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Shadrack McGill, Alabama State Senator, Says Keeping Teacher Pay Low 'A Biblical Principle'

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Someone alert the unions: raising teacher pay will actually make for worse teachers--according to one GOP lawmaker.

Alabama state Sen. Shadrack McGill said that increasing teacher pay is against "a biblical principle" because it might attract people who otherwise wouldn't do the job.

"Teachers need to make the money that they need to make," McGill said, according to the Times-Journal. "If you double a teacher's pay scale, you'll attract people who aren't called to teach ... and these teachers that are called to teach, regardless of the pay scale, they would teach. It's just in them to do. It's the ability that God give 'em."

McGill's comments came at a prayer breakfast this week in Fort Payne, Ala. State legislators are currently weighing raising teacher pay. One GOP leader proposed raising salaries of newer teachers by 2.5 percent, but critics argue that it isn't fair to longer-serving educators, according to the Montgomery Advertiser.

A recent report might justify critics' worries, showing that Alabama is actually leading the nation in starting teacher salaries, while lagging behind in average teacher pay, the Dothan Eagle reports.

The national average starting salary for a teacher is $39,000. New York Times columnist Nick Kristof has argued that paying teachers more would help attract better people to the profession, and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has repeatedly vocalized his assertion that teachers should have salaries starting at $60,000 and the opportunity to make up to $150,000 based on performance.

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