Low pay + shrinking budgets + tax cuts = ______
Reading, writing, and recession
- Education spending fell sharply following the recession. In 2016, 25 states provided less funding per pupil for public schools than they did before the 2008 recession.
- By that year, 8 of the 14 states run by Democrats had restored spending per pupil to 2009 levels. Only 5 of the 22 states controlled by Republicans had done so.
- Seven states, including Arizona, Colorado, and Oklahoma, currently have ballot measures that would allow tax increases to fund education.
The new math
- Nearly 1 in 5 teachers have a second job.
- The average teacher is required to work 38 hours a week—but actually works 53.
- 94% of teachers say they spend their own money on classroom supplies—on average, more than $450 a year
- Between 2000 and 2017, teachers’ average inflation-adjusted wages dropped $35 a week.
- Teachers make an average of 19% less than other workers with similar backgrounds.
The education president
- President Trump has suggested giving teachers “a little bit of a bonus” if they carry guns to school.
- Trump’s proposed 2018 budget asked for the largest cuts to the Department of Education in its history
- 4% of Americans say our schools are the best in the world.
Sources: Education spending after recession: New York Times; per pupil funding in 25 states: American Federation of Teachers (AFT); Democratic/Republican states: New York Times; 2018 ballot measures: National Conference of State Legislatures; teachers with second jobs: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES); average teacher workweek: NCES; spending on supplies: NCES; change in inflation-adjusted wages: Economic Policy Institute (EPI); teacher pay vs. comparable workers: EPI; change in inflation-adjusted teacher pay (chart): NCES; change in inflation-adjusted spending per pupil (chart): NCES; “a little bit of a bonus”: New York Times; proposed 2018 budget: AFT; “best in the world”: Pew Research Center .