Here is a report on K-12 teacher pay and benefits, along with comparisons to other industries and teachers in other states. It was produced in 2005 by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

Does anyone have updates on the performance pay or pension revision(s) in your district or state?

Tags: benefits, education, salary, teacher

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I am also not a teacher and while I agree with a lot of what you have said, I think that there are some other things that should also be taken into consideration. While teachers may not work the full year, I feel that they should be treated like other occupations that also don't work the full year. Teachers only work 10 months, but unlike most other hourly jobs, they are not able to collect unemployment (here in the US anyways). Most every other job that lays people off for a period of time every year, has to pay unemployment. Some might say that this is because they are "Salaried employees", but this is only what the school boards want them to think. But in my opinion, when a job has a starting time and a quiting time, as well an exact defined work week, then that is an hourly job. I mean lets face it, if the contract says you must work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, then that is an hourly job.
I think that teachers should either be employed all year, or be able to collect unemployment for the time that they do not work. If teachers worked the whole year, the school year would go much smoother, and everyone would be much less stressed. Not to mention how well prepared everyone would be. The teachers could work on curriculum, lesson plans, conferences and meetings. They could get and take vacations, just like the rest of us. There is a lot of work that could be done all summer long and I think our education system would improve greatly, and a lot of teachers would be much less stressed out (and would probably live longer)!
I guess a simple way to look at this whole issue, might be to look at a fire fighter. A fire fighter does not spend all the time fighting fires, yet they still get paid, regardless of whether or not there are any fires! Why do we pay them? Because we need them to be there when there is a fire! So if we expect teachers to be there when we need them (school year), then we should expect to pay them for the whole year! To me it makes more sense to have them at work, rather than pay them to be at home.
Yes, the exempt and non-exempt has always gotten to me.

I used to manage restaurantes, where I was salaried (I believe that it would be exempt), where I was required to work from my starting time, until it was OK for me to leave. My pay was based on a 50 hour work week, but most of the time I was working 60 hours or more, for which I did not recieve any additional pay (probably just like you now). But also during slow times, it was possible for me to actually leave early, as long as I put in a minimum of 40 hours (and kept labor below a certain %).

In our district (in Wisconsin), the teachers have a starting time (I think between 7:00 and 7:30) and an ending time 3:30-3:45 (it is 8.5 hours, with the .5 for lunch). While there are some teachers that come in earlier or stay later, the majority do not (as they are not required). Any additional activities are paid either hourly or under another contract. So to me the only difference between my contract (support staff) and our teachers contracts, is that I am considered hourly and they are considered salary.

If they were to take teachers off salary, and make them hourly, then pay them a decent hourly rate, there would be much less confusion and they could be compensated in a fair manner for the extra hours that they worked. It might also deter the district from putting more and more onto the teachers, if it was directly tied to the hours and pay that the changes would add.
I think if the teachers were to do all thier extra work at school, people might be able to see how many extra hours they do work, and would be more understanding of the pay issues and maybe even why they need the summers off!

IMO schools are run like a carnival or circus, the first few days are spent hurriedly putting up the tents (preparing rooms), the the show (the school year) and then a few more days tearing down. Everything is hurry, hurry, work, work work, hurry, hurry, hurry and now relax. When I first started, I only worked the school year (10 days before and after). While it was nice to get summers off, the school year was very hectic and nerve racking. When I was forced to go to full school year, I thought I would hate it (although more hours was good), but now things are much more tolerable, and I was able to quit smoking, as things are much less stressful (or maybe just because I am getting older ).

Sorry to be all over the place, but one thing just seems to lead to another *LOL*.
I have often read these types of post and yet after all these years I remained-amazed!

In my district teacher work days are 193.
Student work days are 186.

My report time is 7:30 a.m and I am "allowed" to leave 20 minutes have the last student I am responsible for leaves. In my elementary classroom years that ment-when a parent was not home the child was delivered back to school and to me. Many nights until 6:00 p.m.
In best case- lets say the students actually leave at 3:30. I can gather papers-answer blogs. Add to it, dowload my seven seperate classes of work to my pen drive and go home- Most of us try to get out around 5-6:00.

But wait--Every week I have a staff meeting with all the tech teachers-2 hours,
one night meeting for the building staff.

I have 38 hours of professionl development I need to get in after school and on weekends.

I must attend parent teachers evening conferences for each school I service,
Evening Open houses for each School,
The Christmas Evening Program where I help watch students,
the Spring Program,
Math Night,
MLKIng Activities,
and my all time favorite walking the streets before school starts to knock on doors and encourage parents to being their children to school.

Then there is the after school tutoring we do for free.
The large % of my salary I have to spend on the supplies I need to teach.
(My goal this school year is to try to be home a t least 2 evening to actually help raise my own 10 year old)
There are the Saturdays spend in the lab installing software-because there is no time during the week.

I reported this Saturday at 9:00 Am to hear the Superintendant give the "State of Schools Speech" Where all the problems of inner city youth were laid at the feet of the secondary teachers.
No matter that gang vilence has been reported in the papers and those children go to school, that our district has a 80% free and reduced lunch count, 70% single parents and 80% living below the poverty line. Many high school students have attended over 20 different schools. They have to deal with teen pregnancy, drugs, parents in jail ( God Bless them I coud never teach High School). It is the teachers fault that the kids do score like they do in the suburbs

I will not count the hours grading papers and writing grants because many people take work home with them., in other professions. I will add that there is no other profession I know of that has to educate, medicate, feed, cloth, shelter, inspire, motivate, entertain, problem-solve, and prepar children for a world thaat does not yet exist.

I will share with you the fact my best friend is an attorney and she says I put it more hours than she does each week-oh did I mention she makes 180,000 dollars a year, has a company provided Blackberry, and better insurance.

Now ,I am not complaining-I took this job-I love this job-I fight to keep this job- I just get a little defense when I hear the old-they get summers off stuff. I know make less money-I can live with that-I know Thekids I teach and have taught tell me I have taught inspired them-That has to be enough

Because there will always be those people who say -well they get the summers off-sigh
Thanks for your comments, indigo - I really do agree with you; I took what was nominally a cut in pay when I switched from a technology development position in order to take up a 9-month teaching position, with the summer months off. For me, having the summer months off is such a huge benefit, I would PAY for the privilege, if you see what I mean. There are not that many jobs in this country where you can hope to negotiate something like that - and for me it is an absolute lifesaver. Yes, i could perhaps make more money if I were to follow a different career-path, both in terms of annual salary and even in terms of an hourly salary... but where else would I be able to have summers off? That's an incredible privilege to me, and I value it absolutely. It allows me to dedicate serious, extended time to my own projects and hobbies, something that would be incredible hard to do if I did not have summers off.
Funny, my wife would love to stay at home with our two school-aged kids but I AM a teacher. Had to tell her, "no way". The compromise was that we moved across the state so her mom could serve as day care when we both worked (3 days per week).

I actually think starting teachers should get paid more. Yet, I do not come from this from a democratic or unionized perspective. It is a conservative perspective. Education needs to be privatized so that I can make more money with fewer students, which in turns creates higher student achievement. I would become a much better teacher because I would want to be in demand.

$10,300 per student per year, yet a teacher only makes $32,000 starting salary as if you only had a mortgage 10 months a year. Give me a break.

I actually quit being a teacher for two years. I collected quarters out of video games, counted the money, and got it to the bank. I had to work every week. I was in control of my health insurance and retirement. I do not like the benefits package provided by the school. And this job paid me way more money!

When my students talk about career choice, I steer them away from education. It just isn't a practical career choice (remember, you have a mortgage 12 months per year).

Oh yeah, summer vacation isn't so great because you don't really have the money to go anywhere, and I will be working summer school anyway.

To save space, I won't go into the fact that I have spent close to $20,000 in the last 4 years on continuing education.
You make many good points. I am particularly agree with you that you that a person will spend money and time so that they can stay in tip-top shape. Of course, I can only write off $250 per year while you probably get to write off much more, but that can be another argument altogether.

Also, I may change careers someday. Right now I have two kids at home and a wife who wants to be with them as much as she can. The irony is that now that I have spent the last four years going from BA + 0 credits with three years experience to MA + 90 with 7 years experience, I am further on the pay scale. IF I could go back in time and do it all over again, I would have been smart like you and stayed out of education. I mean, you are able to provide for your wife and family in a way I cannot. Now it is not worth it for me to start over, only to move up.

As for working in the summers, I mentioned I taught summer school last year. I also delivered pizzas for Pizza Hut. I kid you not. I have a Masters degree and I drove around with pizza. I just kept praying that I would not know on one of my students doors!

Of course I took into consideration all the other expenses that go into running a school/ school district. And it is still an unbelievable waste. Check out Education Myths by JP Greene. He actually argues the same point as you-that hourly teachers do make enough money. He also argues that money is wasted like nothing else in education, and that it should be privatized (which I hope it is someday). I want to be successful and KNOW I am successful in education. As it stands now, students are assigned to me and people tell me a do a great job, but that means so little.

But there is one problem with him writing the book--he has never been an educator. This is a major shortcoming for him to say teachers make enough money and should deliver pizzas and find other jobs during the summer when he himself has not done it.

A friend of mine mentioned that he only made $500.00 per month than me when he started out in his job (it has since gone much higher much quicker). I would have killed for an extra $500 per month when I first started teaching. In fact, I never would have quit in the first place.

As you may well know, 50% of teachers quit within the first five years and never return. The #1 reason is they cannot live on what they make. This alone shows that teachers are lured iinto the profession only to find out later what a mistake it is. If I ever become a college professor, the first thing we are going to do is a budget. I want people to know that $32,000

I will continue to encourage my students to not go into teaching. It is just too painful an experience financially. I know this seems like a horrible thing to say, but obviously there are too many people going in that truly regret it later.

Off topic---My sis teachers in Florida and they have two inititives that, In my opinion and at my age I think are way cool. After you reach retirement age (I don't know what it is but in Ks. it's age + experience = 85) you can continue to teach in your current position for up to five years with full salary and a banked full retirement paying interest. Also when you retire they pay full daily wage for every sick day you did not use over your career. (I will retire with with over a hundred unused sick days) For those of us nearing retirement it would be nice to have some of these career-end perks. Also it was really help with teacher shortages and substitute shortages.
The reality is that teachers don't make enough money, period. Your cold, hard calculations, Indigo, of hours and days to prove that teachers earn 'competitively' doesn't nearly provide a complete and nuanced picture of what it takes to teach and teach well.

I say, eliminate the income tax for teachers.

This doesn't require any budget increases, the money is already there--teachers' checks simply arrive w/o federal and state taxes taken out (social security would still have to be paid).

In a snap, teacher earnings go up 25-30%.

Anyone interested in starting a petition?
Although you and I clearly agree that teachers need to get paid more, I don't think this is the way to do it.

I am always bummed when I hear or read that we need to make exceptions. Affirmative action needs to be completely eradicated. People losing their homes because they signed a bad mortgage do not need "special assistance" from the government. And teachers still need to pay taxes just like everybody else.

There is a much better answer. One that has made America great! Free Market Economy.

Privatize education (actually-use the voucher system). Let students and parents choose their school and their teacher!

Until then, you are going to get the same mediocrity that we get now.

Incidentally, the mortgage crisis is partly due to poor parents trying to move to nice neighborhoods so their kids could have a chance at a decent education. They took the interest-only loan, and are now regretting it. The #1 indicator of house value is the school the kids will go to.

If people could pick their school or teacher, then house values would level out and you would not have poor and rich neighborhoods.

I know why I chose my house. So my kids would NOT go to the school I teach at!!! We only have 50% passing the state exam. kids will be going to a school down the road where 90% of the students pass thank you very much.

Of course, I would send them to private school but I am a teacher...can't afford it.

Before anything starts thinking I am making up facts, I encourage you to read "The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Going Broke" by Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi. Same story: Middle class parents buying nice houses in nice neighborhoods so their kids can go to a decent school. This book was not written about Education, but rather it is a financial book. It ended up being about education because it is sending many normal families to the poor house so that their kids can have a nice education.

Sad that this is the price of getting a good education in America.
Hi Wade, you are definitely right about setting boundaries - since I am teaching online I have found that much easier to do than when I worked in a regular school building and everybody (and I mean EVERYBODY) would ask me for help with their computers. Working online, you have to be careful to set boundaries, too, of course - but it's been far easier to set my time boundaries and stick to them online than it was in a regular setting, that's for sure! :-)
Where is the 184 day year coming From???? It is not the contracted Teacher WORK days here for sure! We have 193- but in the chiar days-or teacher report days. Basically one week before and after the children leave. We also have the "volunteer meeting before school-to meet and greet parents-That is usually the week before the offical report date-It is an non-manditory manditory time-in other words if you are not there -you are not dedicated. --Watch out on your teacher eval that year. So if you do the Math- I am out of school the last week of June....I go back the second week of August. My summer is 6 weeks-during which time I have to get in those 39 hours of outside professional development. The Actual summer is 5-6 weeks.

Health insurance is negotiated- we pay for part of ours and it is a PPO-not wonderful insurance. But we are an inner city district and run the center based Special educations program which are in a word expensive. I have nothad a pay raise in 7 years- unless you count the 300 dollars we all got at the end of last year because we saved on energy coast. I have Basic retirement-which means I will retire at age 69. One of my college friends is an engineer and he gets 9 weeks off per year based on the fact he has been with the companyy for 20 years. He has a BA. I have a B.A. M.ed and 35 credits towards my Phd. He makes 165,000 dollars a year. I make in the mid fifties.

When we are talking compensation please remember it varies not only state by state but district by district. The upper middle class district on our border has a 1% free and reduced lunch count. A teacher there with 20 years makes 72,000.-80,000. Those teachers do not have the evening obligations that our district has, nor do they have to do the meet, greet, and walk the streets.

My point is this-most teachers know they will make less than other professions- The day I watched one of my kids get taken out of school and sent to jail-you better believe they don't pay me enough-or the mornings I walked the playground early to pick up needles so they wouldn't poke the kids-you are darn right they didn't pay me enough...

Then there are the days like today when I got to hear 3 times fromnthree different kids- "I get it!" I would pay someone else to allow me the honor of doing this job....

For me adequate compensation would be a little more respect in the overall society, and for a Christmas Bonus maybe a ink oen and printer cartridge:)

I didn't hear anyone saying it was a "BAD" career- we simply disagree with you on the compensation issue.

Hopefully this makes sense as it is 11:21 p.m. here-and I have 6 more podcasts to correct and upload before I head off to blood. ( Please forgive the typing mistakes) I love my job-have choosen to stay when I have had opportunities to leave- but after 7 years a pay raise would be nice-but I know it is not going to happen.
I guess we can agree to disagree-



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