Research

Survey: Teachers Deserve Higher Pay

Teaching is a prestigious profession, but teachers are not paid as much as they deserve.

Those are the findings of a recent Harris Poll in which three out of five respondents (60 percent) said teachers are not paid enough, even though they have prestigious jobs.

A slightly smaller number of people said they believe that the teachers in their local areas are underpaid (54 percent) and a little more than half (51 percent) said they believe their local school systems are underfunded. The percentage of respondents who said teachers in their areas are underpaid is up 8 percent from the last time Harris surveyed people on the topic three years ago. In 2012, 46 percent of people said they thought teachers in their areas were underpaid.

Harris surveyed more than 2,200 people online on their sentiments about spending on education during the week of July 15.

In the survey, those who said they were Democrats were more likely to say teachers are underpaid than Republicans or independents. Of those claiming they were Democrats, 71 percent said teachers deserved higher salaries while just under half who said they were Republicans (49 percent) and 58 percent who claimed they were independents said the same thing.

Those respondents who lived in the south were more likely to believe teachers deserved higher salaries (57 percent). Meanwhile, 42 percent of respondents who lived in the east said the same thing. Fifty-three percent of westerners and 51 percent of midwesterners told surveyors they thought their teachers should receive higher salaries.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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