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In the spring of 2018, thousands of public school teachers walked out of their classrooms in a half-dozen states, protesting low salaries, rising class sizes and cuts to school budgets that have prompted most teachers to buy their own classroom supplies.

2018年春天,六個州的數千名公立學校教師走出教室,抗議低工資、班級規模擴大和學校預算削減,這些都促使大多數教師購買自己的教室用品。

Additional strikes followed in 2019 in Los Angeles, Denver and Oakland. While these walkouts, which enjoyed much public support, were about more than teacher pay, stagnant teacher salaries were central issues.

2019年,洛杉磯、丹佛和奧克蘭發生了更多罷工。盡管這些得到公眾廣泛支持的罷工不僅僅是關于教師工資,但教師工資停滯不前卻是核心問題。

And political leaders have taken notice. For example, presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris, a Democrat from California, has made boosting teacher salaries a part of her campaign. Her plan would allocate US$315 billion in federal funding over the next decade to increase pay for public school teachers and reward state and local governments for raising pay even higher, with the goal of eventually boosting teacher pay by an average of $13,500 per person. The proposal, which has been hailed as “the largest investment in teachers in American history” and criticized as a pitch for teacher union endorsements, would be paid for by as-yet unspecified increases in the estate tax.

政治領導人已經注意到了這一點。例如,加州民主黨參議員、總統候選人卡瑪拉哈里斯就把提高教師工資作為競選活動的一部分。她的計劃將在未來10年撥付3150億美元的聯邦資金,用于提高公立學校教師的工資,并獎勵州和地方政府提高教師工資,最終目標是提高教師工資平均每人13500美元。該提議被譽為“美國歷史上對教師的最大投資”,并被批評為爭取教師工會的支持。

From my standpoint as an expert on
educational leadership and policy and as former assistant state superintendent for research and policy in the Michigan Department of Education, I see teachers as the most important resource in schools. Teachers’ impact on students persists into adulthood. Recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers in the nation’s public schools requires good working conditions, including competent and supportive leadership and a collegial environment. But pay matters.

作為一名教育領導和政策專家,以及前密歇根州教育部負責研究和政策的州長助理,我認為教師是學校最重要的資源。教師對學生的影響一直持續到他們成年。在全國公立學校招聘和留住高素質教師需要良好的工作條件,包括有能力和支持性的領導以及學術性環境。但是工資很重要。

Teacher salaries decline over time

教師的工資隨著時間的推移而下降

Classroom teaching has never been a path to riches and, perhaps more than other professionals, teachers view their work more as a calling than as a way to make a good living. Still, teaching must compete with other occupations for talent. So how does teacher pay compare with the pay of other professions that require a similar education? By this comparison, teacher pay has been eroding for decades.

課堂教學從來就不是一條致富之路,或許與其他專業人士相比,教師更多地把他們的工作視為一種使命,而不是一種過上好日子的方式。然而,教學必須與其他職業競爭才能。那么,與其他需要類似教育背景的職業相比,教師的薪酬如何呢?相比之下,教師的工資幾十年來一直在下降。

According to an Economic Policy Institute study, the teacher “wage penalty” – how much less teachers make than comparable workers – grew from 5.5% in 1979 to a record 18.7% in 2017.

經濟政策研究所的一項研究顯示,教師的“工資處罰”——教師的工資比同類工人少多少——從1979年的5.5%升至2017年創紀錄的18.7%。

Teacher wage gaps vary widely from state to state, but in no state does teacher pay equal or exceed pay for other college graduates. And it’s no coincidence that the four states with the largest gaps – Arizona, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Colorado – saw teacher protests in 2018. In some states, teacher salaries have been so low that teachers have qualified for public assistance.

教師工資差距因州而異,但沒有一個州的教師工資與其他大學畢業生持平或超過。而差距最大的四個州——亞利桑那州、北卡羅來納州、俄克拉荷馬州和科羅拉多州——在2018年遭遇了教師抗議,這并非巧合。在一些州,教師的工資如此之低,以至于教師有資格獲得公共援助。

Fair comparisons?

是公平的比較嗎?

How can teachers’ earnings be compared to those of non-teachers when teachers get summers off? The answer: Compare weekly wages. For example, a public school teacher in the U.S. with a bachelor’s degree earned an average of $980 per week between 2013 and 2017, while a comparable non-teaching college graduate averaged $1,326.

當教師放暑假時,教師的收入如何與非教師相比?答案是:比較一下周薪。例如,2013年至2017年,美國一名擁有學士學位的公立學校教師的平均周薪為980美元,而同等學歷的非教學類大學畢業生的平均周薪為1326美元。

Some may argue that teachers, on average, work fewer hours per week than other college graduates. However, a leading teachers’ union says that teachers often work longer than their contracted work day.

有些人可能會說,老師平均每周工作的時間比其他大學畢業生少。然而,一個主要的教師工會表示,教師的工作時間通常比他們的合同規定的工作時間長。

What about teacher benefits? Instead of pay raises, are school districts giving their teachers generous benefit packages? No. While teacher benefits have accounted for a rising share of their total compensation as salaries have stalled and constitute a bigger share as compared with other professionals, this “benefit advantage” only partially offsets the teacher wage penalty.

教師福利呢?學區是否給予教師慷慨的福利待遇,而不是加薪?并不會。雖然教師福利在他們的總薪酬中所占的比例在不斷上升,因為工資停滯不前,與其他專業人士相比,教師福利所占的比例更大,但這種“福利優勢”只能部分抵消教師工資的損失。

Even teacher pension plans, often criticized as overly generous and costly to taxpayers, are now found to be inadequate in many states. In Massachusetts, for instance, teacher contributions to pensions plans will actually exceed their benefits no matter how long they stay in teaching.

甚至教師退休金計劃,經常被批評為過于慷慨并且對于納稅人花費過多,現在發現在許多州是不夠的。例如,在馬薩諸塞州,教師對養老金計劃的貢獻實際上將超過他們的福利,無論他們在教師崗位上呆多久。

In 39 states, the average teacher salary declined 2010 and 2016 when you take inflation into account. And these declines were not the result of teacher turnover, with retiring and relatively well-paid baby boomers being replaced by entry-level millennials. A 2018 Brookings study found that teachers were more qualified in 2016 than in 2007. Teachers were older and more educated, with greater proportions holding master’s and doctoral degrees, the Brookings study found.

在39個州,如果將通貨膨脹因素考慮在內,教師的平均工資在2010年和2016年有所下降。這些下降并不是教師流失的結果,退休和相對高薪的嬰兒潮一代被入門級的千禧一代所取代。2018年布魯金斯學會的一項研究發現,2016年教師的資質比2007年更高。布魯金斯學會的研究發現,教師年齡更大,受教育程度更高,擁有碩士和博士學位的比例更高。

The pay gap gives rise to teacher shortages. These shortages do not show up as actual vacancies or empty classrooms. Rather, they appear as underqualified teachers – that is, more positions filled by teachers lacking full credentials and holding only temporary or “emergency” licenses. Shortages in math and science have been a chronic problem for public schools, as non-teaching options have been much more lucrative for candidates in these fields.

工資差距導致教師短缺。這些短缺并不表現為實際的空置或教室空置。相反,他們看起來是不合格的教師——也就是說,更多的職位是由沒有完全資格證書、只持有臨時或“緊急”執照的教師擔任的。數學和科學的短缺一直是公立學校的一個長期問題,因為非教學選擇對這些領域的候選人來說更有利可圖。

Solving the teacher shortage problem, which afflicts every state to varying degrees, will require more than boosting teacher pay across the board. It will also take improving teachers’ working conditions, giving them more manageable class sizes and adding more support staff, such as psychologists, social workers, nurses and librarians. It will also take safe, well-maintained facilities and skilled principals who create the kind of school environments that make teachers want to stay.

教師短缺問題在不同程度上困擾著每個州,解決這個問題需要的不僅僅是全面提高教師工資。這還需要改善教師的工作條件,為他們提供更易于管理的班級規模,并增加更多的支持人員,如心理學家、社會工作者、護士和圖書館員。它還需要安全、維護良好的設施和技術嫻熟的校長,他們創造了一種讓教師愿意留下來的學校環境。