Alabama State Senator Shadrack McGill told a group of constituents at a prayer breakfast this week that raising teachers’ pay is not Biblical — but that he supports a 62 percent pay raise for state lawmakers like himself.
McGill, a Republican from Woodville, told the audience that the Bible explains why raising salaries for educators would not increase the quality of education. The Dekalb County Times Journal reported McGill’s comments on Tuesday:
“Teachers need to make the money that they need to make. There needs to be a balance there. If you double what you’re paying education, you know what’s going to happen? I’ve heard the comment many times, ‘Well, the quality of education’s going to go up.’ That’s never proven to happen, guys.
It’s a Biblical principle. If you double a teacher’s pay scale, you’ll attract people who aren’t called to teach.
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. It better be a calling in your life. I know I wouldn’t want to do it, OK?”
As McGill says, he wasn’t “called to teach;” he instead wanted to be a politician. Thankfully for McGill, apparently God doesn’t want to limit compensation for his chosen profession. At the same prayer breakfast, McGill defended a controversial 62 percent pay hike for state lawmakers by claiming that it would cut down on corruption. The pay raise passed in 2007 after then-Governor Bob Riley’s veto was overridden.
Lawmakers entered the 2007 legislative session making $30,710 a year, a rate that had not been changed in 16 years. The raise increased it to $49,500 annually.
“That played into the corruption, guys, big time,” he said. “You had your higher-ranking legislators that were connected with the lobbyists making up in the millions of dollars. They weren’t worried about that $30,000 paid salary they were getting,” McGill said, adding that lawmakers have to pay for their expenses out of pocket.
McGill said that by paying legislators more, they’re less susceptible to taking bribes.
“He needs to make enough that he can say no, in regards to temptation.”
So according to Senator McGill, teachers must be called to service, and if you increase their salaries then it will attract profiteers. Legislators like him, on the other hand, are profiteers already, and if you don’t increase their salaries then they will just shamelessly accept corrupt money from lobbyists.
This is not the first time that McGill has raised eyebrows by making controversial comments; in his November State of the State address, he claimed that there are truckloads of pregnant women sneaking accross the Mexican border to have children in America.