TEACHER SALARIES REDUX
Apropos of a rather long dialogue in response to this post Thursday, reader Paul e-mails this CNN story, which notes that the national average salary for schoolteachers hit $44,400 last year, with brand new teachers averaging $30,719.
OK, find for me a job where you make $45,000 a year, get 3 months paid vacation and get off at 3 in the afternoon.
It is a myth that teachers are underpaid.
That comes out to over $32/hr with full benefits and retirement.
While granting that a lot of teachers take work home with them, have extracurricular duties, and don’t always get a full three months off in the summer, that’s still not a bad deal.
The American Federation of Teachers begs to differ:
The AFT contends teacher salaries would still be lower than those of white-collar peers — such as midlevel accountants and engineers — even if teachers worked a 12-month year. Factoring in an extra 35 days of work would push the average teacher salary to $52,541, the survey said.
It’s hardly surprising that teachers make less than engineers, or even “mid-level” accountants (presumably CPAs), given the economies involved.
And the “days worked” math is rather dubious, since it works wildly in the favor of the teachers, who get long breaks and numerous holidays throughout the academic year. If we convert 9 months to 12 months, we get $59,200.
I’m not sure what the “fair” way to make this calculation is, given that it’s rather unreasonable to expect teachers to find jobs for the nine months off. And I’m not sure what the pay is like in places that have gone to year-round schooling. Do the teachers get paid substantially more? Or do they just get their vacation time spread into chunks?
Update: (2024) Paul thinks it’s actually more like $64,000, because he converts it to an hourly rate ($32/hr), figures 40 hours a week times 52 weeks is 2080 hours; 2000 figuring two weeks vacation. 2000×32=$64,000.
The point holds either way but I tried to make it as much like a real job as possible.