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Idea of the Day: Teachers Struggle With Paltry Incomes In Their Mid- and Late-Career

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idea light bulbRichie Brown, a North Carolina educator who was a candidate for teacher of the year, is the type of teacher that every principal should want. He was teaching in a high-demand subject area in a low-income school just outside of Wilmington, North Carolina. However, Brown decided to leave the profession last year after six years of teaching, and the reason was simple: He did not earn enough money to support his family.

“I was about to be a seventh-year teacher, and I would be paid the same as I was as a second-year teacher,” Brown told a reporter with television station WWAY, which produced a segment on his departure. Brown and his wife, who is also a teacher, determined that they simply could not support another child with their current salaries.

“I will definitely miss being able to teach those kids,” continued Brown. “But one thing I’m looking forward to is being compensated fairly for one and having a chance to move up in the world.”

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To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education, poverty)
202.478.6331 or apreiss@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues, Legal Progress, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

 

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