Where would we be without teachers? They are invaluable, but many of them are underpaid. That’s why governors around the US are trying to compensate them for the work they do.
So far governors from 18 states have recommended their state boost teachers’ pay, North Dakota being one of them.
Mandan Middle School English Teacher, Ashley Gaschk, says “I absolutely think we should be paid more. I think that in some cases that the fact we love what we do and we care about children is almost used, not to exploit us, but as an excuse.”
Many teachers feel the same way. That’s why governors from across the country are calling for more money for teachers.
Governor Doug Burgum says, “Teachers are among the most important and hardest working people in our state. They work every day with our most important resource which is our children, which represent a portion of our population but 100% of our future. So it is very important we keep investing in our teachers.”
Burgum’s executive budget proposes increasing the per-student payments by 2%, each year of the 2019-21 biennium.
President of North Dakota United: In North Dakota, Nick Archuleta says, “Every school district negotiates a contract with their teachers so we have districts that pay differing amounts. So when it says 2% that doesn’t mean the entire amount will go to salaries.”
At the end of the day, each school will decide how to use those additional dollars. But, Burgum urges it be used to increase teacher pay.
“We have many teachers here that have more than one job,” Archuleta says. “They will work all day with their students making sure they get the education they need, and then take jobs in waiting tables, or driving a cab, or working in retail.”
Gaschk herself works two jobs. She says while she would be able to live off her teacher salary without the additional job some of her coworkers cannot.
“On the other hand I have a lot of coworkers who have families who need that extra money to support their families and then at the same time they are giving up their time with their kids in order to do that,” says Gaschk.
It’s common for teachers to use their own money to provide students with supplies, and Gaschk says having extra money would go a long way.
“You don’t have to stay after. You don’t have to spend money in your own classroom, but we do because we want what’s best for our kids. And just having more money saved I think would let me say yes to a lot more opportunities,” Gaschk says.
The cost of the proposal is $62 million dollars and will hopefully be implemented for this upcoming school year.
For more information about the proposal, click here.