Teaching Profession

Edujobs Bill: Are Teachers to Blame?

By Rachel Narrow — August 12, 2010 1 min read

Tuesday’s passage of the edujobs bill, which is supposed to secure the jobs of teachers and other civil servants, did not sit well with everyone, as an article from ABC News points out.

Many, like Carol Kellerman, president of the Citizens Budget Commission, a New York City nonprofit group that seeks to curb wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars, take issue with the billions of dollars the bill sends to states for civil servant salaries and benefits. According to Kellerman, “As a society, we meant well, but we overpromised. These benefits to civil servants are no longer sustainable.”

An editorial in the Wall Street Journal this week agreed and condemned the education stimulus, blaming teachers’ unions for layoffs because teachers were “unwilling to adjust their rich benefits.”

But according to John Abraham, director of benefits for the American Federation of Teachers, the average teacher’s salary is $50,000 with an annual pension of $29,000, two-thirds of which comes from teacher contributions and investment returns, and the remaining third from tax dollars. “Trust me, teachers are hardly retiring with golden parachutes and living out their years floating on yachts,” said Abraham, according to ABC.

While the edujobs bill isn’t perfect, can teachers really be blamed for the state of the economy?

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.