Is Teacher Pay Unfair?

Teachers are leaving their jobs due to lack of pay

Teachers are leaving their jobs due to lack of pay

Lauren Murray, Staff Reporter

In most professions, the better the quality of work the more the worker will be paid, but that is not true for teachers in Virginia. Though Virginia public schools are ranked number four in the natation for test scores, the teacher pay is ranked 50th. “The amount of work that is being put in is not being paid for,” says Mrs. Winterer, a social studies teacher at HVHS.

Teachers in Virginia are making around 53,000 dollars per year while the national average is 63,000 dollars per year. That means that Virginia teachers are making about 10.4% less than the national average. Of course, some states are paying their teachers more because the cost of living is more expensive in those states, such as New York or California, but Virginia is still ranked 25th for cost of living especially with inflation.

The effects of this low pay for teachers are not being ignored by teachers themselves. In Virginia, we are currently going through a teacher strike where teachers are leaving their jobs by the day. This is partly because of the pandemic with them not being able to see the kids and the difficulty with online learning, but a lot of it is because of the low amount of pay. The amount of teaching positions that remain unfilled rose from 877 in 2019 to 1,420 in 2021.

There may be hope for teacher pay though. Governor Northam says that he is trying to raise teacher pay, but this may be too late as he is leaving the Governors’ office next month. There were also reports that the special ED teachers were getting a new pay, however Mrs. Irvin, the special ed coordinator, says this isn’t true. She comments, “This is really just left-over money from COVID that they are using.”

Teachers do not want to leave this profession though, “I love seeing students faces when they learn something new,” Mrs. Irvin says about her job. “I got into this profession because I love teaching this subject,” Mrs. Winterer says. Most teachers here at HVHS love their occupation and do a great job at it, so they deserve to be paid fairly.