The Cost of Educating an Educator

Posted on October 2, 2012


The education system in the U.S. is in a crisis state. We need reforms in education NOW.  Period. Where is the money paid to universities going? Certainly not to the teachers. (check the locker rooms.)

“For those who say, “How do we pay for this?” — well, how are we paying for three concurrent wars? How did we pay for the interstate highway system? Or the bailout of the savings and loans in 1989 and that of the investment banks in 2008? How did we pay for the equally ambitious project of sending Americans to the moon? We had the vision and we had the will and we found a way.” Dave Eggers, NY Times Op-Ed Contributor

  • Cost of a high school teacher’s Master’s degree in Education: $30k undergrad, $5000 education cert., $15k Master’s of Ed. + all books, supplies, housing = ~$60,000.00 at public state colleges, or more depending on institution and cost of living.
  • Starting salary of a high school teacher: $39,000.00
  • Student Loan Payment: ~ $600.00/mo. @ 3.4%
  • The salary range of teachers has declined over the last 30 years.
  • The cost of education has risen dramatically over the last 30 years.
  •  Cost of a cardiologist’s education: $250 – $400,000.00, depending on institution and cost of living.
  • Starting salary of a cardiologist: $400,000.00
  • Student loan monthly payment: ~ $3200.00/mo @ 3.4%, based on a $325k loan amt.
  • Cost of a 2012 BMW 760Li with a vanity plate that identifies them as “Dr. ****”:  ~ $100,000.00 (fucking priceless)

I think there is a way to afford more people the opportunity to become gainfully employed teachers: reduce the cost of  college education.  People going into health and human services, including teaching, should be given a program cost that will allow them to pay back the student loans.  Without this we are creating an elitist environment wherein only the financially elite can have an education because they can pay for their schooling without large student loans.  Until that time, the attrition of teachers can be attributed to oppression.  There is no reason a teacher should have to take a second job outside of teaching to pay back their student loans.  If they are moonlighting to pay the bills, then they are unable to spend adequate time on curriculum design, grading, and release of stress – all things which make them effective teachers.

There is a problem with the system when teachers have to work two jobs to support a family and (some) physicians, who can graduate with more than five times the loan debt as a teacher, are driving $100,000.00 cars to and from work.  This is a clear sign that the cost of health care is in line with the cost of education, and also needs to be restructured.  Our whole society demands our professionals obtain the schooling needed to provide skilled care, so we should allow for all of society to afford that skilled care.  Health care should not be so extravagantly priced that the poor have to find a way to get to the doctor, find a way to pay for that doctor (in order to survive, sometimes), and then at the end of the day pay for that doctor to drive home in an obscenely overpriced vehicle – which is likely to cost more than the value of the poor patient’s home.