- The Washington Times - Monday, July 8, 2002

DALLAS Zach Galvin makes a good living teaching English, drama and public speaking in Natick, Mass. But high living costs make it hard to make ends meet in the Boston suburb.
"I'm earning a salary in a town that I'll never be able to afford to live in," he said.
Mr. Galvin, 32, said that while he makes more than $50,000 a year, he can't afford a down payment on a house. Other guys his age often make $70,000 to $80,000.
"They say, 'You're doing great work, but you're a fool to be doing that job,'" he said. "It's tongue in cheek, but there's some truth to it."
Gathered at their annual meeting last week, members of the National Education Association (NEA) talked about why so few men go into teaching; recent statistics show that only one in four public school teachers is male.
"It's not macho it's not cool," said Ned Good, a middle school teacher in Burr Oak, Mich. "To say you're a teacher is not going to get you a pat on the back from most people."
Mr. Good, the only male out of 12 teachers in his tiny school district, echoed the comments of many instructors who said that while teacher salaries are rising nationwide, the vocation still carries little prestige.
"Your job as a male is to provide for your family. It's not to be a nice guy and do what you can to help others," he said.
Delegates of the NEA, the nation's largest teachers' union, this week approved a measure to help recruit more men into their ranks, with an emphasis on recruiting more minorities and getting more men into elementary school jobs.
"We are not doing all that we can to recruit these people," said John Hutcheson, an elementary school special education teacher in Carter, Ky., who submitted the proposal. He said men often find higher-paying jobs as principals or superintendents more attractive.
According to the Education Department, the percentage of male teachers in public schools has actually gone down in the past 40 years. In 1961, 31 percent of teachers were male. By 1996, it was 26 percent.
As a whole, the nation's public-school teaching force has also become a bit less diverse: In 1972, about 88 percent of teachers were white. By 1996 that rose to nearly 91 percent.
Teacher salaries just barely kept pace with living costs in the 1990s, rising 31 percent to about $43,000, the NEA found last spring. In its annual report on state spending in education, the union said teacher salaries rose 0.5 percent between 1990 and 2000 after inflation had been taken into account.
In many states, the union said, teachers actually lost ground to inflation. U.S. Labor Department figures show that salaries for many blue-collar jobs also rose at similar rates, while those for professionals, such as architects and physicians, grew 52 percent.
According to the National Association of Elementary School Principals, its members earn, on average, about $73,000. Middle school principals earn about $78,000, and high school principals earn just under $84,000.
Catherine Savage, a high school special education teacher in Ithaca, N.Y., said the issue is critical.
"We have a lot of children who are from single-parent families and don't have good role models, or might not have any male role models," she said.

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