The Unfair Working Conditions for Today’s Educators

John Kim, Writer

In January, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) teachers’ union went on a massive strike to demand higher pay and better school funding.
The strike was part of a nationwide movement, and because of the size of the LAUSD (2nd largest in the nation), it appeared on multiple headlines.
The strike garnered much attention to the issue of underpaid schools and teachers, and its duration and size also raised many questions.
During the strike, students of the LAUSD were unable to have the typical academic classes. Instead, many students  were placed in the school’s larger areas (gyms, MPRs, etc..) since there were not enough subs for each classroom.
Though there were some undeniably negative impacts of the strike, in the long term, it was justified.
Teachers are one of the most influential figures in a student’s life, and their performance could have drastic impacts on student’s future.
Underpaying teachers would be a considerable disservice to students since teachers wouldn’t feel encouraged to teach if they are poorly compensated financially for their work.
Also, increasing teachers’ wages could be quite beneficial in the future. Many prospective teachers are discouraged to take on teaching jobs due to their low-paying nature.
If teachers can receive a decent salary, aspiring teachers would be more comfortable making their choice because they would not have to sacrifice their economic well-being to do what they want.
More teachers would allow for better student-to-teacher ratio and enhance the quality of education students receive, as more well-qualified teachers would be in the workforce.
Paying teachers well is not only beneficial to the future of students and the American education system, but it is also ethically right.
Many teachers partake in rigorous education obtaining masters degrees.
In comparison to other jobs with the same level of education, teachers are underpaid.
Mechanical engineers, architects, and psychologists with the same level of education make a much larger starting salary than teachers.
This is unfair to teachers who deserve the same salary proportional to their educational background.
Teachers have their own lives and cannot work based on their moral principle of sharing knowledge and nurturing good students alone.
Teachers are some of the hardest working people and definitely deserve adequate pay for their arduous efforts.
Some people criticize the strike for various reasons.
For example, a teacher’s primary purpose is to educate students, but by striking they have abandoned this duty as students were unable to have their normal schooling during the strike.
This claim may be true in the short term, but the strike was a demonstration of teachers’ will to better education quality.
In the long term, paying teachers well would incentivize them to work hard.
Also, teachers should not be perceived as martyrs, who are expected to sacrifice their own well-being for others. They have to be paid adequately to be motivated to work, and they deserve proper compensation for their effort and guiding students through the right path.
Increasing the school funding and teachers’ salaries would be conducive to the wellness of a student’s future and the American education system.
Existing teachers would be incentivized to fulfill their duty and encourage more well-qualified people to join the teaching force, benefitting the future generation of teachers and students.