Take action to raise teacher pay
Have you taken the pledge? Good! Next, please contact your governor.
Contact your governor:
1. Call your governor. Let them know why you’d like to see teachers’ salaries change in your state. You can find the phone numbers for each governor’s office here.
Here are a few important questions we would like to know the answers to from your governor:
- Given that the wellbeing of our future economy and democracy rely on the quality of our teaching force, what are you doing to recruit, develop, and retain effective teachers?
- Have you viewed the feature-length documentary film American Teacher and if not, when have you scheduled a time to view the film?
- Have you contacted your state’s superintendent and your state teacher of the year about raising teacher pay so that you can recruit and retain the most qualified students to the profession?
- Who do you need to collaborate with in your state to make change happen?
We hope that you will receive substantive responses from your governor. Please also thank them for their work and let them know the reasons why you would like to see teachers’ salaries change in your state.
Report your calls using our tracking form so that we can let your governor know how many constituents have contacted him or her and so that we can track their responses on our website.
2. Write a letter to your governor. You can use the following script or make it your own:
Dear Governor (name of governor),
Great teachers are vital for our kids and our communities, but we are losing them because we don’t pay them like the professionals we ask them to be. I PLEDGE to support raising teachers’ salaries so that excellent teachers will be able to afford to stay in the classroom and talented graduates will choose to join the most important profession in the world.
That’s why I’m writing to you—I’d like you to join me in taking this pledge. What can you do, as the governor, to elevate the teaching profession in our state? If you haven’t already, please watch American Teacher and look through the booklet that The Teacher Salary Project sent accompanying this movie about the sacrifices great teachers make to be able to stay in the profession. The Teacher Salary Project is an organization that is sharing positive action by governors to elevate teaching on their site, and when I go to their map of all fifty states, I’d like to be proud of my state for leading the way.
Use this form to let us know that you reached out and how you sent your letter.
1. Follow The Teacher Salary Project on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and encourage your circles to follow The Teacher Salary Project. The more followers the movement has, the more governors will take note and listen.
2. Tweet, post, and share the pledge with everyone you know. Can we reach 10,000 signatures?
3. Share why you're participating in the Governors' Challenge. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Sample tweets —
- Great teachers are vital to our kids and communities #RaiseTeacherPay
- I pledge to #RaiseTeacherPay—will you join me? Take the pledge!
- (at your governor) will you pledge to #RaiseTeacherPay?
Facebook posts — tell us why you want to see teachers' salaries raised.
Instagram — share the best photo of a great classroom teacher at work (easiest if you are a teacher) and we'll feature you in our feed.
Organize your community:
1. Host a screening of American Teacher in your community. We’ll send you the movie, as well as a packet of resources for leading a discussion on raising teacher pay.
2. Host a calling party at your office, with your friends, or at an organization you’re a part of. Decide on a day and all call the governor’s office. You can use the script above. For gathering a group to make calls, we’ll feature you and your team on our site.
3. Contact your network to share as many of the ideas above as you can. Below is a letter you can adapt to email to your friends, family, and colleagues:
Whether you are a teacher, a parent, a student, or just a person concerned about the future of our country, I want you to join me this fall in making something happen.
I just signed a pledge to support raising teachers’ salaries so excellent teachers can afford to stay in the classroom, and talented graduates will choose to join the most important profession in the world.
This pledge is part of a movement started by The Teacher Salary Project, a nonpartisan organization that has asked all fifty governors to immediately and meaningfully address the question of teacher compensation in order to increase the desirability and sustainability of teaching in every state. To check out the Governors’ Challenge and the progress so far, visit theteachersalaryproject.org.
In order for such a campaign to succeed, we need the support of Americans across the country, in every state, who want to see our schools thrive and, most importantly, our kids succeed. The more people engaged in the campaign, the more change can take place.
Why am I asking for your help? Because we all know that our education system isn’t prepared to meet our present or future needs. I joined The Teacher Salary Project’s Governors’ Challenge because I believe that improving teachers’ salaries is a cornerstone to the reform our communities need. Paying teachers what they’re worth can transform teaching into the prestigious, desirable, financially viable, and professionally exciting job we all know it needs to be.
Countries that have shown great results in education have one thing in common: a stable, prestigious team of educators that were the best students themselves. Those countries also pay their teachers like other professionals whereas we don’t. We want to see these numbers raised and we want to see highly skilled, veteran teachers earning professional salaries. This is what industrialized nations that are serious about public education offer their teachers. We should join them.
How can you get involved? First, sign the pledge. Then, check out all of the ways to take action on theteachersalaryproject.org. And ask me—I’d love to talk through more ways you and I can work together to make a difference in our state.
Our kids and our country deserve the most talented, dedicated teachers available who can stay and thrive in the profession—and those teachers deserve our respect and fair pay. Thank you for joining me!