That doesn't even factor in the $500 that the average teacher spends out of pocket on supplies for their kids every year, with 1 in 10 teachers paying over $1,000 a year according to the Education Market Association.
So it's understandable that James Deming from Tusla, Oklahoma, was somewhat annoyed when someone he was talking to dismissed a teacher strike that may take place in the state by stating that teachers get the summer off.
A coalition of school district administrators and teachers in Oklahoma are planning a walkout over a diminishing budget that in some districts has reduced the school week to just four days.
After the comment, Deming decided to do some research into the matter and came up with some pretty shocking results. He ultimately decided to take to Facebook and lay out the differences in salary and benefits of his white collar job and his wife's public teaching job.
Deming's post has since gone viral, with over 1 million views and thousands of shares. In response to one comment that he should compare the salary of teachers to other public sector workers, Deming uploaded another video...
In response to the post, commenters, including teachers, weighed in. One Facebook user wrote:
"Well said. I agree with what you said however they are not the only underpaid profession. Social workers among many other professions are as well."
While another added...
"Not to mention they have to do deal with the children that disrupt the class and are not properly trained to handle a lot of behavioral issues they deal with EVERY DAY that in turn takes away from teaching time. It blows my mind what teachers get paid. They are expected to raise and teach our children on pennies."
One teacher wrote:
"We did not get new reading books. We got science books 1 per 2 kids, and math we have to create all the work. They keep putting more on our plates in the name of budget cuts. It's gets old!"
Another user explained that many teachers have to pay for printer ink as there is too little at work.
"And not to mention the cost of a printer and ink, paper, laminator and laminating pouches because you are discouraged from printing (especially in color) at school because they can’t afford ink and paper."
One commenter added...
"I love this video, but I don’t think your “white collar” figures are accurate for the majority of the population. For example, my family’s health insurance is over $800/month, and I’ve never known anyone with paternity benefits."
"I don’t mean to take away from your post, I’m just not sure your numbers are an accurate mean. I know you got the salary data online. Did you look any of the other numbers up or just use your personal info?"
Many were thankful for the videos.
"Thank you James! I hope you don’t mind if I share! I am so grateful to people like your wife that work so hard to give our kids an education!"
Another user explained that the issue is present throughout the public sector.
"I could do similar math with mine and my wife’s police department CSI job.
Cept she works more than me and makes less."
One user wrote...
"James - you and I don't agree about much, but this was excellently well thought out and researched. And I love that it was all facts - no opinion to get bogged down in."
"Let's hope this video reaches the people in OKC so that they can get something done - and done THE RIGHT way for our deserving teachers so they don't have to strike."