New York – Many areas statewide have been facing critical teacher shortages for years, but this has become an even more serious issue since the pandemic began in March 2020. It’s not only the state of New York, but this is also a nationwide problem that requires a serious, systematic solution in the years to come.
Lack of respect and appreciation for the profession, inadequate resources and support, high levels of stress, and burnout are some of the most common problems teachers face that lead to a teacher’s decision to leave the profession. Although there are numerous factors that have different contributions to teachers’ dissatisfaction on the job, low salaries are the main factor that affects every single teacher across the nation, no matter what other factors impact their job.
In many cases, teachers are not paid as much as professionals in other fields with similar levels of education and experience. This can make it difficult for teachers to make ends meet, especially if they have a family to support. As a result, many teachers leave the profession in search of higher paying jobs elsewhere. This has been a rising problem in the last decade, and leaders on the local, state, and federal levels are trying to develop different kinds of programs to keep existing teachers on the job while attracting more candidates to fill in the gaps.
“A unique program, where we are able to bring in diverse teachers into our school community,” said RCSD Superintendent Carmine Peluso recently when promoting the ROC Urban Teaching Fellows program aimed to combat teacher shortage problem in Rochester City School Districts schools. “Just think about that, we have some student teachers that come in and do this for a period of time, but we have co-teaching throughout the whole year, and I think there’s something really remarkable and different from anywhere else,” Peluso added.
The ROC Urban Teaching Fellows program is designed to help Rochester schools somewhat solve the teacher shortage problem, but a Florida Congresswoman recently proposed a bill that might actually work in the long run and make the teaching profession more attractive to everyone in the future. Last week, Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson introduced the American Teacher Act.
The new proposed bill would incentivize states to increase the minimum K–12 teacher salary to $60,000 and provide adjustments for inflation. The proposed bill is something that might make a huge difference and should be taken into consideration, having in mind that it comes directly from someone who really knows and understands teachers’ real problems. Wilson currently chairs the Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittee.
In a press release, Congresswoman Wilson stated that teachers deserve a raise.
“Teachers deserve a raise. Our nation’s teachers have been underpaid, overworked, and deprived of resources for too long. That’s why I’m filing the American Teacher Act today, to give our nation’s teachers the raise they have earned and deserve,”
The American Teacher Act was proposed to combat the teacher shortage problem that thousands of schools nationwide face. According to the bill, Wilson also proposed several other things, including a cost-of-living adjustment for inflation and support for states to ensure competitive wages for teachers. Please visit this link for more details about the proposed bill.