by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Presidential candidate Kamala Harris on Tuesday unveiled the price tag for her first campaign policy announcement, a federally-funded pay raise for public school teachers.
The Democratic senator from California, who announced the proposal last weekend during a rally in Houston, Texas, said she would boost the average teacher salary by $13,500, closing the 11 percent pay gap between educators and professionals with comparable degrees during the first year of a Harris administration if she wins her party’s nomination and is elected to the White House.
“The plan costs approximately $315 billion over 10 years, and it will be paid for by strengthening the estate tax and cracking down on loopholes that let the very wealthiest, with estates worth multiple millions or billions of dollars, avoid paying their fair share,” Harris’ campaign wrote in a press release.
Her campaign also outlined how the federal government would provide 10 percent of the initial outlay to bridge the salary divide before incentivizing state governments to help share the burden.
“For every $1 a state invests in raising teacher pay, the federal government will provide $3 to fully close the gap within four years,” the campaign said.
Harris’ strategy marks a departure from the status quo, in which state and local governments are the dominant players on the issue.