Tuesday, February 22, 2011

More on Teacher Salaries

Yesterday I wrote a post on teacher evaluations. In it I mentioned the average salary of teachers in Pennsylvania and how many average years of experience they had. I also mentioned the average starting salary of a newly graduated college student. There was not a lot of difference. Today I found a chart showing the average teacher salary and average salary of people with a college degree, listed by state. In Pennsylvania the average teacher earned $1,014 weekly in 2006. The average salary for all college graduates in Pennsylvania was $1,241 weekly in 2006. That is [update: should read, that is a difference of ]about $900 a month, or roughly $10,000 a year. Teachers do have an 8 week (or thereabouts) break in the summer; we'll assume most college educated workers get 2 weeks of vacation per year, though some may get more. So even assuming there is a 6 week difference in annual work schedule teachers earn less per year than other college graduates.


Anonymous said...

Looking at the web site where your chart came from, I question their objectivity. But let's say those numbers are right... How many other recent college graduates will be able to retire after 30 years with a pension for life?

Also, teachers get more than 8 weeks off. Part of June, all of July and all of August is about 10 weeks during summer plus a week for spring break and a week for winter break. 12 weeks is nearly 1/4 of the year, and 6 times as much as most other recent graduates.

Lastly, public-school teachers are paid about 33% more than the market will support for their private-school counterparts - (http://reason.com/blog/2011/02/22/are-public-school-teachers-ove)

AboveAvgJane said...

In some states teachers do not pay into social security -- they get a pension instead. I don't know if Pennsylvania falls into this category. In some of those states the teacher's surviving spouse is not entitled to any of the teacher's pension. Teachers also pay into their pension -- the unfunded part is what the government pays in.

As for the school year -- you are counting classroom days. Teachers have to report in before the school year starts and stay after the students leave. Many of the days the students have off during the school year are in service training days for the teachers. They aren't vacation days.

I don't think private school teachers have to have all the credentials that public school teachers do.

Anonymous said...

My mom was a PA public school teacher. I'm familiar with the teachers' schedule. It amounts to a day or two after the students leave and 2 or 3 days before the students return. I am confident that they get more than 8 weeks off during summer. They don't report to work during spring break or winter break.

You don't address the point that no one can in the real world can retire on social security income after 30 years of work. The pension is not equivalent to SSI.

Are you claiming that the lesser credentialed private school teachers are providing lower quality education than their higher credentialed public school peers? If not, why do we pay for credentials that don't translate into results?

AboveAvgJane said...

How do you define "real world?" I can think of several occupations that provide pensions after 30 or less years -- the military and police being among them. Also, many high level corporate jobs have golden parachutes written in that cover health care costs, oversized severance payments, and other amenities when someone leaves, even if it is only after a few years. Those severance amounts would often sustain lower level households for decades. Elected officials get nice pensions and health care benefits.

I think instead of beating up on teachers for what they receive it would be better to look at private companies who cut wages and benefits for their workers, corporations that are sitting on high profit levels and not hiring or renewing benefits that have been cut.

For my part I would rather have teachers who are credentialed.

Anonymous said...

Your math on teacher salaries is confusing. Please check and clarify.

AboveAvgJane said...

Thanks. I tried to correct it. Let me know if it still isn't clear.