Is it Smart for Society to Pay Sports Stars More than Teachers?

Photo Credit: familymwr via photopin cc

Photo Credit: familymwr via photopin cc

As many states in the US are cutting their budgets in order to survive the current economic difficulties, teachers are seemingly caught in the middle. Today, many teachers across the US are not only looking at stagnant salaries, but those that may actually be cut back because of budget difficulties.

Meanwhile, sports stars are being paid more than ever with record contracts that bring in millions of dollars. Plus, it seems that for every star that makes it big, there is another athlete who goes broke and has seemingly wasted their fortune. Is it fair for sports stars to be wasting their millions while teachers are struggling with low salaries teaching our kids?

Are Teachers Underpaid?

While some may believe that teachers are overpaid, considering the job that they are required to perform which is educating our children, they are certainly not paid enough. Given the positive contributions of a well educated child who turns into an adult that contributes to our society, the amount a teacher is paid is certainly a very small sum indeed.

However, local and state budgets only have so much money which is raised from tax revenues while sports stars are paid by teams which are essentially corporations that make money from a variety of sources such as ticket sales, media, merchandising and so forth. Local, county and state governments that raise tax revenue for education must also allocate other portions for much needed services.

Plus, it must be stated that teachers’ unions offer valuable protections for teachers by securing their job and providing lock-step raises. However, such unions have also fallen under criticism for focusing more on teacher security rather than performance where ineffective teachers are difficult to replace.

Are Sports Stars Overpaid?

Because both children and adults admire, appreciate and support their teams, athletes are paid a considerable amount of money. Plus, the star athletes command large contracts along with merchandising deals where they can rake in millions of dollars. To many, it may seem almost insane that a star athlete could earn millions of dollars a year while a great teacher may not even make $50,000 which is close to the national average, but comparisons should go farther than just the salary.

How Athletes Waste their Money

Unfortunately, the downside is that many sports stars wind up broke and without a proper education to find gainful employment. The dichotomy of financial success and failure can be amply demonstrated by two different athletes, former NBA superstar Allen Iverson and current WWE sensation John Cena.

Allen Iverson’s net worth is actually millions of dollars in the negative despite earning over $150 million in his career. Numerous financial mistakes along with his inability to properly invest his money has left his finances in tatters. Conversely, there are star athletes who have wisely invested their money.

In fact, John Cena’s net worth may be just $35 million, but his brand is estimated at being at roughly $100 million. His frugal spending and wise investments have made him one of the richer athletes in all of sports or entertainment.

In the end, paying our teachers more should be an automatic, the trick is to find ways that effectively expand resources while not impinging on taxpayers who must pay the bill.