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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Entertainment versus education and safety

by Christina Delgman
A third grade math and science teacher in Dallas, Texas, must work two extra jobs in order to make ends meet, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle. Nena Harrison works extra to be able to pay off student loans, mortgage payments and tuition for her two children, and her husband is out of work. Harrison said that some teachers she knows work as waitresses on the side just to make ends meet. Are our priorities in the right order? Athletes are paid more than teachers and police officers. There should be a change in how our educators and the men and women who keep us safe get paid.    

The Official Manual of the State of Missouri 2009-2010 says, “Elementary and secondary teachers in Missouri are making $27,768 to $40,704 a year.” These are the men and women who are teaching the children who will be our future. One of them could possibly be the next president. Tiger Woods is making nearly $128 million per year for playing golf, according to Sports Illustrated. Baltimore police start out making $41,000 a year, according to These are the men and women who keep us safe and who put the bad guys away. Lebron James, an NBA star, makes more than $40 million each year for playing basketball. This shows where America's priorities stand. 

Ben Reece of said that athletes get paid for services they provide for their employers. Sports fans are a big factor in what athletes get paid. The more fans that fill the stadiums, buy merchandise and watch games on television, the more athletes get paid. In a normal job, only one company consumes your services, but athletes are serving more than one company at a time including fans, Reece said.

Kobe Bryant, Google Images.
It is not that athletes don’t deserve to make a lot of money. They work hard for their money. They just do not need to be paid quite as much as they do. Tiger Woods could easily survive on half his annual salary. Teachers and police officers survive on less. Sports Illustrated demonstrates how sports figures' salaries are divided based on their salaries or winnings and their endorsements. The endorsements alone for Kobe Bryant are $16 million. (
If salaries were increased in the teaching and criminal justice fields, it could encourage more people to enter education or public safety. “You might notice one thing about well-paying police departments like the Port Authority and Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island. You rarely ever hear about scandals coming of those departments,” according to This would cut down crime.

Google Images
Another benefit to raising the salaries of teachers or police officers is a possible increase in their quality of work. If teaching quality increases, then student grade point average also might go up. “If you pay men and women like professionals, they’re more likely to act like professionals,” according to 

One solution that could be applied to teachers and police officers' salaries is to have them earn their money the same way athletes do. Companies could endorse teachers and police officers. Schools could be promoted for having a great teaching staff. This would be a benefit for parents who want their children to get a good education because parents would be able to find a school with high-ranked teachers who could help with the children's education. It would also boost the salaries of teachers if they were credited for the increase in student enrollment. Another alternative would be to tie teacher pay to student success. As more students enroll in a successful school, the more the pay rate would increase. As for police officers, the same could be done with endorsements, tying the pay rate to the number of solved crimes or to reductions in the crime rate. 
We need to get our priorities straight. The people who keep our country safe and teach our children deserve to make a comfortable living. They should not have to worry about paying their bills. They should be reminded of their self-worth. If it means saving a life or giving someone a future, athletes could survive a pay cut.

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