Pay Teachers a Living Wage

Target: Thomas E. Perez, U.S. Secretary of Labor

Goal: Increase wages for pre-kindergarten educators.

Pre-kindergarten teachers in the U.S. make a median wage of only $9.77 per hour and almost half of them are on food stamps or Medicaid. To compare, the average wage of a U.S. worker serving at McDonald’s is $9.90 an hour. Pre-kindergarten is an important stage in neurological development and the training to become a pre-kindergarten teacher can be expensive. Urge the Secretary of Labor to improve working conditions for these struggling educators.

The years before kindergarten are developmentally important. Between 700 and 1,000 new neural connections are created each second during these years. The quality of a child’s pre-school education helps determine later educational performance. A 3-year-old’s vocabulary can forecast that child’s reading ability in third grade, if no intervention is taken.

The lack of pay creates a shortage of good pre-kindergarten teachers. This shortage of teachers has a severe effect on low income families in particular. At three years old, low income children know significantly fewer words than their higher income counterparts.

In addition, many working parents need affordable childcare to support their families. There are 14.8 million children below six years old who live in families with working parents. Both parents work in 60.6 percent of married couple families.

Having accessible early education is a necessity for both childhood development and for working parents. Tell the Secretary of Labor to reward those who provide this necessity by giving them a living wage.


Dear Mr. Perez,

The underpayment of pre-kindergarten educators in America must end. The median salary of such educators in the U.S. is $9.77, 13 cents less than what a McDonald’s worker makes. These teachers provide integral services to child development and working families. Take the steps to ensure that they are compensated accordingly.

The pre-kindergarten years are important to child development, with 700 to 1000 new neural connections made every second. Early childhood education can act as a predictor for later academic performance. Without intervention, a 3-year-old’s vocabulary can predict that child’s reading ability as a third grader.

In addition, American parents need the childcare provided by these early education centers. Sixty percent of married couple families have both parents in the workforce. There are 14.8 million American children below six who have working parents.

Pre-kindergarten teachers provide vital services to the economy by educating children and allowing their parents to stay in the workforce. Their contribution merits more than $9.77 an hour.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Woodleywonder

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One Comment

  1. Dr. Tony DeLia says:

    Our society prioritizes celebrities and sports figures over those helping to teach and raise the next generation of people unfortunately.

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