Garbage and recycling workers do a job that I am sincerely grateful for. It's a job most would choose not to do if given a choice, but should your "garbage man" make more than your kids' teacher? That's happening in some places of Idaho. 

In a study by, the average garbage collector in Idaho makes $35,670. The current minimum teacher salary in Idaho is $35,800 (roughly the exact same as a garbage collector) but that number varies greatly among the states 115 school districts and in the Pleasant Valley School District, the teacher salary is just $31,750. (Not sure how that works when it is below the state minimum, but according to that is the reality.)

Governor Brad Little has signed into law House Bill 153, which according to will increase starting teacher salaries to $40,000 by the year 2021, but try buying a home in the Treasure Valley in 2019 on that salary, that ain't happening! I suspect home prices will be even higher by 2021 if we continue to be a hot spot for Californian's and other out of towners.

No disrespect to the garbage man, but this is pretty disturbing to me. The people that we are trusting to educate our children, to help mold them into the adults they will become are being compensated fairly equally to what your garbage collector is making. What does that say about the value of education?

Who is going to be motivated to major in education in college when you knowingly will walk away from all that work and dedication unable to by a home for yourself. Becoming a garbage collector usually requires a high school diploma and on the job training while a teacher goes through 4+ years of school, only to end up in the same financial place. I know it's not all about finances, but we have to survive and it can't be ignored.

I appreciate House Bill 153, but in my mind, it is not enough. I don't know what the answer is. I know nothing is going to change in the near future and if all of us had to start paying more taxes in order for teachers to get paid more, we'd probably all be in an uproar over that as well.

I'll get off my soapbox now, but next time the garbage man pulls up, think about how they may be making roughly the same or even more than your child's teacher.

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