Click for audio School Choice is Good for Teachers, Too

Studies conclusively show that parental involvement is key to helping children improve their academic performance and make the most of their educations.

So opponents of parental involvement through school choice have developed a new argument. They claim that allowing parents to choose their children’s schools will hurt the pocketbooks of public school teachers.

But opening education to parental choice and competition means that schools—public and nonpublic—would compete more to attract and retain the best teachers. Schools would have to pay their teachers well or risk losing them to competitors offering better wages. The best teachers would have to be paid more.

Even so, more money is not the primary motivation for most teachers. A recent survey of nonpublic school teachers found that a majority would not switch to a public school teaching position, even if offered $16,000 more per year.

The reason these teachers gave for being more satisfied with their jobs than their public school counterparts was not cash, but their less bureaucratic and more flexible work environments.

Teachers know that schools are more than just places to pick up a paycheck, and that greater parental involvement through school choice would not only help kids, but themselves as well.

For the Mackinac Center, this is Joseph Lehman.