Saturday, March 26, 2011
Teacher Salaries and why MORE and MORE Qualified Teachers are Turning toward the Private Sector
Every few years the American Federation of Teachers releases a Teacher Salary Trends report about teacher salaries across the United States. This information helps teachers decide where to teach and how much they should earn. The latest report indicated that the average teacher salary was $47,602. The Federation indicated that unfortunately, teachers are struggling to find housing in their areas that they can afford on their salaries. As more teachers pursue additional education after receiving their bachelor’s degree, their student loan debt increases dramatically. New teachers may not start at an average teacher salary and could therefore struggle even more than veteran teachers, who may have higher salaries.
In a profession with increasingly high turnover and recruiting issues, boosting the salaries of new teachers could help to increase the amount of time they spend with a particular school or school district. Additionally, wide discrepancies between teacher salaries from region to region also affect the likelihood that a qualified teacher will work for a school with low salaries. Some school districts offer high teacher salaries and great benefits, while others do not. With the rising price of gas and other inflation, teachers must make difficult choices when considering where to work. Again, the discrepancy in teacher salary from district to district can hinder the likelihood of retaining veteran teachers. Before accepting a position, teachers should research the salaries from district to district in their areas. Ask other teachers where they enjoy working and for a list of pros and cons of a particular school or school district.
With a Salary of approx. $47,000 a year the actual take home is more like $33,000 (after all the "benefits" that actually drain your paycheck but you never see it and you could typically purchase these options of health insurance, retirement, insurance, etc. cheaper a la cart, and not to mention numerous taxes and dues to the school district and union, etc.)
Now you're in a job with an enormous amount of responsibility, working an average of 50-60 hours a week (not including travel time) and if you do the math, you're now making about $11.40 an hour with your Master's Degree. Makes you wonder why you stopped waiting tables huh?
This is a shame. This is why we do not retain qualified teachers where they could move into a private sector teaching job making between $30 and $40 an hour and have more flexibility and ability to grow in their positions.
For music education, etc, it's even worse. Once "secure" teacher jobs are not at all secure when districts are handing out pink slips without regard to work ethic, education or results as they attempt to reach their new budgetary restrictions. After all, public schools don't differentiate like the private sector does between teachers that are effective and qualified and teachers that are simply "doing time". In fact, it's quite the opposite where you see numerous amounts of teachers that merely for the fact they have been sitting around in the teacher's lounge longer get to keep their low paying teacher job where talented and enthusiastically highly educated new teachers get to walk the plank and wonder why they went into teaching in the first place.
I can speak from experience. I taught public school for over 10 years before going into the private sector.
For more info on teacher's a salaries READ MORE