Have you heard how horrible teachers are in the United States? Part 3 of 3

22 Oct

Explain why teachers allegedly don’t care about the children they teach when they get paid less and even spend their own money for materials in their classroom.

How does teachers’ pay compare to other Americans with the same level of education?

The Economic Policy Institute says, “A comparison of teachers’ wages to those of workers with comparable skill requirements, including accountants, reporters, registered nurses, computer programmers, clergy, personnel officers, and vocational counselors and inspectors, shows that teachers earned $116 less per week in 2002, a wage disadvantage of 12.2%. Because teachers worked more hours per week, the hourly wage disadvantage was an even larger 14.1%.

“Teachers’ weekly wages have grown far more slowly than those for these comparable occupations; teacher wages have deteriorated about 14.8% since 1993 and by 12.0% since 1983 relative to comparable occupations.”

Conclusion: Teachers that work in community based, democratic, transparent, non-profit public schools have been criticized and attacked in the media for decades ever since President Ronald Reagan released a missleading and fraudulent study called “A Nation at Risk” in 1983. In fact, a few years later, The Sandia Report proved that Reagan’s study that was used to declare a war on America’s public schools and teachers was totally wrong.

The truth is that public school teachers work, on average, almost twice the number of hours a week than the average American does while being paid less than workers with comparable skills, and then those teachers spend their own money so America’s children have a better chance to earn an education through their hard work. Teachers teach. Children do the work that learns from that teaching. Parents are supposed to support both the teachers and the children. What has gone wrong?

My daughter is 25 and she is now earning more than I did the year I retired after teaching for thirty years, and I had an AS degree, a BA, and an MFA. All she has is a BA.

Start with Part 1 or return to Part 2


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and disabled Vietnam Veteran, with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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5 responses to “Have you heard how horrible teachers are in the United States? Part 3 of 3

  1. drext727

    October 23, 2017 at 07:59

  2. myfellowteachers

    November 14, 2017 at 17:22

    Mr. Lofthouse, Sometimes people bring up teacher’s retirement plans, health benefits and summer break, etc. as part of their pay. How would your numbers change if these were factored in?

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      November 14, 2017 at 17:38

      Do you mean how the numbers would have changed on my monthly retirement check?

      If that is the question, then, I taught summer school for about 20 years of the 30 I was a teacher. The years I did not teach summer school, I earned money in the private sector. That 20 years of teaching summer school did not count toward my retirement and my health benefits didn’t follow me into retirement. Summer school is supposed to be equal to one full semester. If we used that comparison, then I lost about 20-percent from my retirement.

      I only know of one district in California that adds health benefits for its retired teachers and that is Los Angeles Unified. When I retired, if I wanted health care it would have cost me more than $1500 a month through what’s called COBRA up until I qualified for Medicare.

      That means when I retired, I took a 40-percent pay cut and left without medical since COBRA would have cost close to half of my monthly retirement check – couldn’t afford to pay that much. Summer school also paid less than the regular year. I recall that we were paid $25 an hour for the five hours we spent teaching two classes a day that ran a bit more than 2 hours each. We weren’t paid for the work we took home to correct because there wasn’t time to correct student work when we were managing and teaching. Two hours classes create twice as much work to correct each day so those two classes generated enough work to equal four classes during the school year.

      Teachers in the district where I worked were not paid for ten weeks of the year, the summer weeks unless we taught summer school that paid less per hour than the regular school year.

      In fact, we weren’t paid for the week we came back early to get ready. A week before school started, we were there in meetings and working in our rooms getting ready for the school year. We also worked at home getting material ready.

  3. myfellowteachers

    November 16, 2017 at 15:41

    What state did you teach in? Could it be that some states do offer teachers retirement packages with health benefits, and some don’t?

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      November 16, 2017 at 15:56

      I taught in California. Retirement benefits were beyond CalSTRS, that does not include health care, are negotiated in each district. In California, there are 560 Elementary districts, 87 High School districts, 330 Unified districts. That’s what I understand from my experience. I taught in a unified district called Rowland Unified. Rowland had about 19,000 students when I worked there. The high school where I taught had about 100 teachers and close to 3,000 students at the time. Most districts could not afford to cover health care for their retired teachers without high COBRA costs for the teachers. That’s the way it was in the district where I taught. I can’t speak for all the other districts.


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