One average, football coaches at major high schools made about $98,000 in the 2015-16 school year. Some even made upward of $110,000.
Coaching is a tough job and coaches can be a pivotal character in the life of many high school students, so we don't begrudge their high salaries.
But in the case of the $100,000 football coach, one has to wonder: what about the teachers?
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Though football is king in Texas, it’s hard to justify paying football coaches royally while teachers are left out in the rain.
We get that Texans don’t go to UIL math competitions in droves, but football is only part of the high school experience — the other, much larger part, is preparing students academically for college, work or vocational school.
First downs usually doesn’t translate into college degrees for most students.
Good grades do.
Teachers are essential to how a school performs. They can propel students forward in almost every aspect of enrichment. They inspire and help kids thrive in the real world — college or in workforce readiness, and beyond.
And that’s why we should be focusing on teachers and their pay rates.
The real conversation isn’t whether football coach should be paid less, but whether teachers should be paid more.
What if that same competitive hiring atmosphere existed for teachers as it does for football coaches in Texas?
Most teachers we know didn’t get into the profession for the salary. But that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve it. Their opportunity — and their purpose — could not be more significant.
Schools attract and retain good coaches with high salaries. The same is true for teachers. That's part of the problem -- the salaries aren't very attractive.
To his credit, Gov. Greg Abbott has been a champion of higher teacher salaries. He's encouraged the Legislature to making pay increases a priority for the state. You can do the same.
It is time to engage in many facets of our educational process – from learning about FWISD’s upcoming almost $750 million bond to knowing your school board members to advocating for higher teacher salaries, if you are so inclined.
Buy extra notebooks and dry erase markers. Help petition for better resources. Read up on the current school bonds elections coming up and see if they provide the best for these teacher.
Find out what your local school needs. Get engaged. Petition for needed resources. Yes, football may be the most visible output for any of our local schools — we must turn the conversation toward the overall health of our schools.
Demand for a better football teams drives football coaches’ salaries. We should strive to do the same in academics.