The news from the Brookings Institute isn’t just that American teachers are underpaid–it’s how underpaid they are. American teachers’ salaries would need a boost of almost 80% to catch up with Luxembourg, and more than 20% to catch up to cash-strapped Greece.

Author Dick Startz anticipates the reaction to this news: “Yes, but teachers aren’t in it for money.”

“…I’ve noticed that the people who say that teachers teach for love are quite often themselves very good teachers. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine someone who teaches well who doesn’t like their students. However, it’s very easy to imagine many, many potential teachers—who would also love their students just as much—who have made the decision to forego a teaching career in order to better provide for their family.”

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