A stunning majority of Americans now support raising teacher salaries.

The fact that teachers are underpaid isn't exactly breaking news. But ever since West Virginia's high-profile teacher strike in February, the reality faced by educators in America has become crystal clear.

Teachers strikes across the country have raised awareness about the economic challenges educators face — including how typical it is for educators to spend their own money on vital classroom materials, from paper to furniture.

The West Virginia strike quickly inspired similar efforts in Colorado, Kentucky, and Oklahoma. Teachers are supporting their colleagues, too: Arizona educators recently started striking to secure raises for school receptionists and bus drivers.  


Some have feared the frequent statewide strikes would inspire a backlash — after all, the myth that teachers clock out at 3 p.m. everyday and get unlimited time off in the summers still persists. And as recently as 2010, an AP-Stanford poll found that only 57% felt that teachers were paid too little.

But the strikes appear to be working: A majority of Americans are in favor of increasing teacher pay.

According to a new AP-NORC poll, a super majority of 78% of poll respondents say that teachers aren't paid enough, with only 6% saying that they are paid too much.

Plus, a slim majority of those surveyed even support raising taxes to help pay for increasing teacher salaries.

"To educate children and barely get a living is obnoxious," Arizona resident Elaine Penman said in an interview connected to the poll. "I'm a parent and I benefit directly from what teachers do."

Teacher salaries are quickly becoming a bipartisan issue.

According to the poll, nearly 90% of Democrats agree teachers aren't paid enough, as do 78% of Independents and 66% of Republicans.

52% of people responding to the poll say they agree with the striking teachers' efforts, with only 25% disagreeing. And according to those "paying attention" to the strikes, 80% support them.

Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images.

The benefits of education are profound. And most Americans agree that teachers should be fairly compensated for their work.

Everyone may not agree on the solution, but nearly everyone agrees on the problem: Teachers aren't being paid enough and they're being asked to do too much. And research shows that strong education is tied to everything from better job opportunities to personal health.

As statewide strikes continue, people are paying attention.

And the more they pay attention, a clear consensus is emerging: Paying teachers a fair wage isn't just the right thing to do — it's a literal investment in our own futures.

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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

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via wakaflockafloccar / TikTok

It's amazing to consider just how quickly the world has changed over the past 11 months. If you were to have told someone in February 2020 that the entire country would be on some form of lockdown, nearly everyone would be wearing a mask, and half a million people were going to die due to a virus, no one would have believed you.

Yet, here we are.

PPE masks were the last thing on Leah Holland of Georgetown, Kentucky's mind on March 4, 2020, when she got a tattoo inspired by the words of a close friend.

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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

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Dr. Who / YouTube

It's incredible to imagine that Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime. "The Red Vineyard" sold in Brussels a few months before his death for just 400 Francs.

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Photo: Canva

We're nearly a year into the pandemic, and what a year it has been. We've gone through the struggles of shutdowns, the trauma of mass death, the seemingly fleeting "We're all in this together" phase, the mind-boggling denial and deluge of misinformation, the constantly frustrating uncertainty, and the ongoing question of when we're going to get to resume some sense of normalcy.

It's been a lot. It's been emotionally and mentally exhausting. And at this point, many of us have hit a wall of pandemic fatigue that's hard to describe. We're just done with all of it, but we know we still have to keep going.

Poet Donna Ashworth has put this "done" feeling into words that are resonating with so many of us. While it seems like we should want to talk to people we love more than ever right now, we've sort of lost the will to socialize pandemically. We're tired of Zoom calls. Getting together masked and socially distanced is doable—we've been doing it—but it sucks. In the wintry north (and recently south) the weather is too crappy to get together outside. So many of us have just gone quiet.

If that sounds like you, you're not alone. As Ashworth wrote:

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