Democrats Unveil Plan To Boost Pay For Teachers That Will Infuriate The Rich GOP


The United States federal government remains, at present, under the control of Republicans. That could change, though, not too far in the future, should Democrats manage to take control of one or both houses of Congress in the midterm elections later this year.

As the Democrats prepare to face the midterms, they’re operating more and more in line with ideas shared recently by Senator Bernie Sanders on Meet The Press and aiming to focus on issues that have real and acute relevance to the lives of people across the United States. Just being anti-Trump won’t cut it.

This Tuesday, the latest issue Democrats have chosen to focus on is teachers’ pay. Congressional Democratic leaders unveiled a plan that, if enacted, would grant $50 billion to state and local governments across the country over ten years to boost teachers’ salaries, and another $50 billion would go towards improving educational infrastructure. Also bolstered should the plan be enacted would be teachers’ abilities to organize for even better pay.

That issue has been in the national spotlight recently, thanks to an array of teacher protests around the country. In some places, like West Virginia, teachers went on strike and successfully got a 5 percent pay increase. A pay increase was also instituted for teachers in Arizona, with teachers in those two states and others like Oklahoma, Kentucky and Colorado having all gone on strike in recent weeks and months.

The Trump administration has proven at least somewhat averse to supporting public school teachers’ efforts to get their pay raised. In a recent meeting with teachers of the year from across the country, Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos cast some of the teacher protests as being at the expense of schoolchildren instead of allowing for the idea that actually, teachers are just trying to be able to better support the children under their care on a near daily basis.

That sentiment highlights the fact that Democrats don’t exactly have a clear shot to making their newly revealed proposal become law. They plan to fund their increase in the budgets for the education system across the country by doing away with recently instituted tax cuts for the top 1 percent of earners in the country. At the end of last year, the president signed a massive tax cut into law; although it did include a smattering of tax cuts across the board, it was widely claimed to unfairly favor the wealthy.

In that light, Democrats may be able to use their plan to increase support for teachers as a rallying cry ahead of the midterm elections later this year. They’re going to want to be able to tangibly contrast plans of their own with plans of the president and his allies.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) summed up his party’s stance by saying:

‘Instead of giving a tax cut to the richest Americans, we should give a pay raise to the teachers in this country who our students depend on to succeed — period.’

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) commented similarly, saying:

‘If we want our teachers — and our children — to succeed, we *must* give them the tools they need. That is the only path to improving our education system.’

Whether or not the newly unveiled Democratic plan will ever have the opportunity to become law remains to be seen.

Featured Image via Zach Gibson/Getty Images