Compensation to public school teachers overcharges the American public by more than $120 billion a year?
Compensation to public school teachers overcharges the American public by more than $120 billion a year, according to a joint study by two of the country’s largest public policy research institutes.
One of the two big teachers unions, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), defensively says the implication that teachers are overpaid “defies common sense.” AFT even derisively asks, “If teachers are so overpaid then why aren’t more ‘1 percenters’ banging down the doors to enter the teaching profession?”
The large and complex study of compensation of public school teachers said, “No one doubts the significance of high-quality teachers in the school system and to the economy in general, but even the most important public workers should be paid at a level commensurate with their skills—no more, no less.”
The study was conducted by Jason Richwine, PhD, senior policy analyst in the Center for Data Analysis at the Heritage Foundation, and Andrew G. Biggs, PhD, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Their research was scholarly and meticulous, even if jarring to the teachers unions.
The study said, “Overall, public school teacher compensation exceeds private levels by approximately 52 percent.” During the recent recession and state and local budget crunch, the study pointed out, some teachers were laid off. It was not the ugly, mass firing Obama has groused about, however.