Following the 2008 recession, landing a stable career in the teaching profession didn’t look as promising as it once did, due to cuts in educational spending and layoffs. But now, with the country’s economy rebounding, hiring is on the rise. And it appears that search for teaching talent is no more evident than in the state of Texas.
As the Associated Press reports, after restoring $3.9 billion of the $5.4 billion it had cut from education funding in 2011, the Lone Star State is looking to stock up on teaching staff. And here’s the best part: Some districts (particularly in Houston) are offering starting salaries for entry-level teachers at $50,000 or above.
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According to the AP, Texas is focusing on attracting teachers who are certified to teach bilingual classes, special education, and high school science and math. In fact, at the Aldine Independent School District in Harris County where the majority of students are Hispanic, the starting salary for a bilingual teacher is $54,500. Statewide, the minimum teaching salary is $27,320 while the average salary is about $49,300 — that includes salaries for educators who have been teaching for years or have advanced degrees.
It’s a sad fact that many of our country’s teachers — the men and women whom we trust to provide our children with an education — make less than a personal trainer does. Currently, the average teacher in the United States makes about $49,000 a year, with many making much less. The New York Times reported in 2011 that to make ends meet, 62 percent of teachers have to have jobs outside of the classroom.
If the country wants to get serious about educating the next generation, it can start by retaining and attracting the best teachers. And if it means giving them more money for their hard work, it’s a price this country should be willing to pay.