The recent debate over whether or not teachers are federal employees has been raging in news outlets and social media for weeks. While the answer to this question is complicated, it’s important to understand the implications of the different positions that teachers hold in relation to the federal government.
Teachers as federal employees
Teachers are employees of the United States government and are considered to be federal employees. This means that they are protected under federal law from many of the same benefits and protections that are afforded to other federal employees. In addition, teachers are eligible for a number of special benefits and protections that are unique to their position.
One important benefit is the right to unemployment insurance. Federal employees generally are eligible for unemployment insurance if they have worked at least 30 days in the previous 12 months, have been employed continuously for at least 6 months, and have not actively pursued an outside job during that time. Teachers who meet these criteria are also eligible for extended health coverage through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).
Teachers also enjoy a number of other benefits and protections that are specific to their position. For example, teachers are automatically registered for the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), which allows them to save for retirement. They also enjoy retirement benefits through the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS).
Federal employee benefits for teachers
Teachers are federal employees, which means they enjoy many benefits that other federal employees enjoy. These benefits include:
1. Pension and retirement benefits. Teachers receive pension and retirement benefits just like other federal employees. These benefits are based on years of service, salary, and the employer’s contributions.
2. Health care coverage. Teachers receive health care coverage just like other federal employees. This coverage is provided through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).
3. Paid leave. Teachers receive paid leave just like other federal employees. This leave is available in addition to any vacation or sick days they may have already accumulated.
4. Life insurance coverage. Teachers are covered by life insurance just like other federal employees. This coverage is through the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI).
5. Tuition assistance. Teachers can receive tuition assistance just like other federal employees. This assistance is provided through the Federal Work-Study Program (FWS).
6. Financial aid for students. Teachers can help students afford college by applying for financial aid through the Federal Student Aid Program (FSAP).
Teacher unions and politics
Teacher unions have long been a tool for progressive politicians looking to win over favor among teachers. In recent years, however, teacher unions’ political power has come under scrutiny.
The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest teacher union in the United States with more than 3 million members. The NEA has consistently endorsed Democratic candidates and donated millions of dollars to political causes over the years. In 2016, the NEA spent more than $27 million on political activities, almost all of which went towards supporting Hillary Clinton.
In contrast, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has spent more money on Republican candidates and organizations over the past several years. AFT president Randi Weingarten has also been critical of President Trump, saying that “a good chunk” of his base “appears to be motivated by hate and bigotry.”
Despite their differences, both the NEA and AFT have endorsed a number of proposals from congressional Democrats that would benefit teachers, such as raising the federal minimum wage and providing additional funding for special education programs.
Teacher salaries and benefits
The teacher corps is one of the most fundamental and essential components of a well-rounded education system. Federal employees are the backbone of our public education system and it is my hope that they receive the best possible compensation and benefits package to allow them to provide excellent services to students and their families.
Teachers work hard every day, dedicating their time to educating our children. It is important that they are compensated fairly for their efforts, and federal employees are some of the highest paid in the country. In 2016, the average teacher salary was $59,950, according to data from The National Education Association (NEA). This wage is higher than the national average for all occupations and significantly exceeds the median income for American workers.
The benefits package offered to federal employees is also extensive. Employees can count on retirement benefits, including an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan with matching contributions, as well as health insurance coverage through retiree health plans or Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) programs. Dozens of other benefits are available, including paid leave, tuition assistance, and more.
Teachers are considered federal employees, which means that they are protected by many of the same rules and regulations as other federal employees. In addition, teachers are typically eligible for many of the same benefits and protections that apply to other federal employees, including health insurance and retirement plans. If you are a teacher who is facing legal trouble or harassment related to your job, it is important to know your rights and to seek professional help.