By: Lauren Perrodin
This year, teachers across the country went on strike for better wages. For the past two years, teachers and school staff had to take on greater pressure to do more work than their typical day-to-day. “It doesn’t feel like they care about us,” cafeteria worker Sara Rapp said of California district leadership. “They don’t appreciate what they have in their staff.”
Teacher shortages have put major strains on educators without much compensation to show for it. In 2022, there were 424 work stoppages (417 strikes and seven lockouts) involving approximately about 224,000 workers according to the Labor Action Tracker by Cornell.
However, without any promise of a pay raise, some teachers can’t even afford to live in most of the areas they work, according to Edwin Ross, writer for The Guardian in San Francisco.
As a result of their outcries, strikes, walkouts and letters, the California government has issued a bill that promises to raise teaching salaries steadily in the coming years. This is what that bill will mean for the future of education in California.
The CA Bill That Could Mean Real Change
Imagine a doctor or engineer saying that the industry has not increased their pay any more than $29 over the past 25 years. You’d be shocked and disappointed.
Welcome to the world of teaching.
What the Economic Policy Institute called the teacher pay penalty has hurt the education system from attracting new teachers and stopped current educators from living comfortably. Additionally, teachers have put their foot down and either left the profession or scaled back significantly from their original roles.
The teacher’s pay penalty outlines the difference that a college-educated person should expect from graduating, versus what they make out of school; for teachers, the ratio is appalling.
The recent California bill outlines that the government will steadily increase school staffing salaries to double what it is now by 2030. This includes teachers in all education environments such as public schools, charter and county offices of education. The bill will also help other underpaid staff, including all custodians, bus drivers, food service workers and institutional assistants.
The bill is an aggressive solution to closing the gap between college-educated and non-college-educated employees. As a result, more people will likely pursue the field, and schools will have an easier time recruiting highly qualified and motivated individuals.
Legislators are taking important steps forward to ensure the future of education isn’t lost due to low wages. If you want to be part of the next phase of education, you can get your start with UCR University Extension. We offer a host of educational certificates and credentials that could support your journey toward becoming the best educator you can be. Check out our latest class offerings and apply online today.