necessary for a bachelor’s degree, it’s usually 4-to 5-years of college and graduation requires a minimum of 120 units. Many majors and degrees have requirements that extend beyond the minimum number of units.

What this reveals is that many substitutes may not even be a senior in college or a college graduate.  And if you look at substitute pay on a state-by-state basis, you might be even more shocked.

For instance, in Alabama, the state reimburses local school districts $35 a day for a substitute teacher and that teacher only needs a high school diploma and a negative TB skin test.

If you click on this link, you may see how much each state—for those that list the daily pay—is willing to pay a substitute. I think what substitute teachers are paid is a crime. They should be paid much more—at least $100 a day with benefits.

In Iowa, where Stacie works as a substitute teacher, substitutes have the same licensing requirements as full time teachers—high standards compared to Alabama or California, but the average salary for a substitute teacher in Iowa is $23,905, while starting pay for a full time teacher is $39,200—and the average age of a substitute teacher in Iowa is 50.

When I was still teaching, there was a shortage of substitute teachers in California and often, full time teachers were called on to be substitutes during their planning periods.

I think it’s safe to say that this substitute teacher was a high school graduate from Alabama.

For instance, I was called a few times during the 27-years I worked as a full-time teacher, and once the district was so desperate that after they fired one, new and young, first-year teacher for teaching his students how to cheat on tests, the district staffed his five periods with five, full-time teachers by asking us to give up our planning period. I was one of those five teachers for the rest of the second semester.  The district paid me an extra $45 a day for giving up my planning period and teaching that one-extra class. For the rest of that year, instead of teaching five classes, I taught six. The district could have saved money if they had hired a substitute to finish that year, because the average hourly top pay for a substitute in California runs between $11 to $17. In Iowa, the top hourly pay is $10 to $15, but starts at $7.

If you have already read the “Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession” by Dana Goldstein, you might remember that she doesn’t mention substitute teachers in her book, which is sad, because substitute teachers are important to full time teachers, who don’t want their students to miss one day of instruction. Most teachers, who are out of their classroom for a day or more, don’t want baby sitters. They want skilled teachers—who teach just like they would. I know, because I did and the teachers I worked with did.

I now know there is one job in the United States that is more Embattled than a full-time teacher and that is the job of a dedicated, full-time, professional substitute teacher, who gets up early every day waiting for that phone call that will send them to a different classroom, subject and different challenge.

How do I know this?  Well, my first year in education was as a full-time, paid intern in a residency program with a master teacher in her fifth grade classroom. My second and third years, I worked as a full-time substitute teacher waiting for that 5-to-6 a.m. phone call, and I taught in seven different school districts in Southern California. I never knew what district would call first and what grade, subject, or school I would be sent to.

In conclusion, think of the differences between—for instance, me or a dedicated, full-time, experienced substitute teacher like Stacie versus a young K-12 substitute teacher with only a high school degree or even 90 or more college units but no BA degree and little or no experience or training as a classroom teacher.

The only teachers who might have a little bit more experience over that high school graduate or 90-unit, wet-behind-the-ears substitute teacher, who might not even be 21, would be a Teach For American (TFA) recruit with a BA/BS degree and 5 weeks of training in a summer workshop without any experience teaching children in the classroom before they started their first, full-time teaching assignment. This might explain why only a third of TFA recruits stay in education as teachers and 85% of those TFA recruits who stay in teaching, after two years, transfer into more affluent schools and away from schools with high rates of poverty leaving less than 3-percent of the original TFA recruits where they were needed most—with the at-risk children.

In fact, I think TFA recruits might be a better source for substitute teachers in some states—but not Iowa where the substitutes must meet the same qualifications as a full time teacher—than that high school graduate in Alabama or the 90+ unit non-college graduate in California.

When I was a substitute teacher, I already had a BA degree in journalism and a teaching credential earned through a full-time residency program in my master teacher’s fifth grade classroom. When I walked in a classroom as a substitute—no matter where or what—I knew what had to be done. At the time, my California teaching credential was a life, multi-subject credential.

I think the time has come to bring this issue into the open. Dedicated, full-time substitute teachers deserve more support, respect, benefits and pay, because they are a vital link in a child’s education when the regular teacher is out sick or attending a district workshop or meeting.

If our elected representatives and the corporate-driven, fake, education reformers really cared about our children’s education more than profiting off tax dollars that were meant for the public schools, substitute teachers in every state would at least match the requirements found in Iowa, and be paid the same as a professional college graduate instead of poverty wages with no benefits.


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

Crazy is Normal promotional image with blurbs

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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18 responses to “Substitute teachers in the United States are often paid poorly and treated like trash

  1. Stacie (@sincerelystacie)

    October 16, 2014 at 10:07

    You have raised some excellent points. In Iowa, you can be a Substitute Teacher you are a former teacher and have your license to teach. Also, if you have a Bachelor’s Degree, you can take a class through the AEA (usually a long weekend or over two weekends) to get your Substitute Authorization. If you pass the background check and pay the fees, you can substitute in a middle school or high school classroom, NOT in an elementary classroom. This is the type of sub license I have. I used to be a social worker in my previous “mom” life. Actually, these skills are excellent for teaching in the classroom. You have to renew your sub license every three years, much like a teacher does, by taking professional development classes through the AEA.

    Subs are very hard to find and “good subs” are even rarer. I only sub in one district and that is the one we live in and our kids go to. I know all the teachers personally. (Our small town is just under 700 people) and know most of the kids. I have had my days where I came home crying. I have had those moments where I realized I can make a difference in a kids life, even as just a sub, and I have had days where I said, I’m never going back. But, I did. The joy of subbing is that it is flexible, unpredictable, and you can say “No” if needed. But, I do have that guilt factor when I say “no” because I know how much I am needed. I also have teachers request me….far in advance. I have dates scheduled in April 2015 already. I also have teachers I will no longer sub for because the don’t have adequate classroom management or appropriate plans left and I’ve been “screwed” one too many times. Overall, I love my “job” as a sub. Yes, it can make for a stressful day, but usually the days are enjoyable. In one week I can teach Senior English all the way down to 7th Grade English, Geometry, Spanish, and Science. It keeps my brain busy and I feel like I am still using using my degree.

    As a side note, the sub pay in our district is $116/day, just increased from $110 last year. For our area, that is pretty good pay and one that makes it worth it. There are no benefits with it and that is the case for most schools around here.

    Thanks for raising the issue of Substitute Teachers. I feel very appreciated in my job, but I know that isn’t the case with all districts. This is my 4th year of subbing and I’m planning to continue for as long as they’ll have me. It’s a great job and one I am thankful to have!

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      October 16, 2014 at 10:43

      Thank you for the comment. After reading that some states allow GED graduates (a GED means that that the student didn’t graduate from high school on time and took a test later to earn an equivalent HS degree) to substitute teach, that dropped my jaw to the floor.

      I’m pleased to hear that sub pay in the district where you work is $116 a day. Compared to Arkansas’ $35 a day, that’s excellent.

      One thing you said resonated with me because I identified with it. You said,”I also have teachers I will no longer sub for because the don’t have adequate classroom management or appropriate plans left and I’ve been “screwed” one too many times.” During the years I subbed, I ran into a few teachers like that and I would refuse to sub in their classroom again. In fact, I even refused to return to one middle school in Monrovia, California because of the administration, but that’s another story.

      In fact, I was hired as a long term sub in an Intermediate school during my second year as a sub to replace an art teacher who had a nervous break down and ended up in a mental hospital strapped to a bed. The day I was hired, I met the principal and he took me to the classroom. There were nude Playboy photos pinned to the ceiling, gobs of paint and mushy paper sticking to the walls and the floor was littered with art supplies everywhere, and the teacher didn’t do this. The students did it when the teacher was there. This was a middle school.

    • a j furman

      October 17, 2014 at 19:44

      Back into the day of a Sub. Being 63, in good shape, with a Bachelors Degree in my back pack, I have re-entered the world of Substitute Teaching in a rural environment…This is my Third run at filling the holes of Teacher absences in my area. Child Psychologists would have a dream assignment monitoring the changes in curriculum and culture over the last 4 years.

      It used to be a challenge until I learned how to set boundaries. First of all, I have a minor in History, a love of academic research, Science, Botany, English, Geography and the Arts.

      Keeping students engaged in study, attentiveness and away from Cell phones, I phones and Tablets is the new boundary. Two days ago I jumped at opportunity to once again, fill vacancies, protect children while at the same time, attempt to keep them engaged in some sort of learning.

      The best times are creating environments that ignite timid students into young writers or players in a class play of many characters. Those days are too few and far from the usual assignments.
      As of late I now must become a Smart phone, tablet and Nintendo Cop.

      The complete abuse of the Students code replaces attentive behavior with sophomoric distractions of virtual devices occur, much too often.

      The new directive is to confiscate said devices at the onset and accepting the fallout of pissed off adolescents. No matter, the job that I have accepted is to Execute lesson plans, instill the seed of study and quest for knowledge in all students in my charge.

      These days I do have a fixed income to get me through the Summers. Early retirement and small annuities allow me the privilege this time around.

      Most days are good days, other days the discipline master comes out…preferably the former outweighs the latter…as I plan to do this up to three days a week for as long as I am able…

      Meanwhile, future Summers off look pretty darn good as far as the future is concerned. A Fall trip to Europe this year is a journey made possible by my current position, At Will, choosing the days or weeks I am available…as an addendum, I also do a wee bit of Painting, small offices and my own 1/2 acre compound…Splendor in the Season, I am respectively signing off. ajfurman.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse

        October 17, 2014 at 19:53

        Wow, pissed off adolescents—-that brought back memories. It doesn’t matter what rule or law some of them break, a few get pissed off every time they get caught, and that doesn’t nurture the learning environment in the classroom. Sometimes, it even leads to bedlam and lots of lost teaching time.

        I think that subbing in a rural environment might be much better than an urban barrio with violent street gangs and lots of poverty.

        I wish you the best of the best and may you have more days where you get to teach and kids get to learn than dealing with pissed off kids who don’t think they should get punished for breaking the rules.

  2. Judy Nichols

    November 3, 2014 at 07:44

    I spent three soul sucking years substitute teaching in the Columbus, Ohio Public Schools from 1990 to 1993 and you are absolutely right, substitute teachers are treated like trash. The pay was low, there were no benefits and no paid time off. And that hasn’t changed.

    It was miserable. Each day, I had no idea what I’d be teaching, or what kind of class I’d have, but it was a safe bet that some kid would demand to be allowed to go to the restroom right then, or they’d wet their pants right there. I always said no and never a single accident.

    I needed the money, so I had to take whatever was offered. And that was the worst part–every day was like the first day of work at the hardest job ever. You try to figure out what you’re supposed to do, learn everyone’s names and adjust to the class routine, but by the time you’ve done that, the day’s over and you’re off to another school.

    Oddly enough, the residential school for kids with behavioral problems was my favorite place to go. The teachers there fell all over themselves making me feel welcome as most subs refused to ever set foot in the place. It was great–four kids in a class plus an aid. I wished more of the teachers there got sick.

    I have to say I did gain something very valuable from it all. I have absolutely no fear of public speaking. There is no tougher crowd than a group of surly fifth graders who greet you with “We made our last sub cry,” and I know no matter where I speak, no one will be throwing spitballs are fighting over pencils.

    I’ve also seen it from the other side. When my daughter was in fourth grade, her teacher was out for a few months battling cancer (hard enough for the kids) and there was a parade of subs, none of them very good. Where are all those seasoned teachers looking for long term assignments when you need them?

    Also, when my sister was in high school, the physics teacher took eight weeks off for knee surgery. (never mind he could have had his surgery in the summer) and the sub was an older retired man who knew nothing about physics and spent the whole period talking about his daughter. The students, who needed to learn physics to get into a good college, went to the principal and asked him to bring in someone more qualified. The principal said “Mr. X is the only one we could find. You’ll just have to deal with it.”

    If subs were treated better, like employees rather than throw away temps, situations like these would be avoided.

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      November 3, 2014 at 08:40

      Thank you for the comment. What you describe is exactly what I experienced during the two years I was a substitute before being hired full time. Halfway through my first year as a sub—after my full time, year-long residency with a master teacher in her 5th grade classroom to earn my teaching credential—I was called to a grade school where I hadn’t worked before. The school was a few blocks away from Nogales High School where I would end up teaching for more than half of my career in education. When I arrived, the site that greeted me was a school with razor sharp concertina wire running along the edges of the roofs of every building. It was a fifth grade class that challenged me every day in ways I had not experienced yet. The regular teacher had a stroke and was in the hospital. Twelve days later, the principal called me in his office and offered me a full time substitute job for the rest of the year. He said it was because there had been a dozen subs before me and all of them had refused to return. I was the only one who came back for a second day, and then a third and so on. During the semester I worked at that elementary schools, I arrived in the mornings to discover all the lights in the teachers parking lot shot out. Then on another day, I arrived and every lock smith for miles around was there fixing the doors and locks that had all been pounded off the bullet riddled doors, while the custodians filled in the bullet holes and repainted. The first custodian arrived as six and he had called the principal. The goal was to get the repairs done before the children arrived from the gang dominated barrio the school served. The area was so dangerous, that the local police and even the county sheriffs would not patrol the streets in that area at night.

      And to think, that President G. W. Bush, and President Obama in addition to Bill Gates and his cabal of supporting billionaires along with Arne Duncan want to use the results of standardized tests to rank and then fire teachers while closing schools in similar communities and then turning those children over to corporate Charters that often quickly ident6ifiy the most at risk children who are the hardest to teach and then send them back to another public school a bus ride away, because the old public school is gone, replaced by that corporate Charter, where the same students take another set of annual standardized tests for another crop of teachers to be ranked and yanked who lose their chosen profession. This is democracy at its worst.

  3. Kathy Merman

    November 15, 2014 at 20:07

    I have been a teacher for almost thirty years. As an adjunct college professor and private tutor, I still need to substitute teach for extra income while I finish my doctoral degree. I hope to defend by spring and obtain a full-time teaching position at the college/university level next school year. As a substitute teacher, I receive about $10.00 per hour in the state of Ohio. Worse than that is the way I am treated. I am treated by administrators, secretaries, other teachers, and students as if I were stupid and clueless because I have questions about the routines of a building or classroom where I have never been before. I would just like to say to everyone that not all substitute teachers are losers who cannot get real jobs. We are not all old retired teachers looking to make easy money while we sit at our desks reading a magazine and ignore the students. Some of us really work hard and do our best to fill in for teachers who are out. Teachers, schools, and students need us, but they do not appreciate us or pay us like they do. Think about what it would be like if there were no substitute teachers. Teachers, think about what it would be like if just one day you had to go to a different district and go into a building where you knew no one, knew none of the policies or routines, knew none of the students, and were not even supplied with adequate lesson plans and materials but were expected to maintain discipline, teach from another teacher’s plans, and do countless duties. Stop looking down on us and acting like you are superior because you have a full-time teaching job. Some of us are actually educated and know how to teach!

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      November 15, 2014 at 20:58

      My first year in the classroom was in a full time, paid residency with a master teacher in her 5th grade classroom for an entire school year. My second and third years, after I earned my teaching credential, I substitute taught full time in seven districts. The phone rang every day about 5:00 AM, and I was on my way within an hour. I never knew what district, school, grade level or subject I was going to teach from day to day unless I had a long-term position.

      I know all about the challenging job of being a substitute. I also know that it’s a challenge to find a sub that takes the job seriously and is dedicated to do a good job every day they work. They are rare and valuable gems, and full time teachers fight over them. I know, because I did for the twenty-seven years I was a full time teacher with a contract. Whenever I was out of the classroom, I wanted one of the best substitute teachers, but I didn’t always get them.

    • Judy Nichols

      November 16, 2014 at 12:29

      Whenever I subbed at a school where the teachers and principals would offer support, I remembered them and would always be willing to take another assignment there when asked. Once a teacher came into the room and said “I’m taking this kid, this kid and this kid in my class today. We want you to come back,” and it made my day. I wish all schools would treat subs like they’re wanted and needed, as opposed to a warm bodies there to babysit the class while the teachers are off.

      Yes, it’s hard work running a school, but making the subs feel welcome and doing whatever you can to make their jobs easier means you’re more likely to get the good ones to come back. If they have a really bad experience at your school, you can bet they’ll never want to set foot in your school no matter how much they need the money.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse

        November 16, 2014 at 17:30

        I remember. It always felt good to be requested by a teacher you had subbed for.

  4. Bob Lewis

    February 18, 2015 at 18:15

    Lack of Union backing for substitute teachers is a disgrace especially in New Jersey where the New Jersey Teachers Union is the states largest and most wealthy union and pays their President over $500,000. a year.

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      February 18, 2015 at 18:27

      I worked as a substitute teacher for two full years the year after I earned my teaching credential, and in California, the teachers’ Union never approached me and said I could join and pay dues. I didn’t become a member of the teachers’ union until after I signed my first full time contract–starting the 4th year I worked in education. My first year was as a full time intern with a master teacher and I was paid a small stipend, but I couldn’t join the teachers’ union then either. I don’t know if teachers’ unions offer membership for substitutes in other states.

      I don’t think a teachers’ union should be expected to support anyone who doesn’t pay dues and that includes substitutes.

  5. Angry Fat Teacher

    February 25, 2016 at 18:54

    Education in America is a failure as fat cat tenured teachers are lame as they wanna be. I will likely not get a teaching job and join them because I can I am overqualified with 10 years teaching outside the USA to NICE POLITE non-twerking filthy vulgar entitled brats. And yes as a sub I see girls twerk like sex bots to their cell phones in front of guys. And yes lame kids say “I hate reading” good job parents and USA culture the overseas students I taught were kinder more modest and above all much harder working and respectful. I think I will head back there in 6 months if I can not find a full time job. Thanks to all the stupid fixed salary rate tenure fat slob teachers who assure theat I will not get a job cuz I is to overqualied

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      February 26, 2016 at 08:51

      Where is your non-biased, reliable sources to support your allegation that “Education in America is a failure as fat cat tenured teachers are lame as they wanna be”?

      I have shocking news for your ignorant based bias. Public Education in the United States is NOT a failure. In fact, even with the propaganda war being waged against public education and teachers’ unions, public education in the U.S. is a resounding success that could use more help to improve and become even more successful.

      How do I make this claim?

      1. Stanford Report, January 15, 2013

      Poor ranking on international test misleading about U.S. student performance, Stanford researcher finds
      A comprehensive analysis of international tests by Stanford and the Economic Policy Institute shows that U.S. schools aren’t being outpaced by international competition.

      The report also found:

      There is an achievement gap between more and less disadvantaged students in every country; surprisingly, that gap is smaller in the United States than in similar post-industrial countries, and not much larger than in the very highest scoring countries.
      Achievement of U.S. disadvantaged students has been rising rapidly over time, while achievement of disadvantaged students in countries to which the United States is frequently unfavorably compared – Canada, Finland and Korea, for example – has been falling rapidly.

      U.S. PISA scores are depressed partly because of a sampling flaw resulting in a disproportionate number of students from high-poverty schools among the test-takers. About 40 percent of the PISA sample in the United States was drawn from schools where half or more of the students are eligible for the free lunch program, though only 32 percent of students nationwide attend such schools.

      2. There are 196 countries in the world and the U.S. is ranked in the top ten on this list. In fact, the U.S. was ranked the 4th most educated country in the world in 2014.

      From the New England Institute of Technology:

      The United States is ranked #4 – (How did that happen if so many of America’s public school teachers are “fat cats” as you allege? America’s public school teachers teach about 50 million or 91% of our children K to 12th grade.)

      89% of Americans have a high school degree, #2 behind Japan that has 92% and Japan’s HS graduation rank is questionable since about 22% graduated from vocational high schools and not academic. In the U.S. the only high school graduation track is academic, because the U.S. has no vocational high schools like most countries in the world have. In the U.S. there is an obsession that everyone has to go to college and be college ready out of high school. Yet, for every job in the U.S. that required a college degree there are almsot three college graduates meaning many will not end up in a job that requires a college degree because they don’t exist.

      42% of Americans have earned college degrees. Only Canada, Israel and Japan graduate more, and, except for Israel, all of the top ten most educated countries have high rates of unemployment or underemployment among their college graduates.

      If children say they hate reading, and I heard that same phrase often during my thirty years in the classroom, who is responsibly for that—the parents/guardians who had them from birth or the 30 to 50 teachers who taught them form K to 12?

      What are the most important years for a child to develop a love of reading?

      “Recent research into human brain development is proving that parents truly are their children’s first teachers. What parents do, or don’t do, has a lasting impact on their child’s reading skill and literacy. For example, there is considerable evidence of a relationship between reading regularly to a child and that child’s later reading achievement (National Research Council, 1998).”

      Why do students in Finland do so well on that questionable international PISA test that was developed with help from Pearson, the largest private sector, for profit publisher of educational material—a company that benefits from countries that do not rank high on the PISA?

      In fact, Pearson spends a lot of money lobbying in Washington DC, America’s state capitals and in other countries to use high stakes tests that Pearson creates and sells for a profit as a way to rank and punish both teachers and children when in fact, thousands of experts around the world say that using VAM (or high stakes tests) to rank teachers is wrong on so many counts.

      Children in Finland do not start school until they are SEVEN but most of the parents in Finland start teaching their children to love reading as soon a possible after the birth of the child and continue to lenience the child’s love of reading for seven years before they start school. In addition, there are no high stakes tests in Finland that determine failure or success. The teachers in Finland belong to a strong teachers’ union, are trusted to decide what to teach and how to teach and are paid and treated like professionals.

      What about teacher pay?

      Average salaries of public school teachers with 15 years experience, as of 2007. The salaries are in U.S. dollars and adjusted for purchase power parity.

      The average teacher pay in primary, lower secondary and upper secondary schools was lower than general practitioner pay in all 16 member countries. That included Finland, New Zealand, Netherlands, Estonia — four countries that had test scores “significantly above the OECD average” in math, science and overall reading. (That was true, too, of Australia, based on OECD and government data. OECD data showed that Australia students scored significantly above the OECD average in all three subjects and paid teachers less than $45,000. There are no OECD data on general practitioners’ pay, but a government-funded website said “the average annual income for a full time Australian GP is up to $200,000 or more,” which currently converts into $207,000 in U.S. dollars.) …

      he president would have been safe to say, based on Darling-Hammond’s testimony, that countries with high-performing education systems invest heavily in mentoring, teacher training and continuing education. And some even offer salaries that are competitive with other professions, including engineering. But he cannot say that “most countries” that perform well on standardized testing pay teachers “on par with doctors.”

      Since I taught in the public schools for thirty years 1975 – 2005 after I went through year long, full time urban residency teacher training program and then subbed for two years full time before I landed my first full time contract near the bottom of a pay scale designed to reward loyalty and experience, I eventually became one of those so-called “fat cat” teachers you seem to hate. How was I rewarded when I retired after thirty years as a teacher? The money I earn in retirement started out 40% less than my last year of earnings as a full time teacher who often worked 60 to 100 hours a week (that counts teaching, planning, parent contacts, correcting papers and doing grades, etc.), and I left without any medical coverage because most teachers get no medical coverage after they retire until they qualify for medicare. I was one of the fortunate few who was qualified to get medical through the Veterans Administration because as a former Marine and Vietnam combat vet, I had a service related disability.

  6. Angry Fat Teacher

    February 25, 2016 at 18:57

    By the way I hate unions. I am still mad my sub money pay got garnished and went to help some fat slob in a union office eat donuts and talk big and then give my cash to some liberal puke who the NEA always leans towards.Yes that is a labor union guy not the nea – but they are all the same- doing nothing and taking my money without consent,,,

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      February 26, 2016 at 09:01

      The New York Post is owned by a labor union hating billionaire—Rupert Murdoch—who is part of the cabal of billionaire oligarchs that is out to destroy community-based, democratic, transparent, non profit public education and replace it with private sector, for profit, autocratic, opaque and often fraudulent corporate charter schools that reputable studies repeadily prove are worse or no different than the public schools they are replacing.

      A private sector, for profit, free press doesn’t mean that the media is honest and unbiased in its reporting. More than 90% of the traditional media is owned by six global corporations and Murdoch’s News Corp is one of them.

      The Billionaires’ War Against Public Education

      For instance, “Won’t Back Down” was distributed by 20th Century Fox, which is owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corporation owns Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post. News Corporation also owns Wireless Generation, a for-profit online education, software and testing corporation, recently rebranded as Amplify. Murdoch has long hoped to get a piece of the education system, which he once described as a “$500 billion sector in the US alone that is waiting desperately to be transformed.” To help Murdoch get a piece of that money, he hired Joel Klein, the former New York City school chancellor who runs Amplify. (Klein also is on the board of Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst.)

      I think you have been fooled into thinking the way you do from the anti public education billionaire cabals constant flow of media propaganda designed to destroy community based, democratic, transparent, non-profit public education and replace it with an education system controlled by private sector, for profit corporations—schools that would be stripped of their due process protections under the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

  7. kkatx

    February 21, 2018 at 13:00

    HI, found your blog as I am considering substituting in AISD, Texas. The pay is rather low, which surprised me as Texas schools think nothing of spending $60,000,000.00 for a football stadium… Which leads me to ask why the pay is so low – Texas schools can obviously afford to pay all teachers more if they can afford to spend this kind of money on stadiums. Not only that, but also Texas is one of the wealthier states in the U.S. Priorities, I suppose. Thanks for publishing this blog, I appreciate the info.

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      February 22, 2018 at 09:29

      You’re welcome. The pay is low because it is part of the agenda by a small number of wealthy Alt-Right billionaires and millionaires to turn the U.S. into a country where the wild west rules without law and order. The Koch brothers with their ALEC organization are at the top of this pyramid of hate and manipulation to rewrite the U.S. Constitution and turn the United States into a nightmare country for the rest of us. All of these mass shootings are being caused by this movement because of the hate the Alt-Right conspiracy theory generating, lying media machine stirs up.

      If the Koch brothers and the other members of ALEC succeed, the U.S. will become an autocratic-theocratic kleptocracy that benefits only the wealthiest Americans in the top 1 percent or less.


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