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The Argument for a $100,000 Teacher Salary

Daniel Pink, a #1 New York Times Bestselling author of seven books and Washington Post columnist, makes the case for a six-figure teacher salary.

The average annual salary for public school teachers during the 2021-2022 school year was $66,397—almost 25% less than other college-educated professionals. More concerning, teacher’s salary is down nearly 8%, in inflation-adjusted terms from a decade ago, columnist Daniel Pink remarked in the Washington Post.

Pink, a seven-time New York Times Bestselling author, argues that teachers should be paid a minimum $100,000 salary. 

“If we really want quality education we have to teach teachers like professionals,” Pink told me. “Evidence shows the single most important factor of a student’s education is a quality teacher.”

His proposition is a pricey one (north of a $100 billion), but Pink remained optimistic. 

“This idea has bipartisan support and bipartisan disdain,” Pink said. “I think that’s the mark of a strong idea.”

Tennessee, which has a majority Republican legislature, approved a law raising minimum teacher salaries in the state to $50,000 by 2026. On the other side of the aisle, Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders has introduced legislation requiring a federal minimum teacher salary of $60,000 per year. 

“There’s a dissatisfaction out there, not coming from either the left or the right,” Pink said. “It’s a dissatisfaction coming from parents concerned about their kids.”


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