Simple Respect – Pay and Benefits
Improving state policies to recruit, retain and reward quality teachers are essential
if we are to offer a great public school to every student.
IEA members have long said that the best way to keep talented educators in the classroom is to show them simple respect.
Yet, today, Idaho is mired in a historic educator vacancy crisis. In the summer of 2022, headlines spoke of 700 vacancies across the state going into the school year. During the fall, school districts openly lamented hiring underqualified educators to fill the gaps, including in special education classrooms. And still, vast numbers of educators — more than 56 percent of IEA members according to one recent survey — are considering leaving the education profession.
Understanding why Idaho finds itself in this position isn’t difficult. Enemies of public education continuously and viciously attack the motives, methods and means of our dedicated public school educators. Idaho’s decades of chronic underfunding of public schools not only leaves many districts with too few resources for creating a free, quality education for all, but also leaves school staff members feeling increasingly overwhelmed and underappreciated.
The best way to show appreciation for educators — as with any employee or worker — is to give them the tools and resources they need to do their job, especially fair and competitive compensation.
Why are so many educators leaving their beloved profession?
Those leaving the teaching profession cite disrespect for their profession, an increasingly challenging classroom environment, a lack of resources and uncompetitive pay and poor benefits as major factors in their decision to leave.
Why do educators feel stressed and disrespected?
Enemies of public education, supported by dark money interests eager to financially and politically profit off of public education’s decline, have successfully used misinformation and outright lies to starve public schools of
resources and sully the reputation of our devoted educators. While most people still respect and value the perspectives of educators, increased vitriol around the politics of education leaves educators open to personal and professional attacks from those who embrace this misinformation.
Why is teacher retention important?
High-quality teachers are strongly linked to student achievement, significantly increasing high school graduation rates, college completion rates and salary earnings. Effective teachers guide our students’ academic growth as well as their physical, social and emotional well-being. For this reason, improving recruitment, development and retention of our most promising and dedicated teachers must be a top priority.
What Do Idahoans Think?
90% say increasing teacher pay to attract and retain the best possible teachers is important.