Daily Flogging of Teachers Dept., Alabama Division: ‘Bible says no teacher raises’

Borrowed completely from ThinkProgress — I’m too flabbergasted to add more at the moment:

Alabama State Senator Thinks Increasing Teacher Pay Goes Against A ‘Biblical Principle’

By Amanda Peterson Beadle on Feb 1, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Tool for flogging teachers?

According to Alabama state Sen. Shadrack McGill (R), the Bible says that increasing teacher salaries would only lead to less-qualified teachers. McGill said at a prayer breakfast that doubling teachers’ salaries — starting pay for Alabama teachers begins at $36,144 — would not help education. In fact, he said that keeping teacher pay low is a “Biblical principle“:

If you double a teacher’s pay scale, you’ll attract people who aren’t called to teach.

“To go in and raise someone’s child for eight hours a day, or many people’s children for eight hours a day, requires a calling. It better be a calling in your life. I know I wouldn’t want to do it, OK?

“And these teachers that are called to teach, regardless of the pay scale, they would teach. It’s just in them to do. It’s the ability that God give ‘em. And there are also some teachers, it wouldn’t matter how much you would pay them, they would still perform to the same capacity.

“If you don’t keep that in balance, you’re going to attract people who are not called, who don’t need to be teaching our children. So, everything has a balance.”

McGill found justification in the Bible for not increasing teacher pay, but he evidently found nothing in scripture preventing him from approving a 67 percent pay increase for legislators in 2007, which increased annual salaries for the part-time legislators from $30,710 to $49,500. He said that the higher pay helped to stop corruption.

A 2011 report showed that while Alabama teachers have the highest starting salaries in the nation, the state lags far behind the national average for teacher pay. Currently, a part-time legislator in Alabama is making more than a full-time teacher with a Master’s degree and 15 years of experience.

If we don’t increase teacher pay, we get less than the best for our children.  Which should we sacrifice, our children, or this brain-dead legislator’s complete misinterpretation of the Bible?

Somebody help me out here:  Where in scriptures is there any suggestion that teachers shouldn’t get fair pay for fair work?

These guys are making a mighty effort to prove that prayer breakfasts are dangerous, anti-social gatherings that should be avoided by patriotic Americans and legislators.

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5 Responses to Daily Flogging of Teachers Dept., Alabama Division: ‘Bible says no teacher raises’

  1. Jim says:

    How we pay workers in general is the Biblical issue. Teachers work. Bloody hard, too.

    Both the OT prophets and St. James of Jerusalem have much to say on the matter.

    As to Jesus, his view on the matter would bankrupt us in a heartbeat. The man was clearly not interested in merit pay. Now I fully realize His teaching about workers in the vineyard was intended to communicate something powerful and scandalous about divine grace. I get that. And yet, if the parable dispenses the same wage (mercy) to those who worked one hour as to those who worked all day…how much more ought we apply the concept to something as comparatively minor as money? One would think that if we are faithful in little things, only then can we be counted upon to be faithful with the greater.

    Speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, God basically said that what it means to know Him is a matter of paying your workers a just wage. Read it for yourselves in Jeremiah 22. There is more involved of course — caring for the poor, hungry and homeless; eschewing violence and not heaping treasure upon treasure for the sake of simply having more stuff. But woven throughout the narrative is a very insistent voice that if governments, rules and individuals do justice for their workers — they demonstrate a knowledge and healthy fear of the Lord.

    I am so sorry this State Senator doesn’t know the Lord. At least, not according to Jeremiah.



  2. Ed Darrell says:

    Yeah, as Christians we should love the state senator. Unless, of course, we decide he’s one of those demons who soundly deserves to be cast out. I’m leaning towards the latter.


  3. lowerleavell says:

    I’ve heard this logic used as to why pastors (another kind of teacher I suppose) should receive low salaries as well.

    People who through around the words, “the Bible says…” flippantly like this are doing significant harm to those who take it seriously.

    The Greek word behind the word “teacher” is actually used over 50 times in Scripture. It is a title given to Jesus more than any other title in Scripture. The word “teach” is used about 100x. Instruction is a very important part of the Bible and it’s “principles” are to be taught as accurately as possible.

    The ironic part of this whole thing is that Jesus actually spent a lot of time around those who took bribes and extorted from the poor (i.e. tax collectors) and commanded that we love them. Guess that would include this misguided state senator.


  4. Ed Darrell says:

    Depending on the translation, the word “teacher” appears about two dozen times in the Christian Bible, most of the time referring to Jesus.

    What would Jesus say about paying the other teachers? Seriously.


  5. Ellie says:

    If I understand the gentleman from Alabama correctly, legislators in Alabama must be paid more because they are basically dishonest and will take bribes unless discouraged from doing so by making more money. It would be interesting to learn the cut off point. Is less than $49,500 the danger zone? Pay that much or they will do what must come naturally?

    Teachers have nothing to be bribed for, therefore a higher salary is not necessary and I’m sure the Bible says that somewhere.


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