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.

More
via Twitter / Soraya

There is a strange right-wing logic that suggests when minorities fight for equal rights it's somehow a threat to the rights already held by those in the majority or who hold power.

Like when the Black Lives Matter movement started, many on the right claimed that fighting for black people to be treated equally somehow meant that other people's lives were not as valuable, leading to the short-lived All Lives Matter movement.

This same "oppressed majority" logic is behind the new Straight Pride movement which made headlines in August after its march through the streets of Boston.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

For most of us, the hypothetical question of whether we would stick with a boyfriend or girlfriend through the trials of cancer and the treatments is just that – a hypothetical question. We would like to think we would do the right thing, but when Max Allegretti got the chance to put his money where mouth is, he didn't hesitate for a second.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via bfmamatalk / facebook

Where did we go wrong as a society to make women feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public?

No one should feel they have the right to tell a woman when, where, and how she can breastfeed. The stigma should be placed on those who have the nerve to tell a woman feeding her child to "Cover up" or to ask "Where's your modesty?"

Breasts were made to feed babies. Yes, they also have a sexual function but anyone who has the maturity of a sixth grader knows the difference between a sexual act and feeding a child.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Instagram / JLo

The Me Too movement has shed light on just how many actresses have been placed in positions that make them feel uncomfortable. Abuse of power has been all too commonplace. Some actresses have been coerced into doing something that made them uncomfortable because they felt they couldn't say no to the director. And it's not always as flagrant as Louis C.K. masturbating in front of an up-and-coming comedian, or Harvey Weinstein forcing himself on actresses in hotel rooms.

But it's important to remember that you can always firmly put your foot down and say no. While speaking at The Hollywood Reporter's annual Actress Roundtable, Jennifer Lopez opened up about her experiences with a director who behaved inappropriately. Laura Dern, Awkwafina, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o, and Renee Zellweger were also at the roundtable.

Keep Reading Show less
popular