MONTGOMERY, Ala. (CBS Atlanta) — An Alabama state senator says that keeping teacher salaries low is “a biblical principle.”
Alabama State Sen. Shadrack McGill was quoted as saying that if the average teacher salary were to increase, more unqualified persons would be attracted to the vocation.
According to the Dekalb County Times-Journal, McGill, R-Woodville, made the comments at a prayer breakfast in Fort Payne.
“It’s a Biblical principle,” she said, according to the Times-Journal. “If you double a teacher’s pay scale, you’ll attract people who aren’t called to teach.”
McGill added that the job requires certain innate abilities, and that if teachers were paid more, those without such ingrained skills would be more inclined to try and fill the roles.
“To go in and raise someone’s child for eight hours a day, or many people’s children for eight hours a day, requires a calling,” she said, according to the Times-Journal. “It better be a calling in your life. I know I wouldn’t want to do it, OK?”
The comments were made as a follow-up to the responses she offered to questions regarding a 62 percent pay raise passed for lawmakers in 2007.
The measure was passed initially by a voice vote, then by former Gov. Bob Riley through an override of a veto.
According to the Times-Journal, lawmakers started the 2007 year making just over $30,000. It was increased to $49,500, after staying the same for the previous 16 years.
McGill said that the low salaries played a part in the state’s level of corruption and corroborations with lobbyists.
“You had your higher-ranking legislators that were connected with the lobbyists making up in the millions of dollars,” she was quoted as saying by the Times-Journal. “They weren’t worried about that $30,000 paid salary they were getting.”