My Bailout Plan

I”ve been thinking about the bailout plan and its rationale. The way I understand it, if we don’t do this bailout, then the economic problems will continue to trickle down and hurt all the average ordinary citizens who trust banks and other financial institutions to actually have a clue about what they are doing. Much like a child who asks for a snack too late in the evening, these financial wizards should have been telling people to “wait until the morning.” If you have it now, they should have said, it’ll give you a belly ache, or maybe make you wet the bed–metaphorically speaking.

But, if we’re going to go ahead and save these people because, if we don’t, the fallout will be terrible among all of the people who count on their support, I think we should expand this plan even further:

Many teachers do not stay in their profession because the teacher’s salary does not match the level of educational loans they took out in order to become teachers. Teacher drop out rate: After 3 years, 1/3 of new teachers leave the field; after 5 years, almost half of those new teachers have left. In inner city schools, 1/2 of the teachers quit within 3 years. Many of these teachers switch to the private sector where they can make more money and live a “healthier lifestyle” (read: nice house and car). Locally, we are having a bit of an oil boom. Teachers in my school have quit their jobs to go work in the oil fields. Otherwise, they say, they’ll be making loan payments until their children are finished with college.

What is the fallout from all of these teachers quitting their jobs? I hazard a guess to say that it is even worse than a family losing their home to foreclosure. If our quality teachers are leaving the profession, we’ll be sending out more and more students who cannot read the fine print on loans, and who cannot figure out if they can afford to buy a brand new house and support their family, or who simply are not educated well enough to know what is wrong with the economy.  In order to save the country, we need to save the teachers!

So, I propose that we expand the bailout program to cover all of the student loans that teachers have taken out and are continuing to try and pay back, despite working in one of the lowest paying professional careers in the country. In my state, I have worked as a restaurant manager and in a factory putting tires on vehicles and made more money and had better benefits with both jobs, neither of which required any education at all. Not even a high school diploma or GED.

Cover our loans. This is better than a pay raise. This is better than a tax cut. This is a more effective way to help the country than giving rich bankers more money to make more stupid decisions and drive our country even further into debt.  It might make quality teachers more willing to keep teaching.

If you really wanted to try something crazy, we could ask the government to wipe all debts clean. Do it over the weekend, and say, “As of Monday, all of your debts have been erased by the federal government. Have a nice day.”

What could possibly go wrong?

I am the language lover and these are my thoughts.

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1 Comment

  1. renaissanceguy said,

    October 7, 2008 at 10:55 am

    You are right about the value of teachers. You are also right about the travesty of teachers having to pay off student loans on such a meager salary.

    I would seriously support the idea of a school district or the state paying off a portion of loans for any teacher who works for at least five years.

    I also agree that paying off all the teachers’ loans would beat this so-called rescue plan. (Which doesn’t seem to have done much good so far!)


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