It's one thing to claim that nameless, faceless government bureaucrats are overpaid. It's quite another to argue, as Jason Richwine of the Heritage Foundation and I recently have, that public school teachers are overpaid by more than 50 percent. This is real money, costing state and local governments over $100 billion annually. Our study generated significant, sometimes hysterical, pushback. But our conclusions still stand, and deliver important lessons regarding education financing and reform.
The claim that teachers are underpaid rests on a single isolated fact: that on average, public school teachers receive salaries about 19 percent less than private sector workers with bachelor's or master's degrees. But it's really not that simple. Here are eight reasons why.
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