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Photo Essay: Boys’ varsity tennis sweeps Archie Williams in MCAL semifinals
Photo Essay: Boys’ varsity tennis sweeps Archie Williams in MCAL semifinals
Molly Gallagher April 18, 2024

On Wednesday, April 17, the boys’ varsity tennis team dominated their match against Archie Williams in the semi-finals of the Marin County...

Photo Essay: Girls’ varsity lacrosse dominates Branson in a sentimental senior day matchup
Photo Essay: Girls’ varsity lacrosse dominates Branson in a sentimental senior day matchup
Emma Rosenberg and Penelope Trott April 18, 2024

On April 18, the girls’ varsity lacrosse team battled against the Branson Bulls in a blowout senior day matchup. Prior to the start of...

 embracing his coach senior Auden Braden celebrates his final MCAL regular season game
Boys’ volleyball dominates Marin Catholic on Senior Night
Richard Byrne April 18, 2024

On April 17th, the boys’ varsity volleyball team faced off against Marin Catholic (MC) in a Marin County Athletic League (MCAL) game. The...

A teacher is worth more than the salary they are receiving

Everyone in their lifetime has had a teacher. They are with you every step of the way for nearly two decades of your childhood. Teachers guide you and give you an internal drive to be the best version of yourself. They work tirelessly and are responsible for shaping the next generation to take over the world. Regardless of if you like your teacher or not, it’s undeniable that they are going to influence you one way or another because of how much time of your life you spend with them. Other than your parents, you will be spending most of your childhood with them. Because of how hard they work, and the lack of appreciation that is currently shown, it is essential for teachers’ salaries to be raised in the Bay Area in order for them to better support themselves and their families. 

The California School Board Association states that California teachers make more than the national average, but less than the living rate. The average starting salary for a teacher in California is $51,600. That number is less than California’s minimum living wage of $54,070. The California School Board Association supports the idea of raising teachers’ income so they are able to support themselves without a second income. On the other side of the argument, Jason Richwine, a writer from The Federalists, a conservative news source, believes that teachers should not have an increased salary because high pay could lower teacher quality. He’s worried that people will want to join this profession just for the money and not for the love of education and teaching. He also makes the unpopular claim that they already make too much. On this note, since COVID-19, things have become more expensive and budgets have become stretched thin for many. With prices increasing, the general public doesn’t want taxes to be raised, especially the older generations that don’t have kids anymore. They don’t feel the need to support the education system by giving more money to a school that their kids don’t even attend. 

Picture by Cora Champommier

However, statistics show that teachers don’t make enough in the Bay Area to live comfortably.  In the Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD), teachers’ average salaries are $100,000 per year, including benefits. Although this is a higher salary than California’s minimum living wage, it is not enough to live in Marin or San Francisco’s expensive housing market. On top of barely making enough money, a teacher only brings home $70,000 at the end of the year because of California taxes, which are some of the highest taxes in the country. Data from Yahoo Finance reveals to live in San Francisco comfortably, while paying a mortgage, you need to make $242,838 yearly. That is more than double what a teacher makes working for TUHSD. Data released from Mercury News also states that nearly 43 percent of Marin educators cannot afford Marin Housing. Even a studio apartment is outside the budgets of most Marin teachers.  

While almost all teachers struggle from low pay, women face more of a battle with their salary. Female teachers in the California Federation of Teachers Union get penalized for being a child barer. If a teacher has worked for five consecutive years, and then leaves for maternity leave for two years, when they come back to teaching, they only receive the amount of money a teacher that has worked for three years would receive, despite having worked for longer than that. Teachers at Redwood have experienced this pay cut. Being punished for having a child puts female teachers at a disadvantage to male teachers. 

Making a low salary doesn’t just affect an individual, but their family as well. The low amount of money they receive gives teacher’s stress about managing their bills, paying for everyday needs like groceries, supporting their children, paying for a mortgage and even saving up for a down payment on a house. Teachers work hard and they should also be able to have extra money to spend on things they enjoy doing. Unfortunately, certain luxuries aren’t accessible for most teachers on top of everything else they have to spend money on just to survive.  

Although people don’t want taxes to be raised, with the difficulties of teaching, it is crucial to have teachers’ salaries raised to ensure future generations of people wanting to be teachers. Why is it that the people who throw around a ball and tackle each other on a field have a much larger salary than someone who is molding young minds, and helping children build knowledge benefiting both themselves and society? There are solutions to start fairly compensating teachers. Voters can vote yes on bills that raise taxes in order to increase teachers’ salaries and also sign petitions for salary raises. Voting yes is one step closer to teachers receiving the salary they deserve. 

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About the Contributor
Angelina Purvey
Angelina Purvey is a sophomore at Redwood High School and a nonfiction student. She is a competitive dancer and enjoys going to concerts, traveling, shopping, and spending time with her dogs.