A Better Deal for Teachers
Democrats in DC release plan to increase funding for teacher salaries and schools
Teachers across the country have been striking over the past few months demanding better wages, benefits, and more funding for their schools. In response, Democrats in the Senate and the House have released a plan to increase federal funding for schools and increase teachers’ salaries.
The plan, called #abetterdeal, would dedicate $50 billion in federal funding to states and local school districts to increase compensation and help them to retain good teachers over the next 10 years. It would also provide an additional $50 billion to fund school infrastructure and resources. In addition to the increases in funding, they are also proposing stabilizing funding to meet the commitment to fund special education, strengthen and protect teachers’ right to join a union and collectively bargain, and provide additional support to ensure all students have access to computer science, music and civics classes.
While all of this increased funding sounds great, House and Senate Democrats need to come up with a way to fund it. To do this, they are proposing repealing the Trump tax cuts for the top 1%. Instead of giving tax breaks to millionaires and opening up more loopholes for corporations, they will take that extra money and invest in our educators and students.
At the press conference to announce the plan, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi were joined by National Education Association (NEA) President Lily Eskelsen Garcia and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. “In my view teaching should be an exalted profession in the 21st Century,” said Schumer. “And teachers’ pay should more closely reflect their value to society.” While the plan has little chance of passing the Republican-controlled legislature, the plan is more of a campaign promise to teachers across the country.
“You have seen the #redfored movement going across this country saying enough is enough. We will do everything for our students. You know we will take a bullet for our students,” said Garcia. “There is nothing that we leave on the table when it comes to fighting for our students, but we need the political forces that were elected to actually give us those school buildings, to give us the supplies and the books that we need, to make it so that we can actually raise our own families on a modest teachers salary and not have to clock in on the weekends as a cashier or an Uber driver.”