Local educators fight for raises

Published: Jul. 17, 2022 at 11:19 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Northeast Arkansas teachers are fighting for better pay and benefits.

According to House Bill 1145, the minimum salary for a teacher in Arkansas is $36,000.

Chelsea Young a 7th-grade teacher from Nettleton said, “Teachers are really struggling to make ends meet on the salary we are being paid, especially because so many of us have to have a higher-level degree in order to do what we do.”

Mississippi is one of the most recent states to boost the minimum pay of educators.

Ryan Fletcher the Valley View Intermediate Assistant Principal said, “Most teachers don’t get into this for the money, this is not a high-paying job, to begin with, but at the same time teachers deserve to make a wage that is livable.”

Some teachers say they acquired a second or third job to support themselves and their families.

“They are having to get a second or third job, and I can tell you I speak for tons of educators, that have to get a second and sometimes a third job so they can afford to pay their bills,” said Fletcher.

To be considered for a teaching job in the United States you must obtain a bachelor’s degree or higher. These degrees are very expensive based on the university a student chooses to attend.

A teacher shortage may lead to more children being in each classroom. This means that students will have less one-on-one time with their instructor.

“Student-to-teacher ratio is going to go up, you are going to put more students in a classroom with a teacher and that does not need to happen,” said Fletcher. “That is not the best practice for those kids and those to be able to learn.”

Educators will be standing together on Tuesday, July 19, to protest the wages.

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