After reading an article, "Teachers' Cost of Living Matters More", I do feel that the cost of living should be taken into account when deciding a teachers pay. According to Georgiou, Villarreal and Moore, “the cost of living in San Francisco is 80 percent higher than the national average, largely because area housing costs are three times the national average”. I think that it is only fair for teachers to be compensated in a way that compares to the national average. If the housing market is 3 times higher than the national average, teachers in San Francisco should not be expected to live on a salary from Memphis, where the cost of living is 11 percent below national average.
One could argue that if you want better teachers you have to pay them more. And while I believe this is true to some extent, I do not think that we can fix all of the problems with our education system by paying our teachers more. I do not necessarily believe that higher paid teachers mean higher test scores or lower dropout rates. However, on the flip side of this issue, I do think that under paid teachers mean lower test scores and higher dropout rates. There has to be some happy medium. According to the article, “Teacher pay is determined mostly by years of service and level of education; the grade level taught or a teacher’s effect on student performance are not considered, and advanced degrees are given equal weight.” Cost of living is not yet a factor, but it should be.
I think that it is safe to say that most teachers are not in it for the money. I knew when I decided to go back to school, to get my license to teach, my dreams of being a millionaire were left to winning the lottery! However, it is also safe to say that most people decide to become teachers because they want to make a difference, in children’s lives and in their community. At least, that is why I decided to become a teacher.