The number of the week is ...
... $800. That's the amount of buying power the average U.S. teacher lost between 2003 and 2005, according to the American Federation of Teachers.
In its 2005 annual salary survey, released last week, the union says that average teacher pay sank below that of the average government worker for the first time since 1982. Adjusted for inflation, the group reports, teachers lost ground. (Florida, by the way, logged in at the middle of the pack, with an average salary of $43,095.) Click here for the full report.
"It's fine to have discussions and hear proposals to improve education by raising the level of accountability for teachers. But these ideas are destined to fail if the basic pay inequities between teachers and other professions are not remedied," AFT president Edward J. McElroy said in a news release.
We hear a lot of debate about whether teachers are adequately paid. Discussions surrounding performance pay have centered on the issue, and the best way to address it. Meanwhile, Florida will need to hire about 22,000 more new teachers for next year alone. So what about it? Is that $800 real world dip acceptable? And with Florida facing a budget crunch, what, if anything, is the solution?