There’s an issue almost everyone whether Democrat, Republican or Independent should be able to agree on; teachers don’t get paid enough!   And yet we demand our education systems to be top notch. It’s hard to reconcile both. Teachers are severely underpaid, schools are totally underfunded and the environment at schools feels less safe than ever. What is clear is this election season, education seems to be fueling voters more than ever before. Politico says:

In an election year marked by teacher uprisings over K-12 funding, fights about gun control and debates on free college, education stars as a dominant campaign issue. 

And Bloomberg adds:

When teachers in several U.S. states walked out of their classrooms this year to protest stagnant pay and school funding, they struck a chord with the public.

Now they’re battling to turn that sympathy into gains at the ballot box –- and Democrats are hoping that a wave of teacher candidates will help them flip control of statehouses and governorships.

Here’s what News & Guts readers told us about their concerns about education as we approach November 6th:

Shake Finley (Columbia, MO) Increased salaries for teachers to a base salary of $100,000 regardless of location. States may supplement that base salary.

Jennifer Leigh Peterson (AZ) Education is my big issue this year….specifically not continuing to gut education by giving public monies to for-profit organizations with no strings attached and no accountability.

Shelby Joslin-Boote (Melbourne, FL) I am voting for Education… in my home state of Florida. For too long kids have been left in the dust. We have had 20 years of Republican rule down here. There is a huge teacher shortage due to being underpaid, their benefits changed and too much focus on testing.

Tammy Bright-Wiggins (OK) We are fighting the same fight. We need budgets restored to reduce class sizes and provide actual teaching supplies and equipment. A teacher salary increase went into effect this year, and it’s a start, but we are still losing teachers to neighboring states where they can make significantly more for the same job. We do NOT need tax dollars diverted to vouchers that can be used for private/religious schools.

Russ Martin (Omaha, NE) So many teachers must subsidize public schools by providing, at their own expense, classroom materials is unacceptable and a national embarrassment.

Ashley Fontaine (Seattle, WA) The underfunding and privatization of our public school systems, and the quality of education people can expect for their kids if they aren’t wealthy. The promise of education as the golden ticket to a better life has long been part of the fabric of the “American Dream”.

Jeanne Rogers Pruim (San Marcos, CA) When are we going to start funding education properly and making it a priority for our nation? Pay teachers a living wage commensurate with their advanced degrees and important work? Fix crumbling schools? Reduce class sizes so children have the support they need to learn? Make decisions and pass legislation about educational issues that is informed by educators who actually work with students? Support families and communities in making education a priority? Make schools safe and college affordable so all children can have the opportunity to pursue their dreams? Addressing problems in education will go a long way toward solving some of the other issues our society faces.

Carolyn Valentine (Concord, NC) As a teacher, the assault on public education concerns me. Public funds should be used for public schools. Public funds should not be used for charter schools which are essentially private because they do not have to accept everyone and are not held to the same standards.

Judy Gaughan (Pueblo, CO) I have to say access to excellent public education regardless of class, race, or economic status, Support for public education at all levels. The only way to save the country is to educate its people.