Archives for category: Teacher Pay

Nancy Flanagan is a retired educator who taugh in the schools of Michigan for many years. Her post was reprinted by the Network for Public Education.

She writes:

We need more teachers.

Good teachers. Well-trained and seasoned teachers. Teachers who are in it for the long haul.

Many of the articles floating around about the teacher shortage focus on data—What percentage of teachers really quit, when the data is impenetrably murky at best? And how does that compare with other professions?

In other words, how bad is it? Really?

These articles often miss the truth: Some districts will get through the teacher shortage OK. And most districts will suffer on a sliding scale of disruption and frustration, from calling on teachers to give up their prep time to putting unqualified bodies in classrooms for a whole year, sometimes even expecting the real teachers to keep an eye on the newbies.

The shortage will look different everyplace, but one point is universal: it’s not getting better.

Teachers are not just retiring and leaving for good. They’re part of the great occupational heave happening because of the COVID pandemic—people looking for better jobs, demanding more pay, in a tight labor market.

Public schools are now competing to hire smart and dedicated young people who want to be professionally paid and supported, especially in their early careers. When you’ve got student loans, higher starting pay is a big deal. And loan forgiveness if you teach for a specified number of years might make a huge difference.

Before anybody starts telling us how to make more teachers, as fast and cheaply as possible, to prevent “learning loss,” we should think about Peter Greene’s cynical but spot-on assessment of the underlying goals of folks pushing for a New Concept of who can teach:

Once you’ve filled classrooms with untrained non-professionals, you can cut pay like a hot knife through cheap margarine. It’s really a two-fer–you both erode the power of teachers unions and your Teacher Lite staff cost you less, boosting your profit margin for the education-flavored business that you started to grab some of those sweet, sweet tax dollars. And as an added bonus, filling up public schools with a Teacher Lite staff means you can keep taxes low (why hand over your hard-earned money just to educate Those Peoples’ children).

Several states (and Florida springs to mind here) almost seem to be competing for the best ways to reduce public school teacher quality, thus reducing public school quality in the process. In addition to offering full-time, teacher-of-record jobs to folks without college degrees, they’re trying to brainwash the ones they already have by offering them $700 to be, well, voluntarily indoctrinated about another New Concept around what the Founders really meant in the Constitution.

Attention MUST turn to an overhaul of how we recruit, train and sustain a teaching force.

All three are important—and have been so for decades. We’ve been talking about improving the teacher force, from selection of candidates to effective professional learning, for decades. As Ann Lutz Fernandez notes, in an outstanding piece at the Hechinger Report, there is a surfeit of bad ideas for re-building the teacher workforce, and not enough coherent, over-time plans to put well-prepared teachers into classrooms, and keep them there.

I have worked on a number of projects to assist beginning teachers using alternative routes into teaching. And while there are problems, there’s something to be said for teaching as a second (or fourth) career,with the right candidates and pre-conceptions, and the right professional learning.

That professional learning has to include a college degree, and field experience. Many high-profile charters advertise the percentage of students who are accepted into colleges. There’s been a longtime push to mandate challenging, college-prep courses at public high schools, and send larger numbers of students to post-secondary education.

Teachers need to be credentialed to demand respect from the education community, plain and simple, no matter what Ron DeSantis says. It’s past 50 years since bachelors degrees were the required norm for teachers in all states. Backing away from that is egregiously foolish—and almost certainly politically motivated.

If we were serious about making more *good* teachers, we’d need two core resources: money and time. Money to effect a significant nationwide boost in salaries, loan forgiveness programs, student teaching stipends, scholarships, plus the development of more alternate-entry and Masters in Teaching programs that include both coursework and an authentic, mentored student teaching experience.

This would also take time—but it absolutely could be done. Would-be teachers should have to invest some skin in the game—not because traditionally trained teachers had to jump through hoops, but because teaching involves commitment to an important mission. Done well, it’s professional work. We can argue about teacher preparation programs, but nobody should be going into a classroom, alone, without training and support. It’s bad for everyone—teachers, communities and especially kids.

What are we going to do in the meantime?

Alternative routes have sprung up all over the country, some unworthy, others better. All are stopgaps, but some of those teachers will continue to grow and excel in the classroom. And I agree with Michael Rice, MI State Superintendent of Schools:

“If the question is whether we have a teacher that is certified through (an alternative route) or have Mikey from the curb teaching a child — a person who has no experience whatsoever and is simply an adult substituting in a classroom for a long period of time because there isn’t a math teacher, there isn’t a social studies teacher, there isn’t a science teacher — the teacher that is developed through an alternative route program or expedited program is going to be preferable.”

It’s worth mentioning that this shortage has been visible, coming down the road, for years. The pandemic and that great occupational upheaval have merely brought it into focus.

It’s past time to get the teacher pipeline under control. This will take good policy.

Former Governor Jim Hunt, a Democrat, is one of the most respected figures in North Carolina on the subject of education. As teacher Justin Parmenter explains in this post, Governor Hunt was a true education reformer who cared about students, teachers, and public schools.

Parmenter writes:

Among others, those initiatives include beginning the Smart Start Pre-K program, putting a full-time teaching assistant in every grade 1-3 classroom, establishing the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, and creating the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (as a personal aside I’d like to add that I am grateful and proud to have been a National Board Certified Teacher since 2006).

Under Hunt’s leadership, teacher pay in North Carolina rose to 19th nationwide, coming within about $2000 of the national average during the 2001-02 school year. The state currently ranks 39th.

Since 2010, North Carolina has been controlled by Tea Party zealots in the legislature, who devoutly believe in charters and vouchers.

Many educators were surprised when Governor Hunt agreed to join a panel that was planning to change the compensation of teachers and tie it to test scores. Perhaps Governor Hunt thought he could steer the group towards sensible solutions, like raising teacher pay to the national average.

But he announced he was quitting the coalition. He must have realized that the state commissioner and her minions were wedded to merit pay.

Parmenter writes:

Governor Jim Hunt has withdrawn as honorary co-chair of the UpliftEd Coalition, a group which will promote a controversial plan to do away with experience-based teacher compensation and replace it with a system of merit pay.

The Pathways to Excellence proposal, currently being worked on by the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission (PEPSC), has proven deeply unpopular with North Carolina educators since it became public earlier this year.

Governor Hunt called on the coalition to draw upon the knowledge of teachers and listen to them.

That’s a novel idea! They are probably listening to the business community, which always complains that teachers are overpaid.

I would recommend that they read my book Reign of Error, in which I thoroughly debunk merit pay. It has been tried again and again for a century, and it has never worked. It’s one of those zombie ideas that never works and never dies.

Teachers are receiving apples, donuts, and lovely notes to thank them for their service. But that’s not enough. Many states are reporting severe shortages of teachers and support staff. This means larger class sizes and curtailed curricula. This means denial of a good education to millions of children.

The Economic Policy Institute lays out the problems and the solution in this post: Raise wages.

It begins:

A 2022 report reviews EPI research on teacher pay and presents the evidence showing that K–12 schools are facing a staffing crisis. The pandemic made clear that our economy cannot function if schools don’t have the staff they need to operate safely and effectively.

Policymakers need to invest in K–12 education now, the report’s authors emphasize. They can start by tapping into hundreds of billions of dollars of available federal COVID relief funds. Read the report.

Key takeaways

  • Since the beginning of the pandemic, state and local public education employment fell by nearly 5% overall, with much larger declines in some states, according to establishment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Household survey data indicate that the number of employed public K–12 teachers fell by 6.8%, school bus drivers by 14.7%, school custodians by 6.0%, and teaching assistants by 2.6%.
  • COVID concerns are likely a factor in nonteacher staff shortages. Education support staff tend to be older—and thus more at risk of severe COVID—than the average U.S. worker. Less than a third (31.6%) of U.S. workers overall are age 50 or older, compared with 66.2% of bus drivers, 55.4% of custodians, and 50.4% of food service workers in the K–12 public education workforce.
  • Low pay is a long-standing issue for support staff. From 2014 to 2019, the median weekly wage (in 2020$) for food service workers in K–12 education was $331, while school bus drivers received $493 and teaching assistants $507. In contrast, the median U.S. worker earned $790 per week.
  • Inadequate pay is a long-standing issue for teachers. Past EPI research shows that public K–12 school teachers are paid 19.2% less than similar workers in other occupations.
  • Policymakers should tap into the hundreds of billions of dollars in federal COVID relief funds available now to raise pay for education staff, enact strong COVID protections, invest in teacher development programs, and experiment with ways to support part-time and part-year staff when school is not in session. They also need to plan for sustainable long-term investments in the K–12 public education workforce.

Andy Spears of the Tennessee Education Report informs his readers that the state has a budget surplus in excess of $ 2 billion. It also has public schools that are perennially underfunded. How will the state spend the surplus?

He writes:

A state with one of the lowest investments in public education in the country now has a record budget surplus. This, of course, means Tennessee could make great strides in shoring up an education budget that can best be described as severely lacking without raising taxes one dime. In fact, investing in schools with new state money would also have the added benefit of keeping local property taxes low. It’s a policymaker’s dream.

That’s why Gov. Bill Lee has announced his definitive TISA plan – Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement.

Apparently, a key element of that plan was just announced today:

While we’re on the subject, let’s examine the reality of Lee’s TISA school funding plan:

A $500 million investment in a domed stadium in Nashville for the Tennessee Titans.

Sure, that really has nothing to do with student achievement or funding schools or anything at all related to education. It does, however, continue a trend of placing just about everything else above public schools when it comes to Lee’s priorities.

First, it does nothing to shore up the shortage of teachers needed to adequately support students now. That is, according to both TACIR and the Comptroller, Tennessee districts hire MORE teachers (11,000 more, to be exact) than the current formula funds. Guess what? TISA does nothing to change that. There is no indication that the weights will mean more teachers hired and supported by state funding.

Next, TISA does nothing to boost overall teacher pay. Sure, TISA “allows” lawmakers to earmark certain funds to give raises to “existing” teachers, but that doesn’t mean they will. Nor does it mean those raises will be significant. This year’s $125 million set aside for teacher compensation will mean what is effectively a 2-3% raise for most teachers. Based on current inflation rates and rising insurance premiums, this essentially amounts to a pay cut.

While the plan doesn’t address the shortage of teachers or teacher compensation or local costs for hiring/retaining teachers, it does raise local property taxes.

Open the link and read how Governor Lee will ingeniously raise property taxes, build a shiny new domed football stadium, and shortchange the school children of Tennessee. All while sitting on a huge surplus.

Sacramento City Unified School District teachers, school staff and supporters take part in a rally at Rosemont High School

Sacramento City Unified School District teachers, school staff and supporters take part in a rally at Rosemont High School on March 28 as they have been gone on strike due to the staffing crisis in the district . All SCUSD schools shut down and will remain closed for the duration of the strike.

I have read many articles about the shortage of teachers and school staff. I have read many that were laden with statistics. This is one of the best. It appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

BY ANITA CHABRIA COLUMNIST

A few weeks ago, Sacramento teacher Kacie Go had 56 kids for second period.

That day, there were 109 students at her eighth- through 12th-grade school who were without an instructor because of staff shortages. So she crammed the students into her room and made it work, but “it’s not sustainable,” she said.

No kidding.

Go told me the story standing with hundreds of other teachers and support staff Tuesday morning in the parking lot of an empty high school, as “We’re Not Gonna Take It” blared from speakers and the mostly female workers gathered for day five of a strike that has closed down schools in the Capitol City.

Like Go, these teachers, cafeteria workers, bus drivers and instructional aides are fed up with being asked to do more with less. It’s a problem that goes beyond the Sacramento City Unified School District, with 48,000 students in 81 schools. Frustration among teachers and school workers is rampant across California — pushed to a breaking point by the pandemic and a shortage of more than 11,000 credentialed teachers and thousands of support staff as the state tries to expand pre-kindergarten and bring 10,000 mental health counselors on campuses.

From school closure protests in Oakland to Sacramento’s all-in strike, those who work in our schools are telling us they cannot do this job under the conditions we are imposing. These include mediocre pay, sometimes vicious political blowback from COVID-19 safety measures, a witch-hunt-like scrutiny around hot-button topics, a mental health crisis, the reality of too few people doing the work, and the general disrespect of a society that swears it loves teachers and values education but does little to invest in it. Worrying about school shooters, once an urgent concern of educators and parents, doesn’t even make the top three problems anymore.

It’s the same story playing out in hundreds of other districts not just in California but across the country. Minneapolis teachers just ended a 14-day strike that shared some of the same issues of pay and support, underscored by the same teacher chagrin that we talk a good game about supporting public education but don’t always come through with actions. Minneapolis Federation of Teachers Chapter President Greta Callahan summed it up, sounding like she could be standing in Sacramento.

“We shouldn’t have had to [have] gone on strike to win any of these things, any of these critical supports for our students, but we did,” she said.

Go, who has been a teacher for 20 years and earned a master’s degree along the way — bringing her to the top of the district’s salary scale at just more than $100,000 a year — estimates she’s losing about $500 a day during the walkout.

But she’s more worried about support staff such as Katie Santora, a cafeteria worker who was also on the picket line.

Santora is the lead nutrition services worker at a high school, expected to churn out 1,500 meals a day between breakfast and lunch — with a staff of nine people (though they started the year with only five). Most are part-timers because the district doesn’t want to pay them benefits, and they make about minimum wage.

Santora, with 13 years at the district, makes $18.98 an hour for what is essentially a management role. She’s in charge of ordering, planning, receiving and keeping the joint running.

On the last day before the strike, that included making popcorn chicken bowls for lunch. What does that look like? Five 30-pound cases of chicken, oven-baked, 22 bags of potatoes, boiled and mashed, corn and gravy — all assembled after her staff finished making steak breakfast burritos and scrambled egg bowls. Did I mention every student is required to take a piece of fruit, which means washing somewhere along the lines of 1,700 apples?

Santora says high schoolers are the “most misunderstood” people on the planet, teetering between child and adult. Their well-being, she says, depends on being fed so “their bellies aren’t rumbling in class” and seeing a friendly face when they walk in her cafeteria. She loves delivering both.

“When they come through the line, I like to say, ‘Thank you for having lunch with me,’” she says.

But the money isn’t enough to pay her bills. Four or five nights a week, she gets about an hour at home before she heads to her second job loading grocery bags for delivery drivers at Whole Foods. She’s working two jobs just to pay for the privilege of doing the one she likes.

Go, the teacher, feels the hardships in other ways. One of her twin daughters recently had a “pretty severe concussion,” she said, but Go felt like she couldn’t stay home with her. If she did, one of her co-workers would likely be stuck with a jampacked classroom — and all the other unofficial jobs she has to do on a daily basis, from fill-in parent to police officer to relationship advisor when her teenage students’ hormones go into overdrive. Substitutes are hard to come by, she thinks, because the pay — $224 a day — isn’t competitive compared with other jobs with less stress.

“Subs don’t have an easy life,” Go said. “Why would you want to do that when you could go to In-N-Out and worry about if it’s animal-style or not for the same amount of money?”

The unions involved in the Sacramento strike contend that there are hundreds of open positions in the district in virtually every job. Nikki Milevsky, a school psychologist and vice president of the teachers union, puts it at 250 vacancies for teachers and 400 for classified staff — in a district with 2,069 teachers and 1,656 classified staff. That classified staff and teachers walked out together shows the depth of problems in Sacramento — it’s unusual for both to strike at the same time, and it has forced schools to shut down because there was no one left but administrators to watch kids.

Chris McCarthy, a first grade teacher in the Sacramento Unified School District, joined other teachers, parents, students and supporters, in the rain at a rally in support of their strike against the school district at Rosemont High School in Sacramento.

The teachers union says that 10,000 students lack a permanent instructor, and on some days, up to 3,000 don’t even have a substitute. About 547 kids who signed up for independent study haven’t been given a teacher yet, meaning they are learning nothing.

The district says it’s down 127 certificated staff and 293 classified positions. Take the difference as you will, but the district doesn’t dispute it’s in a staffing crisis.

Sacramento teachers want a pay raise to make the district more competitive in hiring. Right now, some surrounding districts pay more but have lesser benefit packages. (Please don’t make me tell you that healthcare is a right, not a privilege.) The teachers want the district to back off of a proposal to make current and retired teachers pay hundreds more to keep a non-HMO health plan. The district says it has made an offer of a pay increase and recruitment bonus and a one-year stipend to offset the health plan issue.

From there it turns contentious. Teachers reject the district’s offer as lowball and assert there is money available to do better, just not the will to invest it in staff. The district says the teachers need to compromise because it can’t afford all of their asks.

For days, there were no negotiations. State Supt. of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond tried to bring everyone to the table, only to be rebuffed by the district. Back home again instead of in the classroom, my eighth grader, a student in Sacramento schools, ate lots of chocolate chip pancakes and watched “Turning Red” on repeat.

There is no end in sight. Though negotiations with both unions have resumed, the shutdown is another blow to parents and families already anxious and stressed out. The last time my daughter had a normal school year, she was in fifth grade. So I understand the frustration, and even anger, of parents that schools are once again closed — and the resentment of parents across the state who are sick and tired of problems with schools, many of which predate the pandemic.

But I went to the strike line three times and I can tell you this — it’s not about the money for these teachers. You can roll your eyes at the unions all you want, but these teachers and support staff want their schools to work, for their students, for themselves, and for our collective future. Because democracy depends on an educated populace and education is a right. And because they are educators, and they’re invested in our kids.

Go doesn’t want to do anything else but teach, even if it means 56 kids sometimes. Even if it means losing $500 a day and striking. Even if it means making some people mad to make schools better.

“I freakin’ love it,” she said. “I do.”

Patrick Kelly, director of governmental affairs for the Palmetto State Teachers Association, warned in an opinion piece in the Charleston (SC) Post and Courier about the state’s teacher shortage. Teacher salaries are low, and legislators are obsessed with the idea of telling teachers what they may and may not teach. Meanwhile the state has a budget surplus, and Governor Henry McMaster will use it to lower taxes, not to raise abominably low teacher salaries or to feed the children in South Carolina who go hungry every day (about 15% of the children in the coastal counties of the state). Of course, I take issue with the headline: there’s no point trying to teach in a state that requires teachers to teach lies.

Kelly writes:

With the 2022 session of the S.C. General Assembly now more than a quarter complete, legislators have committed a significant amount of time and energy to bills that could have sweeping implications for what is taught in South Carolina classrooms as well as the very definition of what constitutes a public education.

Some of these debates address real, pressing challenges in our schools, while others are fueled by the desire of policymakers to respond to the very vocal concerns of select constituencies. However, in spite of all the time and energy dedicated to education, not enough has been accomplished to address the single problem that threatens to make all other education policy efforts moot: the state’s increasing teacher shortage.

The shortage of teachers in South Carolina has been growing steadily for years. In 2019, I wrote about how “the house is on fire” in schools due to the growing number of vacant teaching positions across the state. That year, schools had opened with 621 vacancies. This year, that number ballooned to 1,063 positions, a 71% increase. What looked like a house fire then has grown into a five-alarm inferno.

The timing of this shortage could not be worse for children. Right now, our students are facing unprecedented challenges, including increased incidents of school violence, depression and suicidal thoughts. At the same time, students are attempting to navigate the academic fallout of lost instructional time stemming from shifts to virtual learning, quarantines and student illness…

Education research universally agrees that the No. 1 in-school influence on student achievement is the quality of the teacher in the classroom. Given this fact, it is imperative to address the more than 1,000 classrooms that do not have access to any teacher at a time when students need more support than ever.

To date, though, there has been little done this legislative session to take the steps necessary to enhance educator recruitment and retention. One notable and important exception has been the advancement of a bill introduced by Sen. Stephen Goldfinch to guarantee 30 minutes of daily, unencumbered planning time for elementary and special education teachers, two groups that often go through an entire school day without a moment even to go to the restroom.

Other recently introduced bills hold promise, such as one introduced by Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter to address student debt for teachers and one from Senate Republican Leader Shane Massey to provide enhanced lottery scholarships to education majors.

But these bills have yet to receive committee review, a significant problem in the rapidly advancing second year of this General Assembly. As both the legislative calendar and our teacher supply dwindle, we need action now on these bills as well as other measures that could enhance education retention — steps such as reducing class sizes, providing enhanced mentoring support for new teachers and creating meaningful career pathways to keep our best teachers in the classroom.

The Legislature should also follow the lead of S.C. Education Superintendent Molly Spearman, who called on budget writers to do “as much as (they) can” to increase teacher salaries, including raising minimum starting pay to $40,000…

As our state continues to debate what is — or is not — taught in our classrooms, we should never lose sight of the indisputable fact that nothing is taught in a classroom without a teacher. A failure to put out this growing fire in our schools will deprive an ever-increasing number of students of access to the great teacher who can spark interests and abilities into their full potential.

Patrick Kelly is director of governmental affairs for the Palmetto State Teachers Association and has taught in S.C. schools since 2005.

A wave of labor activism is underway. Amazon workers in Staten Island in New York City are trying to organizing a union. Bloomberg News reports:

Deere & Co. employees, who launched a 10,000-person strike Oct. 14, cited the mandatory overtime that can stretch their shifts to 12 hours. At Kellogg Co., the union went on strike this month after decrying the toll of seven-day workweeks that had kept cereal flowing to stuck-at-home customers during the pandemic. And at Frito-Lay Inc., workers have this year challenged what they called“suicide shifts”: being made to leave late and return early, with only eight hours of turnaround time in between.

Scranton teachers announced their decision to strike on November 3.

SCRANTON, Pa.—The Scranton Federation of Teachers, which represents more than 800 teachers and paraprofessionals, announced today that it will set up picket lines and go on strike at 12:01 a.m., Nov. 3. The union has been working under a contract that expired in 2017.

“We’ve reached the end of the line and our patience with the Scranton School District. The district has refused to address our concerns about the slash-and-burn budget cuts that are significantly affecting the quality of education,” said Scranton Federation of Teachers President Rosemary Boland. “Strikes are always the last resort. We held off for many months, hoping, in vain, we could agree on conditions that are good for kids and provide decency, fairness, respect and trust for our educators.”

Boland expressed optimism that new members will be elected to the Scranton School Board on Nov. 2 and that the needs of students and educators finally will be prioritized.

SFT gave the district more than the required 48 hours’ notice before starting a strike. Picket lines will begin early Wednesday morning on Nov. 3 at most schools.

Teachers and paraprofessionals want realistic solutions to reversing the teacher turnover crisis; raising educator pay that has been frozen since 2016; returning Scranton’s esteemed and essential preschool program; and restoring libraries, bus routes and electives such as consumer[LBC1] science and music.

The austerity budget that is starving Scranton classrooms of the necessary resources, coupled with the administration’s disrespect for teachers, are issues reminiscent of what led to the walkouts in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado and Chicago in 2018 and 2019, SFT said.

“Teachers and paraprofessionals don’t want to walk out, but they will when their students’ needs are ignored and schools are starved of resources,” Boland said.

Scranton public schools are operating under a state Recovery Plan, which is akin to a state takeover.

“The Recovery Plan prioritizes financial recovery over student achievement, balancing the budget on the backs of students. Yet the plan has not been amended to factor in the $60 million in federal aid that should be used to stabilize the district and pay teachers decent, competitive wages,” she said, noting that the Recovery Plan originally factored in the use of “windfall funds,” such as federal aid when defining “recovery.”

“Since the recovery plan began in 2019, more than 100 teachers and paras have left the district, demonstrating a serious recruitment and retention problem that has harmful ramifications for students,” she said. Classes are severely overcrowded. Special education students are not being served adequately because teachers are pulled into other classrooms. Students aren’t getting individualized attention. In the COVID-19 environment, overcrowded classrooms pose a health hazard.

Boland said teachers and paraprofessionals deserve a pay raise. Teachers have not received a raise for more than four years, which has prompted many of the teacher defections to other school districts. Several paraprofessionals were furloughed, only to be brought back at a lower salary after public outrage. The district also is insistent on an inferior health scheme that would directly impact the Scranton community, as they are still dealing with the impact of COVID-19, the union said.

“It’s time for a contract that’s good for students and fair to educators,” Boland said.

School bus drivers in Greenville, Mississippi, did not report to work for two days to protest their low wages. Apparently they were unaware that the legislature had passed a law in 1985-36 years ago-absolutely prohibiting any strikes by any school employees, including bus drivers.

The local school board debated whether the drivers’ failure to work was or was not a strike. They did not realize that their own board could be fined thousands of dollars each for failing to report the names of those who struck.

One thing is clear: Mississippi loathes the very idea of unions. And another: they “appreciate” their teachers and other school staff but they don’t want to pay them a living wage.

Nancy Bailey is fearful that the stage is being set for a big-tech takeover when the pandemic is gone. Scores of tech vendors have longed to gain a permanent foothold in the schools, and their day may have come, even though there is nearly universal agreement that remote instruction is a poor substitute for in-person instruction.

Here are the warning signs:

First, there is sure to be a teacher shortage when schools reopen because so many are taking early retirement, due to health concerns.

Second, several districts have recently passed urge bond issues for technology.

Third, due to the pandemic-caused recession, there is unlikely to be sign I can’t improvements in teachers’ salaries or working conditions.

So we face this conundrum: teachers, students, and parents are frustrated and voted with online learning. They yearn to be back in class with face-to-face, human interaction. Yet after the pandemic, we can expect to have more of what we abhor.

#Red4Ed is still producing results in Arizona!

Voters approved a measure to raise the taxes of the wealthiest by 3.5% for the benefit of public schools.

Proposition 208 passed with 52% of the vote. It will produce nearly $1 billion annually for public schools. Fifty percent will be used to raise teachers’ salaries.

The “YES” vote on Prop. 208 will impose a 3.5% income tax surcharge on taxable annual income over $250,000 for single persons or $500,000 for married persons filing jointly.