The Heritage Foundation Reports that Teachers are…Overpaid? (Are they serious?)

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, recently released a report claiming that teachers are overpaid – and not by just a little!  The report’s author Jason Richwine claims that teachers make 50% more than they should by his estimation of their “fair market value”.

It sounds like a joke and “defies common sense” according to one’s of the report’s critics.  Teachers salaries are notoriously low considering the societal value of what they do and the long hours they put in.  Their hours spent grading papers, tutoring students who need extra help, attending school functions, and communicating with parents add nothing to the meager salaries that can barely support teacher’s families.

Most teachers must get a second job if they expect to support a household, and an article titled “Hey, Teachers: The Heritage Foundation thinks you’re overpaid” cites Jonathon Dearman, a teacher who left the teaching profession for real estate because he failed to support his family on a teacher’s salary.  “It just became a real vicious cycle … of burnout,” Dearman said of his attempts to keep up with his bills.

To justify its position the Heritage Foundation compared the salaries of teachers with the salaries of non teachers who scored similarly on the AFQT, an IQ test offered by the military.  Although teachers earn about the same salaries as their non-teacher counterparts, their impressive benefits package and job security led Richwine to conclude that their salaries could -and should – be much reduced to save taxpayer dollars.

People of a similar IQ are earning far less in the private sector, the report concludes.

As one might imagine, there has been no end to the criticism that is directed at the report’s findings and teachers need not worry – far smarter people are in the driver’s seat than the Heritage Foundation report’s author.

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