Saturday, August 27, 2016

Walker's Act 10 brings Wage Disparity to Teaching.

Abrupt and ideologically based major policy changes often come with unintended consequences.

It never occurred to Republicans that there maybe a reason why our schools are public, and private schools are what they are...businesses.  

One teacher I know mentioned to me that the new business like approach has taken away many of the incentives to pursue other course work and degrees that can improve their ability to teach and make more money. High demand courses will soon create shortages in other fields of work. How long before people enter the teaching profession not as a calling, but as a way to make more and more money. 

And now, private sector wage disparity has come to our educators. A new study is telling us the female dominated field of teaching is underpaying women compared to men, largely due to Scott Walker's Act 10.

Male teachers now make more money than their female colleagues in Wisconsin, and a UW researcher says it's because of Act 10.

In researching the teacher shortage in Wisconsin, Dr. Peter Goff - an education leadership and policy analyst - found men who teach in state public schools are earning about $300 more each year than their women counterparts. Dr. Goff said (the gap) is likely to grow. He said the public school system in Wisconsin now more closely resembles the private sector, where women earn about 79 cents for every dollar a man earns.

"One of the things that's very well known in business literature is that men tend to be a little bit more aggressive in negotiating for pay and there's also some evidence that when women are equally aggressive in negotiating for pay, that they're penalized for it," said Dr. Goff. "They're seen as being pushy."

Astar Herndon, state director for 9 to 5 Wisconsin - a women's employment rights group, said Goff's research mirrors what she's seen before. "Some managers are hearing a woman requesting a raise, whereas a man is due a raise because he is more - whether it's competent, he has a family - there's so many more explanations given to a man when he asks for a raise," said Herndon.

A spokesperson for Gov. Scott Walker did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

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