Nice Work if You Can Afford It

The time for change is now. We can (and must) do it.

By Anna Hartman

Being a teacher, a woman, and an early childhood educator is financially hazardous (13), according to CASJE’s recent report, Compensation: The Salaries and Benefits of Jewish Educators.

This information is not new, and it is not unique to early childhood Jewish education.

What seems noteworthy is the level of dissatisfaction with compensation that teachers in these environments expressed (12). The low level of compensation is “hurt[ing]” educators, raising a concern for the educators that they will not be able to eke out a living (19). Indeed, half of America’s early childhood educators live in households in which at least one person receives public assistance.[1]The report suggests that wages are really only a problem for educators who have left the field (1); given that 80% of early childhood centers across the country are reporting a teacher shortage,[2]however, I believe we can make the correlation between compensation and career commitment.

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