No, Joe, Teachers Don’t Deserve a Raise

News & Politics

There’s been a lot of talk about Joe Biden’s drugged-up performance at the State of the Union. While much of the talk has been about his gaffes, such as referring to Laken Riley as “Lincoln Riley,” there was one short line that hasn’t gotten much attention that I’d like to address. 


After bragging about his defiance of the Supreme Court over student loans, and the need to provide relief, he added, “And while we’re at it, I want to give public school teachers a raise.”

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Democrats have been pushing for higher pay for teachers forever. It’s the least they can do for the teachers’ unions that help fund their campaigns and work on the ground for them when elections come around. And that’s really what this line was about. Biden was sending a message to public school teachers that if they help get him reelected, they will be rewarded with higher pay.

There’s no other logical explanation. He can’t argue that teachers deserve a pay raise. He even made the case that they don’t deserve higher pay on merit and accidentally pointed out how low our education standards are.

“To remain the strongest economy in the world, we need the best education system in the world,” he said, essentially admitting that we don’t. I can’t imagine anyone claiming that we do at this point. 

Then he said, “I want to expand high-quality tutoring and summer learning to see that every child learns to read by third grade.”

Third grade? Really? My son could read above state standard before entering first grade and was reading while in pre-K — which Biden had said he wanted to expand earlier in the speech. 


So Biden admitted that teachers aren’t doing a good enough job teaching kids to read while simultaneously pushing for the expansion of supplemental programs to help ensure that kids can read well after they should already know how. He wasn’t just pushing for higher pay for teachers who aren’t doing a good job; he lowered the bar as to what teachers are even expected to achieve with their students.

Recommended: Biden’s Unmedicated Brain Continues to Fail Him After State of the Union

It’s no secret that education in the United States is declining, not improving. Every year, we are treated to news stories about underperforming school districts. And these aren’t just a few select aberrations; rather, it’s a systemic problem. 

As the Washington Post noted last year, “The National Assessment of Educational Progress, a.k.a. ‘the nation’s report card,’ for 2022 shows that a decline that started in 2014 (do not blame the pandemic) continues: Just 13 percent and 20 percent of eighth-graders met U.S. history and civics proficiency standards, the lowest rates ever recorded, erasing gains made since the 1990s.” Frankly, the problems with our educational system preceded that.


Biden wants to pay teachers more to incentivize teachers to get out and vote for him, just like his student loan forgiveness was a bribe to get borrowers to support him and the Democratic Party. 

Instead of paying teachers more with the absurd expectation that higher compensation will improve education, schools should incentivize better teaching with merit pay. Studies have shown that merit pay for teachers has positive results. Let’s reward the good teachers and give the underperforming teachers a reason to strive for something better than mediocrity. Instead, Biden wants to reward mediocrity because it will get him votes.

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