Teachers are angels among us. They are the people who inspire our children to be powerful citizens and leaders. People like my first grade teacher, Mrs. Frances Wilson.
Mrs. Wilson instilled a sense of hope and courage within me during the formative years of my life. She believed in me every step of the way. And when I graduated from law school years later, she was sitting in the audience, cheering me on. I carry her lessons with me every day — as I became a district attorney, attorney general, a senator, and now a candidate for president.
Each of us has stories of the teachers who had a profound impact on our lives. Mrs. Wilson is mine. But here’s the sad reality: with each passing year, the teachers who are raising our nation’s children are being forced to do more with less.
We all know the stories of teachers who spend extra hours after school lifting up students who have fallen behind, or the teachers who spend their own money on much-needed school supplies. Public school teachers earn 11% less than similar professionals, teachers are more likely than non-teachers to work a second job, and the average teacher makes $1,000 less than 30 years ago.
Let’s speak truth: the teacher pay gap is a national failure that’s holding America back. From city schools in major urban centers to rural schools like those in South Carolina’s “Corridor of Shame,” we’ve failed to give teachers the respect and resources they deserve. It’s time for a bold, national response.
Today, I am proud to announce our campaign’s plan to make the largest investment in teacher pay in American history, giving the average teacher a $13,500 raise.
If I am elected president, we will close the teacher pay gap by the end of my first term. Our plan will:
- Provide a $13,500 raise for the average teacher in America
- Dramatically reduce teacher turnover and its harmful impact on students and schools
- Attract more of America’s brightest young people into a profession that’s charting a path for the future of our kids
- Narrow race and gender pay disparities to lift up women and teachers of color
- Prepare America for the future by strengthening our economy at home and improving our competitiveness abroad
I am committed to this fight for our teachers and our future. Will you join me?
This plan is about more than just salary. It’s about making an investment that will yield big returns for our country. It’s about valuing and respecting the working people who lay the foundation of our future economy. It’s about guaranteeing the opportunity for every child to succeed.
I appreciate your support and dedication to this fight.
— Kamala Harris