Higher Wages Create More Teachers

Hey, Blue Ribbon K-12 panel! Want to have a really short meeting next Wednesday? Teacher-blogger Peter Greene boils the teacher shortage you’re supposed to solve down to one quick and obvious conclusion:

The invisible hand is very clear. When you can’t get what you want for X dollars, you need to offer more. The world is filled with human beings who have the ability to morph into any kind of worker you want– if you offer them motivation. Good lord, even Frank Bruni, not exactly a whiz on the topic of education, gets it at least a little (even if he doesn’t understand why he’s part of the problem).

If you’re having trouble filling a teaching position, make a better offer. It really doesn’t get any more complicated than that [Peter Greene, “Why a Teacher ‘Shortage’?Education Week, 2015.08.12].

The people our classrooms need exist, Rep. Greenfield. We just need to pay them a competitive wage. Boom—rap the gavel; Blue Ribboneers adjourn in ten minutes.

10 Responses to Higher Wages Create More Teachers

  1. mike from iowa

    Teachers should declare eminent domain and just take more money from the state. It is all the rage in Dakota, I hear.

  2. Nick Nemec

    The obvious and most elegantly simple solution will not be the solution devised by the BRTF. They will come up with some crazy scheme that uses smoke and mirrors to divert the attention of the news media and public. We’ll be doing it all over again in a year or so, ad infinitum.

  3. I really hope not, Nick. That was one of the biggest concerns from teachers at the gathering in Sioux Falls.

  4. larry kurtz

    While Wyoming is dumping coal jobs: 108 new teachers, staff join Campbell County schools this fall (subscription)


  5. and this is news?

    School boards are holding teacher’s salaries hostage. demanding more money from the state (us)

    What we need is funding source.

    Video Lottery was supposed to go to education. I say earmark all those funds for teacher pay.

  6. larry kurtz

    [Liz] May is proposing that the Legislature dedicate the $21 Million state surplus to an incentive program intended to draw experienced teachers out of retirement.


  7. This is only one time funds. We need an ongoing source of funds

  8. Deb Geelsdottir

    What?! Mr. Greene is advocating applying the principles of America’s version of capitalism to education? How radical! How crazy! How dare he!!!

  9. Roger Elgersma

    Well Yeah.

  10. MC, we get a lot of one-time funds almost every time we budget. Maybe it’s time to drop that excuse. If we have one-time money available, let’s use it for teacher pay. If those various golden geese poop out, then we muster the courage to appropriate what we need for competitive teacher salaries. Good teachers aren’t a luxury. They aren’t discretionary spending.