Teachers Shouldn’t Teach for Free

Reblogged from slate.com

The Chester Upland School District in Pennsylvania is $22 million in the hole and can’t currently guarantee teachers that they’ll be compensated for their work. Yet teachers are going back to school on Wednesday without paychecks, after their union voted unanimously to work without pay as the year begins. It’s happened before in the same district: In 2012 it faced a similar financial shortfall, and teachers agreed to work without pay. Other educators have made the same move under similar circumstances: In 2013, for example, a small district in Michigan ran out of money to pay teachers before the end of the year, yet the teachers decided to keep going.

“Some of our children, this is all they have as far as safety, their next nourishing meal, people who are concerned for them,” explained John Shelton, the dean of students for Chester Upland’s only middle school, told the Washington Post. “We are dedicated to these children.”

The motivation is noble. But the decision is not beneficial for Shelton and his fellow teachers, and by extension it’s not beneficial in the long run to the children they care about. The teaching profession is already vastly underpaid and underappreciated. Shelton and his fellow district employees get good grades for best intentions. But no teacher should agree to work for free. Read more>>