Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), issued a statement on Tuesday expressing her deep concern about a recent study demonstrating that careers in early childhood don’t pay very much.
The study, by the University of California, Berkeley-affiliated Center for the Study of Childcare Employment is called “Worthy Work, STILL Unlivable Wages: The Childhood Workforce 25 Years after the National Child Care Staffing Study.”
According to an executive summary of the study, a typical American elementary school teacher earns $56,130 annually. However, prekindergarten teachers make substantially less. For example, a pre-k teacher in a public program outside of a school makes a salary of $33,696 per year.
By comparison, Weingarten’s salary is $360,000 per year, according to Media Trackers.
Thus, the labor leader’s impressive yearly income is 1,068 percent higher than the income of a typical prekindergarten teacher (and 641 percent than the income of an average elementary school teacher).
While making nearly as much in single month as the average prekindergarten teacher makes in an entire year, Weingarten criticized the low wages in the pre-k sector.
“Twenty-five years after the original National Child Care Staffing Study, the early childhood workforce is still hanging by a thread— wages have remained stagnant at poverty levels while increased educational requirements, which educators have secured, have increased quality,” the AFT president proclaimed in a press release sent directly to The Daily Caller.
“One thing that has changed in 25 years is a recognition that access to high-quality, early childhood care and education is key to giving all children a strong start. It is time for policymakers to align their priorities with this fact and give the early childhood workforce the compensation, working conditions and support they need to help put our nation’s early learners on a path to success,” Weingarten added.
Preschool teachers “must also earn a decent wage,” the well-paid labor leader demanded.
Weingarten did not define the term “decent wage.” It’s not clear if she believes her own wage of $30,000 each month — or about $7,500 per week, or $1,500 per workday — meets her definition.