Kamala Harris Proposes $13,500 Nationwide Teacher Raise
Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) is out today with the first major K-12 education proposal of the Democratic presidential primary: providing teachers a significant raise. In the first major policy put forth by the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, she is proposing the federal government spend $315 billion to increase teacher salaries over the next 10 years and give teachers an average raise of $13,500 a year. The plan would be the largest federal investment in teacher pay in U.S. history. In addition to closing the pay gap between teachers and comparable professions, Harris’ plan would also direct the Department of Education to make a multi-billion dollar investment in programs that support teachers, principals, and other school leaders -- half of which will be dedicated to high-quality programs at HBCUs and other Minority Serving Institutions. In the policy’s official announcement -- she had first mentioned the proposal during a campaign stop in Houston -- Harris said the proposal would be paid for by “strengthening” the estate tax and closing loopholes that let the wealthiest estates avoid paying their fair share. “Our country’s success is a product of the two groups who raise our children: parents and teachers. We are not paying our teachers their value,” Harris said. “Teachers should not have to work two or three jobs to pay the bills. This proposal will lift up teachers and families across America, give every American teacher a raise, and make a much-needed investment in our country’s future.” The plan, which was met with applause from the American Federation of Teachers and individual educators on social media, comes after significant teacher strikes across the country have brought teacher pay to the forefront. See the full plan here.