Posted by: CJ | April 10, 2010

Why are teachers underpaid?

Before the invention of modern home appliances combined with more liberal gender views, women had few opportunities to work outside the home. Educated women in particular. One easy option was working as a school teacher. And, in certain places and times, this was more of a temporary gig. So public schools had something of a captive workforce. The female teachers didn’t have many other places to go, and it could be a comparatively good gig–it wasn’t utterly menial and was social and community-building as well.

That’s no longer true. Females can work anywhere they want now. Teaching is also no longer a temporary job, but a full-time career. In other words, getting into teaching limits your career options to switch to other fields. So to keep the same quality of teacher as we had in decades past, schools would have to raise their pay. Possibly by a lot.

I’m not sure by how much, though, and I think that’d be a fun fact to know. I’d also like to know how much it’s caused the teaching workforce to change over the past several decades.


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