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Despite Raises, Average Teacher Pay Is Eroding Significantly in Flagler and Florida

| August 31, 2011

Click on the map to see the county-by-county breakdown.

Four years ago, the 833 Flagler County school teachers had an average salary of $46,871.

The district’s 876 teachers finished the year last June with an average salary of $48,067, a 2.5 percent increase in four years.

That’s in nominal dollars. In inflation-adjusted dollars, Flagler’s teachers saw their pay decrease significantly. Their $46,871 pay in 2006 was the equivalent of $52,526 in inflation-adjusted dollars in 2011. In other words, if their pay had merely kept up with inflation–not experience, not merit, just cost of living–they would have had to be making $52,526. So when accounting for inflation, average teacher pay declined $4,449, or 8.5 percent.

Keep in mind that average pay can be skewed by a few very high salaries. Median pay–what most teachers are likely to be making–adds a level of accuracy and perspective. Median pay in Flagler County at the end of the last school year was $45,000. In 2006, it was $43,496. When adjusted for inflation, the same declines in pay are apparent.

Flagler teachers began the current year with an average 2 percent raise. But that, too, is deceptive: if the raise wasn’t erased by costlier health care premiums, it was more than erased by the 3 percent of pay all public employees must now contribute to their retirement fund, even though when they signed their contract, no such requirement was stipulated. The Legislature changed the law last spring.

In effect, the average teacher in Flagler County began this new school year with a 10 percent decline in salary purchasing power, compared to 2006. Put another way: the average teacher’s standard of living, based on that school district salary, has had to be scaled back 10 percent (or made up through borrowing that 10 percent, or getting another job).

The figures belie the assumption that teachers–or teacher unions–are exercising much political power beneficial to their bottom line, or that they have been better off than other public employees in the state, where cops, firefighters, health department employees, social case workers and other state employees have seen salaries stagnate or fall, when they have been able to hold on to their jobs at all.Rather, the lower pay appears to be encouraging teachers to leave for better conditions elsewhere.

That’s true across Florida.

On average, school districts have raised the minimum pay for a teacher by 1 percent in the last four years, according to newly released data by the Florida Department of Education. And less than half of all school districts have given raises at all, with most districts keeping salaries flat over the last four years.

As a consequence of years of state cuts to education and dwindling property tax values, most school districts say they cannot afford to give raises to teachers, instead focusing on preventing layoffs or school closures.

Lawmakers say the lack of raises is the product of a severe economic downturn.

“Obviously, none of us are pleased with any decline in salary or any failure of teachers to get raises,” said Sen. David Simmons, R-Maitland, who helped write the education budget. “We are not satisfied with that, but at the same time, we have to realize this has been a very brutal economic time for most, if not all, Floridians.”

In the last four years, the average pay of a Florida teacher has decreased $1,199, from $46,922 in the 2007-2008 school year to $45,723 in the 2010-2011 school year, a decline of about 2.5 percent.

That doesn’t mean that a teacher who was making $47,000 three years ago was making $45,700 last year: individual salaries have not declined, at least not nominally, but taken as a whole, pay is falling.

In Broward County, an exodus of experienced teachers and salary schedule changes have actually caused the average teacher pay to fall by 16 percent in the last four years to $42,181 – the largest drop in any county.

Stephanie Rothman has done the math. On her roughly $48,000 a year salary, the 15-year high school English teacher in Broward County barely gets by.

In the last year, Rothman has had to abandon a Boca Raton home she could no longer afford, moving into a room at a friend’s house and feels “cynical and hopeless” about her financial prospects.

“I love teaching, I was born to teach,” Rothman said. “But I feel there is no way I can sustain a living with just teaching. So that is why I decided to become a certified personal trainer and get a part-time job.”

Rothman is one of hundreds of thousands of teachers in Florida that have gone years without a significant raise.

“Morale is at an all-time low,” said Pat Santeramo, the president of the Broward Teacher’s Union. “We’ve seen people exiting the ranks of teachers in Broward County whether it’s at the top or bottom. They have basically given up.”

Salary woes have led many in the profession to get second jobs, leave teaching, retire, or move to a state in which teachers are paid more. In Georgia, for instance, the average teacher salary for the 2009-2010 school year was $53,155, over $7,000 more than what the average teacher earns in Florida.

“We are professionals, but we are held to high standards that our pay does not match,” said Lisa Dos Santos, a world history teacher at Forest Glen Middle School in Broward County. “Many of us have lost a house or gone bankrupt, and I speak from personal experience.”

As a single parent, Dos Santos said surviving on a teacher’s salary in South Florida is almost impossible. “You certainly can’t support a family or even yourself on just one teacher’s salary,” she said.

As a result, Dos Santos has kept a second job as a waitress throughout most of her 15-year teaching career.

Flagler County can look at this silver lining: average teacher pay here is 7th-best in the state, behind Monroe, Sarasota, Collier, Dade, Okaloosa and Charlotte. But even at $48,067 a year, that average pay is significantly lower than in neighboring Georgia.

And in every category, Flagler’s teachers have fewer years of experience than the state average, suggesting that once they attain a certain level here, they seek out better-paying employment elsewhere. In Florida as a whole, a teacher has, on average, 12.29 years of experience. In Flagler County, the average is 11.69. (In Monroe, where pay is higher, the average is 13.53, and it’s 14.05 in Sarasota, denoting a correlation between pay and a teacher’s tendency to stay put.) Flagler’s specialists also have significantly less experience (12.94 years) compared to the state average (16.21 years). Its teachers with a doctorate have 14.4 years of experience, compared to the state average of 15.4. Its master’s degree and bachelor’s degree teachers’ years of experience (14.57 and 10.02) are only slightly below the state averages.

Andy Ford, the head of the statewide teacher’s union, the Florida Education Association, placed the blame for the decline in teacher salaries at the feet of the Florida Legislature.

“It’s just a general lack of commitment on the state’s part for funding,” Ford said. “We have not been investing in public education for the last few years and now we are in a downward spiral.”

Rep. Marti Coley, R-Marianna, disputes the notion that lawmakers are to blame.

“Teacher salaries and raises are set by the local governing body,” Coley said. “We don’t set salaries. Certainly, the budget shortfalls we have experienced at the state level has directly impacted local budgets.”

Coley said her “heart goes out” to teachers in areas like South Florida, where the cost of living is much higher. “I know it is a tough time,” she said. “Unfortunately, it is a reflection of the economy as a whole.”

Teacher salaries are set by each district, usually after negotiations with the local teacher’s union. In Florida, Taylor County offers the lowest starting teacher salary at $30,000, and Monroe County – the high-cost Florida Keys – offers the highest possible salary of $80,184 to experienced teachers with a doctorate degree.

The comparative figures at the end of last year in Flagler County were $38,213 for a starting teacher with a bachelor’s degree. A teacher with 20 years’ experience and a BA topped off at $57,677. A teacher with a doctorate started at $43,713 and topped off at $63,177.

Compounding the frustration over no raises, teachers are also wary of upcoming changes to how they are paid. There is that newly required 3 percent contribution to Florida Retirement System for their pensions or investment accounts. Also going into effect this year is the beginning stages of a new merit pay system.

The familiar salary schedules that disclose how much a teacher earns depending on experience and whether they have a bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degree is about to be phased out.

New teachers instead will have their salaries tied to how well students do on standardized tests, and districts are not allowed to use advanced degrees, except when in relevant subject areas, to boost pay.

“It’s really created a lot of heartburn,” Santeramo said, with teachers questioning how outside factors such as student attendance, background, and familiarity with English will be taken into consideration.

Lawmakers say their goal for next year is to keep funding for education stable, rather than having to cut as deeply as this year, when lawmakers approved a budget that slashed school funding by 8 percent on a per-student basis.

“I’m optimistic,” Coley said. “We made such deep cuts this past session that we will be able to avoid those cuts in the coming session. We don’t have the numbers, but hopefully it looks a little better.”

–The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

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36 Responses for “Despite Raises, Average Teacher Pay Is Eroding Significantly in Flagler and Florida”

  1. bill says:

    I don’t see the problem. 7th best pay in the State, job security and great benefits in a rural county. Not bad for a part time job.

  2. Gram says:

    You get what you pay for. If teachers were paid as professionals, there would be more professional teachers. Highly effective, highly intelligent people -who would be valuable influences to students- walk right by education as a career because highly effective, highly intelligent people can make scads more money working in the private sector.

    If the government funneled money away from defense and into nationwide teacher initiatives, which could raise the esteem of the teaching profession across the board, our nation would be hugely better protected in the future than if we continue to funnel tax monies to weapons R&D and occupying other sovereign nations.

  3. Kevin says:

    Very true…some of those new teachers are very young where one day they were servers at a restaurant and next they are making decent money with the chance for raises, a pension, health insurance, and a future. Still this isn’t enough for some people. They forget others out there make less and work harder and I dare say, smarter and more efficiently.

  4. Lin says:

    We are all subject to inflation, not just teachers.

    What I see here at the top of this article in the little caption is playing with the numbers. The Flagler teachers got a raise — I didn’t. My contribution to healthcare went up too, & there is no retirement plan for me. $48+K/year for average salary? What does the “average” Flagler citizen earn? Does anyone out there know? Tried to find demographics but the statistics were old. I doubt it is anything close to what the “average” teacher makes and those benefits are enviable for most people in Flagler. If the conditions are so bad here, how many teachers quit here?

    Also in this article it says that the average teacher in Flagler has “LESS” experience than other counties. Does that mean we should pay “MORE”? for LESS?

    I respect teachers and all their efforts & hard work.

    But when I read that we in Florida are 48 out of 50 states in our school ratings and worldwide we are failing, I am concerned about the STUDENTS.

    When I see that in Flagler Co, our School Board cut the school day YET gave out raises, I am concerned about the STUDENTS.

    Paying teachers more and taxing citizens more solves nothing. Suing the State just takes the taxes from the whole state and give it to whoever the State decides to — but we pay more anyway.

    Another article crying about teacher pay doesn’t get to the heart of what is wrong here. I’m concerned about the families working several jobs to pay the teachers salaries and not spending enough time with their children.

  5. Out of curiosity says:

    Job security? Professional contracts have been done away with and layoffs are a regular occurrence, so you might want to rethink that statement, Bill.

  6. IML8 says:

    If you look at the flagler school board website and read under school board docs, agenda items you will see that they are hiring teachers that are brand new ….. $38, 213.00 these are first year teachers…. instead of hiring teachers who have experience yet were let go because of having less then 3 or 4 years with Flagler county schools. There are also experience teachers looking for jobs who just moved to the area or left teaching for a bit to raise their own babies and now want to return to teach as their children are school aged. It is very sad here in Flagler county that when a position is posted their may be 30+ experienced applicants yet they are hiring the cheapest.

  7. rdh says:

    Get rid of the union and the fcat and get back to the basic teaching to produce a person ready to enter the REAL world..


    Are you trying to get me to feel sorry that they ONLY make $48,000.00?
    what are you thinking? I wish the average private sector paid close to that
    in Palm Coast!

  9. Lin says:

    IML8 – interesting. We have teacher friend with Master’s Degree — last yr she was subbing. She could not get hired because the union rules prevent getting hired even if she accepted starting pay. She said she would gladly have taken starting pay to get the job.

    IMO Union rules and FCATs are holding back our Districts

  10. Anonymous says:

    …”Stephanie Rothman has done the math. On her roughly $48,000 a year salary, the 15-year high school English teacher in Broward County barely gets by.”

    Broward county like Palm Beach have very high property taxes and with many of the homes in gated subdivisions with great amenities, homeowners associations fees are pretty hefty too. Ours was $1600 a year when we lived in Weston, FL. She lived in Boca, there it is probably the same if not higher. School lunch and breakfast were cheaper and included a very healthy salad bar for students to build their own saladsBut it sure is a pretty town with sidewalks and streetlights throughout and lots of cultural stuff

  11. Thinkforyourself says:

    I’m not sure what’s more disappointing – the article or the comments. SMH

  12. In reality says:

    Teachers actually make an average of $1333/week. They are paid for the time they work which is 36 weeks. If they worked the full 50 weeks like the majority of the working public, their annual salary averages $66,666. Not a small amount of money imo. Is there a way to employ teachers for the full 50 weeks so they are able to maximize their earning ability?

  13. teacherturnedSLP says:

    Well, this certainly is sad all around. While I am very disappointed that the economy hasn’t improved in Flagler so there could be more well paying jobs, I don’t think the largest employer in Flagler County should get so much criticism. Yes, teachers make a lot compared to some people in this county, but remember that they have at least a 4-year college education and work with ALL children. In a semi-rural community like this one, they are the ones supporting your small businesses. And they’re paying their fair share of taxes. It’s not like they are super-rich and living in huge houses on the beach with all kinds of toys for recreation. Yes, there are perks. Without the union, the salary wouldn’t even be close to what it is now. But there are downfalls too; for example, all of you with anti-teacher attitudes are definitely transferring that to your children. Students are more difficult to teach. They are more disrespectful of teachers for one and we can’t just send them out and be done with them. In public schools we are REQUIRED to give ALL students an education. And students don’t always value education. Teaching has become a performance in order to keep kids interested and that’s hard work that many people didn’t sign up for when getting into education. I’ve been able to adapt fortunately but education looks totally different now than when I started 12 years ago. While I do enjoy it, a couple of years ago I decided to change careers and pursue speech and language pathology. I still hope to work in schools, this time with elementary school children instead of teenagers strictly because of the increase of behavior problems I see among teens and their lack of respect for authority. The private sector is too unreliable. When I hear of hard working people in the healthcare industry in this county who are being laid off after years because they get sick or because they are too unaffordable to keep around so they’re job title is dissolved and given to several lower paying employees, I just can’t believe it. There is something to be said for loyalty and job security, especially in this time of economic hardship.

  14. Bob Z. says:

    “In reality”: Teachers work 196 days a year, not 180, which is what the State requires for students.

    It almost sounds like some people are jealous based on what they earn – we all picked our career paths so if you wanted to make the money they make you should have become a teacher, who are also tax payers. They did not get a raise, they got a “Step” increase, which is part of their contract. Keep in mind that teachers go to work and take care of and teach children – they get paid what the contract says they will get, go home at the end of the day, and live their lives just like everyone else.

    And if anyone thinks it is a part-time job they have no idea of what a teacher’s job entails.

  15. Anonymous says:

    love the part time job comment

  16. Lucine says:

    Not to generalize and stereotype, but can everybody guess the non-educated unintelligent people’s posts from the college-educated posts?

    I know I can.

    Some of the slack-jawed local yokels need to stop posting on these boards. Every time they start yapping, they prove their ignorance. I can properly assume the people discussing teachers “benefits” (and I use this term loosely) derisively have a strange case of “teacher envy.”

    Think teachers have it good? Paths paved with gold? Green pastures and happy suns? By all means. I invite you to become an educator in this case. Or perhaps you cannot handle the college classes?

  17. Comment says:

    No other profession complains about salaries more than teachers. If you don’t like the job, the salary or the challenges GET OUT!! EVERY job has it’s challenges and every 4 year college graduate wants to earn more money (and there are plenty of 4 year college graduates earning less or on the unemployment rolls). I am grateful to people who are willing to teach our children, not a job I would want. I am grateful to the garbage man willing to pick up my garbage, not a job I would want. I am grateful to the police for my safety, not a job I would want. What I don’t understand is why spend your 4 year college education earning a teaching degree and then are so appalled at the salary? (btw an average of $1200/week is not a bad living) You learned everything there is to know about teaching and nothing about the salary? Really?

    Who on this thread would like to earn $1200 for a weeks work? Am I jealous you are darn right, am I “non-educated”? You figure it out!!

  18. Sherry Epley says:

    The future of our country, of our entire planet, is in the heads, hearts and hands of our educators. As total compensation is driven down, as respect is taken away by the unthinking, so goes our future.

    I am not a professional teacher, but I have several friends who are. In every case, their day does NOT begin or end when the bell rings. First, they go to the super market or teacher supply store to buy essential things out of their personal pay checks to supply their students/school with everything from Kleenex, to pencils and paper, to materials for science/art projects. Then, they take papers home to grade, and later prepare lessons and tests for the next day. In their “spare” time, they counsel/tudor students, deal with the parents of problem children/bullies, and take continuing education courses. The good teachers devote many more hours to educating children than any of us imagine.

    Let’s compare apples to apples. Professionals, with their required education level, are paid more (any way you look at it) in the private sector. Yet, there is nothing more vital to the success of our nation than the quality of education provided by those responsible for providing that education. The bottom line is, you get what you pay for. The leaders of other countries know that. Historically, their cultures honor and respect the teaching profession. Their children do NOT rule the household or the class room. “Old fashioned” disipline is maintained in the teaching environment, and supported by the parents.

    It’s not just about the money, it’s also about our cultural decline in general, but in particular as it impacts the realm of education. We decide, today, how our children (anf theirs) will be prepared to compete in the global job market and economy of the future.

  19. Thinkforyourself says:

    The people who are running their mouths about how easy teachers have it and how over paid they are have no idea what it’s like to be in a classroom. That’s not a complaint, it’s just reality. It’s not a part time job and yes, it’s sad to think someone could spend 20 years in an occupation and only climb 10 to 15,000 in the salary scale. Sorry corporate professional have upward mobility and most corporate professionals after the same time frame would not be making such a small sum. If your ticked off about not having a job so be it but why beat up the people who have one. Especially when you know nothing about being in the classroom or the responsibility of running and facilitating a classroom or working with children. We are nothing as a nation without a high quality education system. We should try supporting it and those who work in it, instead of taking a swipe at them constantly. Geez, get real would ya!

  20. MARIANO says:

    I belive many of this comments that are being made, are by people who have NO IDEA of what being a teacher is. My wife is a teacher and goes above and beyond her so called 36 hrs a week so Bill for your information teachers do not work a part time. maybe no one knows what is like to have to deal with 30 kids 5 days a week and then have to deal with all the parents who think that teaching some manners and raising their kids is also the job of a teacher. my wife works from 7:30 am to 6 or 7 pm and some times while having dinner she is on the phone with some of those star parents and saturdays works almost all day planning for the following week so yes I do think THE 48 THOUSAND DOLLAR PAY S*CK!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Lin says:

    Some of the comments about the hard job being a teacher in today’s society are well-founded — but noone forces anyone to become a teacher — some might be better suited for another line of work that pays better.

    From the teacher-lobby,there is such stereotyping of people who dare question raises beyond the ability of a community to pay and admonitions to stop posting — I hope these attitudes are not communicated to the students. What ever happened to free-speech? Respect has to be earned. It should not be connected to the amount of money anyone makes or the amount of degrees they have or don’t have. Some were not fortunate enough to have higher education but have made huge success of their lives. That is what I respect. Seeing life through the narrow prism of academia doesn’t help our students. A college education and teaching experience does not guarantee common sense or compassionate attitudes. We have a school system in serious trouble despite the highly paid and so-called well-educated school district employees. I was very surprised reading Flaglerlive’s recent listing of the top salaries in the Flagler county school district. I wish that translated to successful students. Our children are coming out of school ill-prepared for life and earning a living in a competitive world.

    I feel grateful for the teachers who try so hard to give our students what they need in the classroom.

    If you pay a good teacher more money, does that mean they will be a better teacher?
    If you pay a bad teacher more, does that make them a good teacher?
    If you pay a good teacher less, does that make them a bad teacher?

  22. palmcoaster says:

    I agree with Lucine, Sherry, Thinkfor and Mariano…All those years of college and the long hours contributed after school hours and the strength in character and the patience to deal with the students and their parents many issues…is not properly rewarded with only 48,000/year when a Flagler County Commissioner makes more than that for less than a part time work and their choice County Manager gets compensated over 200,000/year including bonuses and benefits.
    @ Comments, I don’t know from where you get your unjustified hatred for teachers.

  23. Thinkforyourself says:

    BTW – most teachers who have families pay over $1000 a month for medical coverage so I’m not sure where you get your $1200 a week from. And no I don’t believe teachers do it for the money, I do believe it is a calling but that doesn’t mean they give up the right to a decent professional salary. The top end salaries are not people in the classroom and out of hundreds of positions you are talking about 15 or 20. No, I’m not a teacher but know plenty of them, have a ton of respect for them and none of them are taking home $1200 a week.

  24. Comment says:

    Having a different perspective/opinion makes me hateful?
    $48,000 is not for a years work, it is for the 39 weeks of work that teachers do.

  25. IMOKRU says:

    Comment…. Are you aware that many teachers spend those other weeks during the year take different workshops, classes, etc…. it’s not just time off. Also teachers get less paid days off or sick leave then many other professions. I know numerous other professions that get 13 sick days a year and also get 3-4 weeks vacation depending on how long they have been employed.

  26. Liana G says:

    I am all for teachers being paid what they are worth but as a parent, I strongly feel that the public education system needs to be opened to school choice. When parents / citizens are given choices, and are given the power and responsibility to make such important decisions, they are inclined to appreciate, value, and respect the outcomes.

    When individuals are forced into accepting decisions and outcomes that they feel they have no/limited control over, or that doesn’t meet their needs or expectations. It is very difficult for them to show appreciation, let alone respect. A very good example can be seen in voter turnout in this country due to the low expectations and lack of respect for our political process and its leaders. If I received a dollar for every time someone called Rick Scott an idiot, I’d be a millionaire many times over! And who are the individuals doing the name calling – our public school graduates! Our school system is a constant regurgitation and cycling of what goes out into society and what comes back through its door in the administrators, teachers, students and parents.

    IQ increases in every generation. The smarter a society becomes, the more it advances, and changes for the better are likely to take place. The same old status-quo and standards can no longer work for a society that is steadily progressing and modernizing to meet the demands of this new global trending. And with that our education system is going to have to accept that this new generation of parents want and demand choice in education, and that they very much want to be given the opportunity to appreciate, value, and respect the education system and its educators. But the two has to go together.

    We like to hold our country as a model of democracy, yet when it comes to this fundamental democratic principle/right, we the citizens, the majority, have no say. And if we are going to have forced education and no choices, why pay through the nose with hard earned tax dollars and property taxes. Why?

  27. beentheredonethat says:

    Since football players make the big money, obviously it is more important to our society that someone running down the field carrying a ball is of more value that someone who teaches children. What a crazy mixed up world.

  28. palmcoaster says:

    Teachers do enough non paid overtime over the 40 hours week work while schools are open. After that, they also have to do more work during their so called weeks off during schools out. Our teachers have all my respect as is not a bed of flowers their work. I am not a teacher and both my kids are adults, now long gone from school and as I recall those teachers even back then had to put up with a lot for their pay including un appreciation. They don’t even get paid enough for the years of college they had to pay and get their monies paid back working. America is the only country that I know that does no afford public funded universities were only the ones that pass the minimum average point admission test can go to classes for free as long as they maintain their minimum average in their courses. This way only the real good students get admitted and not only the privileged ones’s that can afford to pay no matter how bad they are. In America higher education is just a business for profit and not really intended to educate the real exceptionally good students that deserve it. Then is why we have corporations hiring all these professionals that went to government subsidized universities for free in their countries come here and compete with our young graduates that are up to their necks in debt to pay the loans to become professionals. If you give me a choice other than spend in all these wars I would rather some of my taxes be used in all education levels including some public funded universities other than funding wars. Most countries out there have some form of public funded universities the day we will do same, America will be the real Number One Country of this world.

  29. says:

    i am so happy that my kids were not educated in this state and they are all doing well with S and P 500 companies with medical and pension plans.

  30. Thinkforyourself says:

    “If I received a dollar for every time someone called Rick Scott an idiot, I’d be a millionaire many times over! And who are the individuals doing the name calling – our public school graduates! ” You make a huge assumption with this statement. You would be unable to provide much truth to this statement. I actually don’t know anyone who thinks this guy is worth much unless they are getting something from him such as funding. OR those who are seeking funding from him. Private, public, doesn’t seem to matter much. AND you have choices with in the public school system. You have a choice to attend any school you’d like and you also have charter schools to choose from, not sure I understand the issue. And Comment – no one hates you for having a difference of opinion, go for it. Liana G. I’m not sure what your issue is but you sure are unhappy with the education system. I hope for the benefit of your children you make some kind of change. I’m sure they pick up on your disgust of the public school system and that in itself will breed discontent. None of which can be healthy for either party.

  31. Liana G says:

    Thinkforyourself says:

    “You make a huge assumption with this statement. You would be unable to provide much truth to this statement”

    If according to your claim, I am unable to provide the truth. Will you please substantiate yours? I would love to see your stats.

    “I actually don’t know anyone who thinks this guy is worth much unless they are getting something from him such as funding. OR those who are seeking funding from him.”

    Here we go with the cheap name calling – The guy and those seeking funding from him are not worth much – I take it others reliant on this funding from him and don’t want him to change the status-quo are worthy though? One of my very issues with public education, straight out of your mouth.

    “You have a choice to attend any school you’d like and you also have charter schools to choose from, not sure I understand the issue.”

    What choice? School choice is limited to public schools within the district and charters. Real school choice allows the money to follow students to any school the parents choose.

    “I’m not sure what your issue is but you sure are unhappy with the education system. I hope for the benefit of your children you make some kind of change. I’m sure they pick up on your disgust of the public school system and that in itself will breed discontent. None of which can be healthy for either party.”

    Our education system needs to change to meet the desires of today’s parents, not the other way around. Let’s not regress to those days when girls, minorities, and children with disabilities in this very country were not allowed an education.

  32. Comment says:

    thinkforyourself, I did not believe that I was “hated”, I was responding to palmcoaster who came to the conclusion that I had “unjustified hatred for teachers” because my opinions are not aligned with theirs. But I do appreciate your trying to make me feel better. :)

  33. Liana G says:

    @ Lucine who says

    “Not to generalize and stereotype, but can everybody guess the non-educated unintelligent people’s posts from the college-educated posts?

    I know I can. ”

    May I ask which college you attended? Though one individual may not be an accurate representation of their college academic ranking, with so many choices in our university system, I can afford to cross this one off my list.

  34. basil says:

    most teachers are great and would teach for free out of the love for there careers its very noble job, keep up the good work thanks and no i dont mind that you earn a modest income in todays world

  35. ignorancecosts says:

    Palm Coaster said “Then is why we have corporations hiring all these professionals that went to government subsidized universities for free in their countries come here and compete with our young graduates that are up to their necks in debt to pay the loans to become professionals.” I would like to add, another reason foreign graduates whose education was ‘free’, might choose to come to the US, is to escape the higher costs of living and the income tax rates in the countries that funded their ‘free education. Sweden, Denmark, Norway, have tax rates over 50% and the cost of living is higher than we would find in New York.France, Germany expensive. And many of the ‘free’ countries have started to add more fees, and are actually beginning to charge tuition for residents. Many graduates must move back in with their parents, or have multiple roommates to make it on their own, even with their new higher paying careers. Discovered this while researching college costs before enrolling my son in Daytona State College this past month. Also heard an actual conversation from a girl whose fiancee lived in the UK and is about to graduate from college. Upon graduation, they will marry and he will move here. She said they wouldn’t be able to live where good work was available, and living expenses could be afforded.

  36. Liana G says:

    @ignorancecosts – this is an interesting article

    Who wins in U.S. vs Europe contest?

    …“The correct answer in each case is Europe, short for the 27-member European Union (EU), a region with 500 million citizens….

    Pundits who see the European way of doing things as a model for the United States (and others) to follow are few and far between, not least, says one of them, Steven Hill, because most Americans are blissfully unaware of European achievements and, as he puts it, “reluctant to look elsewhere because ‘we are the best.’”

    As foreigners traveling through the United States occasionally note, the phrases “we are the best” and “America is No.1″ are often uttered with deep conviction by citizens who have never set foot outside their country and therefore lack a direct way of comparison. (They are in the majority: only one in five Americans has a passport)….

    Why the European Way Is the Best Hope in an Insecure Future….


    It marshals an impressive army of facts and comparative statistics to show that the United States is behind Europe in nearly every socio-economic category that can be measured …

    “When I talk to American audiences,” Hill said in an interview, “many find the figures I cite hard to believe. They haven’t heard them before. U.S. businesses making more profits in Europe than anywhere else, 20 times more than in China? 179 of the world’s top companies are European compared with 140 American? That does not fit the preconceptions.”

    Such preconceptions exist, in part, because U.S. media have portrayed Europe as a region in perpetual crisis, its economies sclerotic, its taxes a disincentive to personal initiative, its standards of living lower than America’s, its universal health care, guaranteed pensions, long vacations and considerably shorter working hours a recipe for low growth and stagnation. “In the transmission of news across the Atlantic, myth has been substituted for reality,” …

    On a long list of quality-of-life indexes that measure things beyond the GDP yardstick — from income inequality and access to health care to life expectancy, infant mortality and poverty levels — the United States does not rank near the top.

    So where is the best place to live? For the past 30 years, a U.S.-based magazine, International Living, has compiled a quality-of-life index based on cost of living, culture and leisure, economy, environment, freedom, health, infrastructure, safety and climate. France tops the list for the fifth year running. The United States comes in 7th.

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