According to the Times-Journal
, McGill, R-Woodville, made the comments at a prayer breakfast in Fort Payne, Alabama. His comments have attracted criticism from a wide variety of online news sources and dozens of other blogs.
McGill made his controversial remarks while replying to a question about a recent salary hike for lawmakers, and how it might relate to increasing teacher salaries. He supported the 62 percent pay increase the legislature gave itself in 2007 because it means lawmakers are now less susceptible to taking bribes. McGill says that the teaching job requires certain abilities, and that if teachers were paid more, those without such ingrained skills would be more inclined to try and fill the roles.
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? 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. And there are also some teachers, it wouldn't matter how much you would pay them, they would still perform to the same capacity. If you don't keep that in balance, you're going to attract people who are not called, who don't need to be teaching our children. So, everything has a balance.
According to the Southern Regional Education Board
, Alabama’s beginning teacher pay of $36,144 leads the national average for beginning pay ($32,473) and the average for the 16 states the SREB monitors ($33,846), although it lags behind other nearby states in average pay for all teachers.