Should Some Michigan Teachers Have Their Student Loan Forgiven And Others Not?
Do you believe that government should use our tax dollars to pay off certain teachers' student loans?
Should the government be using our tax dollars to pay off anyone’s student loans?
The Detroit News is reporting about a bill sponsored by Democrat State Senator Rosemary Bayer, titled the “Excellence in Education Act”. This bill would pay off teachers' student loans “yearly for 10% of a teacher’s total remaining debt each year of continued working in a qualifying school district. That could continue for up to 10 years”. These qualifying schools are schools the MEA says it has been difficult to attract teachers. This student loan forgiveness program would be based on schools that have at “least half of the students meet the income eligibility criteria for the free or reduced lunch program”.
I was stunned when I saw the following information reported. According to recent data from Public School Review, an organization that compiles public school data by state, 45% of public school students in Michigan are on free or reduced lunch. Is there that many parents in Michigan who cannot pay to feed their own children or could the threshold to receive free or reduced lunches be set too low? I do not know the answer to that one.
On top of that, they want to make this taxpayer-funded program eligible “for people teaching in schools where at least half of the students meet the income eligibility criteria for the free or reduced lunch program”.
I am going to assume there are an awful lot of schools in districts other than poor areas, due to the report that 45% of children are on free or reduced lunches.
Doug Pratt, the director of public affairs for the Michigan Education Association, stated:
“It’s a perfect storm of problems, and we’re going to need a variety of solutions like student loan forgiveness to bring more people in and keep them in the profession.”
Pratt then stated:
“One of the drivers behind the educator shortage is certainly the lack of compensation in education, but it’s also the lack of respect…We’ve got to solve both those things.
No matter how much money is given to teachers Pratt always comes back saying it is not enough. Why, because the more money teachers make the more money union reps, executive staff and Director of Public Affairs make.
You decide if there is a “lack of compensation in education”. According to the Mackinac Center of Public Policy, from the latest data they saw for the 2019-2020 school year, the average salary for a Michigan teacher was $63,568, which ranks them 16th in the nation.
If you annualize that salary, what it takes someone who works 12 months a year to make that much in 9 months, which would make the average teacher salary in Michigan approximately $80,000.00 a year.
Do you believe taxpayers should pay for all of these teachers' student loans? Here are some other questions.
If the Bill sponsors are genuinely trying to solve the problem of transient teaching in low-income schools could this be an effective incentive to address this problem?
How would they measure the success or failure of the problem?
Should this bill have a sunset clause?
Should they narrow the scope to schools that have 75% or 80% of their students on free or reduced lunches?