2019 Teachers Value Getty
What Americans have said

What parents said: Do teachers feel valued by their communities?

In addition to the traditional PDK poll of Americans, PDK convened online focus groups with public school parents and public school teachers, thanks to funding support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. These comments are drawn from those two groups.

Recruiting and retaining good teachers and staff is of the utmost importance. They are the people who are with our kids day in and day out. They are rearing our children along with us. You wouldn't want just anybody to be part of your village. Our school district rarely retains good teachers. Who would stay when they're not being paid a livable wage?

Deanna, 42, Hispanic mother of two in rural Colorado

Teachers are dedicated professionals. If they weren't, do you think they'd continue to teach at the pay many are currently receiving? If they weren't they wouldn't be willing to buy the supplies for their classrooms out of their own pockets, like many do now or spend long hours after school helping kids who are struggling in class. If they weren't, do you think they'd struggle day after day dealing with kids with behavioral problems? I greatly admire our teachers and support them completely.

Sandy, 54, White mother of one in urban Missouri

Teachers are definitely underappreciated. We forget about how much impact they have on our children and how hard of a job it is sometimes working with children. They do not get the respect they deserve.

Meredith, 38, White mother of three in suburban New Jersey

I always support teachers on strike. They have the most valuable asset we have (our future, our children), and yet we pay them less than garbage collectors (nothing against them, I am just saying, it's a disparate pay level). They truly need to be paid a living wage.

Albert, 49, Asian father of two sons in suburban California

I would definitely support a strike by teachers in my school, if they felt they were being treated unfairly. Teaching is a hard and often thankless job. I don't believe teachers strike on a whim. They want to be working and they want to be helping kids (at least the majority of them do). Striking is a last resort, so I definitely support it as a way to make their grievances known.

Robin, 49, White mother of high school student in urban Pennsylvania

In spite of the low pay, many great teachers have hung in there to have a satisfying career and do a lot of good for the community. Sadly, many have left education to work where they will earn more money, and you can't really blame them.

Tim, 69, White father of a 7th grader in rural Minnesota

I would support a teacher strike in my community and across the nation. I like seeing teachers take a stand as I see them as the most underappreciated professionals. Their job is so important, and they need to be compensated for it.

Deanna, 42, Hispanic mother of two in rural Colorado

We have lost a lot of really good educators simply because the pay structure is not great in more states. Most highly qualified educators can make more money someplace else. The pay structure is simply not where it should be.

Frederick, 71, Black grandfather and guardian for his grandson in urban Massachusetts​

We ask a lot of our teachers and those teachers should be properly compensated for those expectations.

Sandy, 54, White mother of one in urban Missouri​​

Paying teachers better wages so they don't have to get second jobs would be #1 on my list of priorities. When they don't have to get second jobs to support themselves, then they could be better rested, have more patience, and plan their lessons better. We would start getting more people interested in teaching with better pay and that would help with the teacher shortage. Supplying teachers with the supplies and materials needed to teach their classes would be #2. This would also help the teacher to not have to get a second job.

Cheryl, 53, White mother of seven in urban Washington​​

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