Teacher pay continues to fall relative to similar workers

A new report by Sylvia Allegretto at IRLE and Lawrence Mishell at EPI finds that in 2015, public school teachers’ weekly wages were 17% lower than those of comparable workers (a gap that has widened from 1.8% in 1994).

There are many reasons for the pay gap between public school teachers and similarly-educated workers, including the same gender pay gap that affects workers throughout the public and private sectors. But there’s no doubt that the widening gap between teachers and other college educated workers is a direct consequence of our rapid disinvestment in public services, which has hit school districts harder than any other segment of the public workforce. I’d be interested to see a similar study of other public workers and their similarly-situated private counterparts.

Source: The teacher pay gap is wider than ever: Teachers’ pay continues to fall further behind pay of comparable workers

From the annals of state austerity budgets…

To the Editor: Thank you for your editorial about Illinois and Kansas as examples of states where policy makers do more harm than good (“Sorry Tales From Two Statehouses,” April 25). Illinois’ record 10-month budget impasse is eroding much of its educational and social service systems. According to a poll …

Crowdfunding for the Public Good Is Evil | WIRED

Important article about the slippery slope from an underpaid teacher crowdfunding for classroom supplies to a bankruptcy city crowdfunding to clean up its parks. Crowdfunding is great when it funds new products that aren’t getting supported by more conventional forms of investment: Public necessities, by contrast, are not awesome; they’re …

BART gets real

Infrastructure may not be sexy, but you tend to notice when it crumbles around you. BART has been having all kinds of problems lately, and its twitter account manager isn’t pulling any punches. @tquad64 Planners in 1996 had no way of predicting the tech boom – track redundancy, new tunnels …

Detroit loses power, literally.

Detroit — A widespread power outage Tuesday that caused evacuations of buildings throughout downtown is “another reminder of how much work we still have to do to rebuild the city,” Mayor Mike Duggan said. Duggan, speaking at an afternoon press conference, said Detroit is in the early stages of a …

How Austerity Kills

Over a year ago I saved an article that caught my eye – Businessweek, of all sources, reporting on a study connecting austerity and a spike in HIV in Greece: HIV infections among drug users in Greece jumped more than 20-fold in fewer than two years, fueled by a lack …

States budget cuts leave poor in a fix – SFGate

California has apparently “fixed” its budget deficit, but at what cost? One of the fallouts from the unfolding budget crises in cities and states has of course been cuts to social programs. But the scale of those cuts often gets masked by the noise of political fighting. One could be …

Return of Debtors’ Prisons – NYTimes.com

A bit far afield maybe, but an interesting bit of fallout from the recession and the continued squeezing of government: This devastating problem has gotten far worse the past five years, the result of budget-strapped state courts looking for sources of revenue and ever more poor people becoming ensnared in …