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 posted this article to provide information on what teachers are being paid. In order for everyone to understand the status of K-12 education we need to understand where education is now. I am a teacher and have worked for 30 years in business before being a teacher. I didn't go into teaching to make more money or even make what I made in business.

I think that K-12 education needs an overhaul, part of which is teacher compensation. But the scope of that reform also includes curriculum, funding, methods, teacher responsibility, administrator responsibility, and even the school buildings themselves.

This work won't be accomplished overnight. It will require a committed coalition of educators, politicians, and business leaders.

Of course, the purpose of this entire effort is to provide a genuine quality education to young people - the future leaders of this world.

It's a effort that is worthwhile - don't you agree? :-)
Ramblings--Just thought I might add a different perspective. I'm one of the lucky ones. I've been teaching for 25 years in a wonderful situation. There is rarely a day I don't want to work.
I see the same kids every year.
I team teach with a wonderful co-teacher
I write all my own curriculum.
I have a full time para.
I have a generous budget.
I have supportve parents.
I have 10+ days off at Christmas and in the Spring.
I have 10 weeks off in the summer.
I work 7 am- 3:30 pm
Built in time to do paperwork, write curriculum, make calls, email, collaborate with peers, etc.

On the negative side: I serve 10 schools (10 principals), I went to 129 meetings last year, tons of paperwork, I spent 3-4 hours each evening on computer (my choice). I think it's important to work smart--I see so many teachers in the classroom not understanding assessment, many have stacks and stacks of "worksheets" to grade. I believe Kelley when she says how busy she is---and how dedicated. I'm thankful that there are teachers who teach in tough situations. I'm lucky and will retire in a couple of years with a state retirement plan. Finished rambling.
The effort to improve education is not only worth while but critical. Even when you look at Nancy's situation you can see that she works more hours in 9 months of teaching that many work in 260 days.

The point of the teacher compensation should be: Many teachers put in more hours during their contracted days than many 9-5:00 employees, who work more calendar days. The general public is not aware of all the after hour time teachers put in and are not compendated for, nor are they aware of how much out of pocket money teacher spend in their own classrooms.

It is also a fact of life that many people think the amount of money a person makes speaks to their value. If we value education and want the very best people involved , at some point we will have to pay for it. Most days we would all settle for a little extra respect :)
The argument is not hollow-it is simply one you do not agree with. As I said before - on this we must disagree.

I did my taxes tonight. I spent $6,600 on continuing education last year! Was I getting a Bachelor's degree? Nope. Was I getting a Masters degree? Of course not.

I was just continuing my education. Yes, I will finally be MA + 90 after this year (only $1000 more to go), but really, why do I have to pay this? A firefighter or police man just gets their continuing ed.

So the argument that teachers make enough money is ridiculous, especially a beginning teacher.

It is too late for me to quit now, but I REALLY wish I had never started teaching. And I will continue to tell my students that. Very poor choice for a career.
Actually, I work in one of the better school districts. We go along with the state salary, but there are some perks here that do make this district a little better.

Overall, teaching is just a poor career choice. There really is not enough time to find another job during the summer, and usually the job is not a very good one.
Years ago I read this letter in Ann Landers--"Dear Ann, I've always wanted to go to med school but I didn't do it when I was younger. If I go now I'll be 46 when I finish." Ann's reply? "You'll be 46 either way."
Again, I am too far along. I have already paid the piper in two ways: 1) I worked for many years making very little money and 2) I have spent over $20,000 on continuing education since receiving my 1st college degree.

Next year I will be MA + 90 with 8 years experience.

Was it worth it? No. Do I tell my students that when we discuss career choices? Yes. Why? Because I wish another teacher would have told me that when I was younger.
I have a friend who left private practice to go work for the city.

He was working for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and making amazing money. One of the more fascinating things he did was buy a condo in downtown Seattle that was within walking distance of work. He did this so he could get up at 2:00 AM and go make sure the servers were running ok! Dedication does have it's price.

Now he works for the city of Kent. Pay was cut in half but he works 8 hours a day with the weekends off.
I will be happy next year. I will finally break 50k and not be spending any of it on continuing education. And I am the technology teacher, and I love my current position.

My main point is that there is too little money made in the early years.

Several things are going against you financially:

1. You make very little money
2. You take what little money you have and put it back into continuing education
3. Loss of investment opportunity (you cannot make money if you cannot invest).

It is a painful process that I cannot recommend. You watch all your friends get ahead in life, buy a house, and have kids. You are driving a junker car (I actually picked up the ignition off the floor and started it with a screw driver) and hoping it makes it home everyday.

New teachers deserve more.
I'm an instructor at a public university - I will never break 50K, and I watch tenure-track faculty making twice what I do, teaching less, with qualifications no different than mine. But I chose the instructor route so that I could keep my sanity and my integrity - and get to focus on teaching as opposed to research in the humanities (pretty useless stuff in general, if you ask me... and now that I am just an instructor, nobody asks, thank goodness! ha ha).

For me, the money factor is not decisive - the decisive factors are summers off, doing valuable work, and continuing to grow and learn as a person. I don't know that many jobs which offer that kind of freedom and opportunity. Putting money in the back for the future is not always worth selling your present for something less worthwhile. I have plenty of friends who finished school at the same time I did (admittedly, we are humanities students), not making much more than me when you figure it based on monthly pay, trapped in 12-month jobs (I love the summers off), and very unhappy with the work they actually do. For me, being happy, very happy, with the work I do is extremely important.

So, I'm not breaking 50K but I am happy nevertheless - although, I should add, I don't have children; it would be different then, of course. But the whole inequity of why salary scales don't take into account whether people have children or not is a different question, and probably a more important but insoluble question. It's absolutely insane that we pay people with no regard for whether they have children to support or not, but that is not something I will ever see change in my lifetime, I'm sure. My university doesn't even provide health care coverage for dependent children, and it costs a FORTUNE to add your children to your health care.
After my "snide" Ann Landers comment I do want to say that I sympathize with Phil...I was lucky I was always a second income earner and now children are grown and through college. I guess my point was the same as yours Laura--job happiness is really important to me and I've been so lucky to work in a job I 've loved for 25 years. My first fulltime teaching contract was for $4200 a year.



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