By promising a big increase in teacher pay, Harris is vying for support from the nation’s 3.2 public-school teachers.
In what some cynics might call a politically-calculated move to appeal to a block of 3.2 million (largely female) voters, presidential-hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris [D-CA} has released a proposal to raise public-school teachers’ pay across the United States by an average of $13,500 per teacher.
“For every $1 a state contributes to increasing teacher pay, the federal government will invest $3, until we fully close the teacher pay gap,” Harris explained in the Washington Post. “States will be required to maintain their investment over time, and increase that amount to cover their share of wage inflation.”
The plan will also include a multibillion-dollar investment in evidence-based programs that elevate the teaching profession. Half of this funding would be dedicated to historically black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions, because more than 30 percent of all black teachers, and more than 40 percent of all Hispanic teachers, graduate from those schools.
We will pay for this plan by increasing the estate tax for the top 1 percent of taxpayers and cracking down on loopholes that let the very wealthiest, with estates worth multiple millions or billions of dollars, avoid paying their fair share.
Harris’ teacher pay plan is the first of its kind from anyone in the field, notes Politico. More importantly, it also gives Harris “new entree to a professional field dominated by politically active women — after she expressed solidarity with their ranks during strikes in Oakland, Denver and Los Angeles.”
According to a new CNN poll, released prior to her teacher-pay proposal, Harris has climbed to third place among a long list of other Democrats hoping to get their party’s nomination–trailing only to former-Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Teachers work incredibly hard to build the foundation of our country, one student at a time. That’s why I’ve released a plan to give teachers a raise. pic.twitter.com/rFsqD9cKP4
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) March 26, 2019
Although this is her first formal policy proposal on education, Kamala Harris is on record in support of reparations for slavery, legalizing marijuana, as well as prostitution.