Washington, D. C.
California Senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris has promised to close the teacher pay gap by the end of her first term as president by making the largest investment in teacher pay in the country’s history by giving the average teacher a $13,500 raise. “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,” Harris said when announcing her plans. “Public school teachers earn 11 percent less than similar professionals,” she added. “Teachers are more likely than non-teachers to work a second job, and the average teacher makes $1,000 less than 30 years ago.” Harris believes the proposed increase will reduce teacher turnover, attract more of the nation’s brightest young people into the profession; narrow the race and gender pay disparities as a way to uplift women and teachers of color; and better position America for the future by strengthening the country’s economy and improving international competitiveness.