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Early Childhood Educator Feels the Pain of Income Inequality

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Author: dianeravitch

In a brief discussion of income inequality on the blog, I pointed out that it was unfair that a handful of people live in luxury while large numbers of people worry about paying their rent. It is not healthy for our democracy to have such vast inequality. Read the book “The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger.”

 

In response, the following comment was posted by reader ECE Educator:

 

 

I’m one of those people who can’t pay my rent. I added up my lifetime earnings as an educator over the past 40+ years at non-unionized schools and it turns out that I made HALF of what the government says the average worker with a high school diploma earns in their lifetime. I have three college degrees and my average annual salary is below minimum wage.

 

That occurred because I’m an Early Childhood Education specialist and since we do not have free programs for all birth – 5 year olds in this country, I went where the jobs were and taught primarily in private child care centers, where the pay is low and most teachers receive no benefits. Consequently, my Social Security is unlivable. My experience is not unusual. I fear this is the model that privatizers most relish and would love to emulate. Please do what you can to prevent that. Since I am now three months behind in my rent and can’t possibly pay it, I’m going to become homeless this month. There could be many more teachers like me out there.

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