It is time for our western societies to pay our teachers a fair wage. A fair wage will afford the recipient the opportunity to own a home and a comfortable lifestyle.
Why would you teach? Would you embark on an education program to become a teacher if you knew that your student loans would be forgiven? If they were going to be forgiven then why bother charging them in the first place?
Some people "dream of teaching but fear an oppressive combination of low wages and high debt."
Loan forgiveness is a system of forgiving loans to people who pursue careers like teaching and nursing. That is, jobs that are important to society but are not high paying jobs. (Nursing is well paid, according to a friend, in California but these statistics are country wide.) Included in these positions would also be "public interest lawyers."
In Kentucky "about 7,500 teachers, nurses and public interest lawyers have benefited from the state's loan forgiveness program since 2003 at a cost of $77 million to the state."
"There is no clear accounting of how many people were swayed by loan forgiveness to pursue teaching, or how many might be deterred by the absence of such programs. But the anecdotal evidence suggests the programs matter."
The New York Times ran an article on May 27th, "Recession Imperils Loan Forgiveness Programs" detailing some of the forgiveness loan programs that are in jeopardy and some that have been eliminated. There is an underlying question here that is not being addressed. Of course the article is worth writing and reading and publishing but like many other issues the underlying question is not addressed.
Why are professionals, like teachers, which are absolutely necessary to society not paid well? It is so simple and obvious that it is overlooked time and time again. Many, if not all, western societies take pride in education and development of its youth and the next generation but, at least in the U.S., they continue to underpay teachers (and other professions). I am no push over for unions and I believe they have a function and a necessary one but isn't this one of their primary jobs - to get their members paid fairly.
Is there a teacher in San Francisco that can afford a mortgage in San Francisco on their teacher's salary? I imagine there are many many other geographical areas that we can say the same about.
Why should an energetic individual interested in teaching have to go into debt hoping for it to be forgiven so that they can teach our children? Why can't they go into debt for college like everyone else and assume that they can repay their loans when they begin earning a fair salary? Do we as a society really want to carry on the ideology that teachers should spend their lives penniless while their young educated students go off and enjoy good salaries.
The favorite educators of our youth should not be bound by the meagre salaries our society pays them. It is time to pay our educators what they deserve and then we will probably have many many more good people wanting to teach.
Source for this post:
Glather, J.D. (May 27th, 2009). Recession imperils loan forgiveness programs. New York Times. P. B1.
2 days ago