"Minimum" wage migrates teachers

Today a new jobs report revealed that the U.S. economy added 263,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to 3.5%. That was more jobs and a lower unemployment rate than economists expected. That job growth has affected all Americans.

The Hispanic jobless rate has fallen from 8.6% in the previous administration’s last month to 3.8% now; the Black jobless rate went from 9.2% to 5.8%.

Notable in the numbers, though, was that K–12 education lost more than 21,000 workers in September, putting the number of teachers and support staff 309,000 people lower than it was before the pandemic.

Teachers, while in some parts of the country have a substantial safety net (health care, pensions, etc.), and they have an emotionally fulfilling job, they are frequently under-paid and have to deal with parents and governments who may want to limit how they perform their jobs.

There are now higher paying, less stressful alternatives and the trained experienced teachers lost may be difficult to replace. Our educational system, on a national basis, is mediocre and looks like it is going to continue to deteriorate. During the time that we were the only game in town, the US could depend on attracting the top tier of the world’s educated, but in the current environment, we are both making it harder for immigrants to come and other countries are competing with less expensive equivalent education (or frequently better at the K-12 level) and standard of living.

This is a long-term investment which we are scrimping on.



If we gain teachers from S. America or Asia or Africa we lose militarily people later.

Meaning the classic “Brain Drain” invites the top risk takers from a country to the US leaving a power vacuum taken up by authoritarian rule. It victimizes the weak left behind as a check on totalitarian rule leaves a nation.

More importantly in the US we are normalizing prices for the middle class. Teachers in the US will feel more comfortable with pay if prices normalize. Localities will be wealthier in the process paying teachers more over time.

While we face plunging equity prices often on baby boomer owned equities, the millennials and beyond are seeing a more optimistic time. There are 37% of the public who think things are great, they are often millennials with little to nothing in the equity or bond markets who have seen their assets go up substantially into 2019 and are now seeing their pay go up substantially. Those who are in the markets are shrewd enough to know the downturn here is an opportunity they have the time to play.

Talking about teacher pay and the need for teachers…

DW went back to college after the kids grew to school age so that she could become an elementary ed teacher. Did that, got her certification, but full-time teaching jobs were difficult to get in our area (nobody ever left them back 20 years ago). She went to get her Masters in Special Ed hoping that would increase her chances for better pay and a full time gig, but then there were substantial budget cuts and she had zero tenure so got bumped from that job.

She finally looked at the economics and politics of the small town teaching dilemma and opted to get a job at a local college as a Career Advisor - which bings together her skills working with young adults and helping them with their college track to a successful career. She makes better money now, too.

OTOH, we have a friend that is a “marginal” inner-city teacher at best. He keeps losing his job at one school district after another. We think he may be a little too honest with parents during parent-teacher conferences. Anyway, he lost his most recent job here in MA and is now teaching kids virtually in Shreveport, LA where they CANNOT get teachers to teach!! He’s happy that his commute is over to his office in the next room, and he does not have to deal with parents.

I agree that our educational priorities are incorrectly set and the entire system needs to get blown up and re-invented - just like the healthcare industry in the US.



As noted before, ideology dictates the money be given to the “JCs”, so anything that benefits the general population, like education, is defunded. One of the issues between candidates for Gov in Michigan right now is to divert public funding from public schools to subsidize the private schools the “JCs” send their spawn to, resulting in another cut in education resources for everyone else.

(from one candidate’s web site)
5 ## Create Education Savings Accounts

Empower parents to decide which education environment is best for their child. Allow families to use the state’s per-pupil funding amount on public, private, charter, virtual, or homeschooling options.‍