WASHINGTON—Statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the National Council on Teacher Quality's report on teacher pay, "Smart Money: What Teachers Make, How Long It Takes and What It Buys Them":
"We know that teachers and their families, like other workers, are feeling squeezed for many reasons: stagnant wages, increasing student debt and retirement insecurity, to name a few. Good jobs that pay a living wage really matter—and it's good that NCTQ's new report recognizes that. This report, like the recently issued Economic Policy Institute report, says something more—that teachers are especially undervalued, given their importance to society as well as the skills and knowledge their jobs demand.
"Teachers—the very people seeding the minds of future generations—deserve more competitive pay, a predictable and stable income, and a middle-class career path. That means competitive salaries that are predictable and stable and are not based on students' test scores or administrators' favoritism. Of course, pay is only one part of the equation; supporting teachers requires so much more. They need the time, tools, trust and, most important, the respect to be successful in their classrooms.
"One of the biggest obstacles we face in public education is recruiting, retaining and supporting great teachers at hard-to-staff schools. The truth is, if we don't give teachers the compensation they deserve and the support they need, we risk losing them to other professions. And ultimately, that will hurt our most vulnerable students."
Follow AFT President Randi Weingarten: