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droo October 21st, 2013 10:48pm

The average annual salary for public school teachers in the United States is around $55,000. Are teachers in this nation underpaid?

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hoosierwisdom inner voice
10/22/13 5:22 pm

The problem is that the good ones cannot make more due to unions, so they go into administration to make more money

cv135298
10/22/13 2:37 pm

Come to NC! Underpaid is an understatement!

moonshot More often I know nothing
10/22/13 10:40 am

They are paid what they are worth, based on the market, but mostly, they are also undertrained and underqualified. We need higher standards for our teachers. Look to Finland's model as a starting point.

Torfin Never Behind
10/22/13 2:20 am

Damn I shoulda been a teacher. 55k is far from underpaid.

theman Cary, NC
10/22/13 1:11 am

Teachers are underpaid on purpose. It was set up so that only people who love the job would do it, and there will be better teachers. It's the same deal with fireman and policeman.

comppete Las Vegas
10/22/13 1:10 am

Yes, but, IMO, mostly at the bottom end. There are many that are overpaid at the upper end as well. That is opinion. I do agree that it typically is going to be what the going rate is for the area (state, city).

Fjolsvin Midgard
10/21/13 8:39 pm

They are paid what the market will bear. Just like every other position out there. Market forces shape every job and pay scale.

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huskermedic Cincinnati
10/21/13 9:25 pm

This, teachers here start in the 50's and can top out in the 80's.

PartyFree Nowhere in Particular
10/21/13 9:40 pm

Teachers in Oregon and Arizona typically start between $32K and $35K, and most districts are not giving raises, step increases, or cost of living. I'd LOVE to have a salary of $50K, but that won't be happening until I have 20 years of experience.

Posco BBQ Enthusiast
10/21/13 7:57 pm

Eh the national average isn't much to go on. I know the average in Kansas is upper 30's to low 40's which I see as fair here due to lower cost of living but not enough in other areas.

RJ1969 SoCal
10/21/13 7:42 pm

This is another one where men (and a lot of boys) have no respect for the difficulty of this profession. You're not just dealing with 30 kids...you're dealing with the messed up parents. And that is a whole different story.

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droo Santa Barbara
10/21/13 8:13 pm

Try 150-200 kids, if you're a teacher in secondary education. But yeah, good point.

RJ1969 SoCal
10/21/13 7:35 pm

Just pay them what babysitters get. Figure $5 an hour...times 8 hours...times 30 kids....times about 200 days a year....$240,000. Yeah, that seems about right.

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TempName14 Everywhere but nowhere
10/21/13 5:55 pm

If they were paid for performance then it would be less than that.

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bMyComrade Stumptown
10/21/13 6:06 pm

Some perhaps.

think4yourself Not a safe space
10/21/13 6:23 pm

If their job was based on performance a lot of them would be fired.

RJ1969 SoCal
10/21/13 7:33 pm

Let's see...harder job...teacher, or programmer.....hmmmmm?

osouless Whats Next
10/21/13 5:52 pm

Not if you include cheap healthcare, tenure, two months off a year, and more pay (depending on district) for coaching.

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PartyFree Nowhere in Particular
10/21/13 9:47 pm

Tenure? What's that? Is it something like unicorns and leprechauns?

icytoes the tepid north
10/21/13 5:50 pm

Super interesting article about being "worth" a salary. Long, but VERY interesting.
mcamp.hubpages.com/hub/athletesalaries

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pinksowner Indiana
10/21/13 5:46 pm

They are underpaid, especially at younger grades. We need to up our primary school standards and increase pay to teachers. Also, research shows that more money in education doesn't mean better results. It's how you spend the money. Just sayin'.

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BusinessJustin Tamriel
10/21/13 5:29 pm

I know it's unpopular, but I believe teachers are very adequately paid. The median salary for one teacher is equal to the median income for a household. There are certain pros and cons, but even with those considerations, I think it's more than fair.

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DavesNotHere where am I
10/21/13 5:29 pm

Very underpaid. What they do is more important than throwing a football or hitting a home run.

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skacey best poll is evenly split
10/21/13 5:54 pm

Most businesses do not pay based upon the importance of your role, they pay based upon your contribution to the bottom line. Poor results earns less pay.

rebelfury76 No Justice, No Peace
10/21/13 5:22 pm

This is one of those things that's easy to say. Oh the poor teachers/fire fighters/cops etc etc. $55k is just fine.

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mikeey1962 on SOH where else
10/21/13 5:18 pm

Very much so.. They should be in the top 25% for high paying jobs..

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Arkansas123 Neoconservative
10/21/13 5:20 pm

A single person making $55,000 is in the top 13 percent.

mikeey1962 on SOH where else
10/21/13 5:27 pm

Ok they should be in the top 5%.. 80 to 90 thousand..

skacey best poll is evenly split
10/21/13 5:54 pm

Based on what? Why that wage?

mikeey1962 on SOH where else
10/21/13 5:59 pm

My sister, sister-in-law, 2 nieces and an uncle are teachers, they deserve way more then they get..

think4yourself Not a safe space
10/21/13 5:02 pm

What other job gets paid that much and gets three months vacation in the summer, a spring break, a winter break, and all the holidays in between?

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Happy Hong Kong
10/21/13 6:06 pm

And the generous pension.

PartyFree Nowhere in Particular
10/21/13 9:50 pm

Three months? More like 6 weeks. And contrary to popular belief, we don't get paid vacation or ANY paid holidays.

Kay41 the Midwest
10/21/13 4:34 pm

Yes, for the most part.

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Ebola1 Florida
10/21/13 4:33 pm

Yes, teachers are under paid.

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ModerateGOP26 Maine
10/21/13 4:32 pm

It's not about what's fair, it's about the market. Their pay is determined by the demand that exists and how much schooling they had to go to in order to get that position at an entry level.

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Itabliss Hello
10/21/13 4:51 pm

Ya think maybe something is wrong with the market when grinding on a pole with your tongue wagging like a dog makes 50 or more times than that of a teacher?

ModerateGOP26 Maine
10/21/13 5:02 pm

How can the market be wrong...? I think teachers are more valuable than strippers. Enough people with enough money disagree and are willing to direct their money toward paying those strippers' wages...

Itabliss Hello
10/21/13 5:10 pm

How can the market be wrong? Because the market is run and directed by imperfect, irrational people. "The market" is not this imaginary perfect thing. Stupid republicans without college degrees....

ModerateGOP26 Maine
10/21/13 5:21 pm

I have a college degree, and I find it funny that someone from West Virginia is willing to toss out a blanketed, uninformed statement about who's stupid. My point is it's that way for a reason. There isn't enough demand for public school...

ModerateGOP26 Maine
10/21/13 5:23 pm

... teachers to warrant them being paid any more than that. Period. I'm sorry if that bugs teachers, but you can't have the government pick and choose who they think should be paid more and less to satisfy the masses (many of whom are...

ModerateGOP26 Maine
10/21/13 5:24 pm

... poor, stupid Democrats without college degrees, so don't throw stones from your glass house).

Itabliss Hello
10/21/13 5:29 pm

Oh dear, I can only believe you have some bs liberal arts degree because you sure as hell do not understand demand or markets. Tell me again how a profession that is 100% regulated by and dictated by government is subject to market demands!

ModerateGOP26 Maine
10/21/13 5:32 pm

Because if governments drive up taxes to pay for public school teachers' salaries to make it so that they're justly compensated in your mind, why the hell wouldn't people just pay for private school at that point? Public school teachers...

ModerateGOP26 Maine
10/21/13 5:33 pm

... aren't paid that much because they have a fairly untaxing major, fairly little required schooling, low demand (there are TONS of people lining up to be teachers) and their job comes with tons of perks. They shouldn't be paid more just because.

Itabliss Hello
10/21/13 5:38 pm

You don't understand how government funding works.... Can you tell me why the superintendent is worth 4-6 times more than a teacher? Does he/she work 4-6X harder? Or do 4-6x more work?

ModerateGOP26 Maine
10/21/13 5:44 pm

He/she has 4-6x as much responsibility. He/she took about 4-6x as much time, work and career accomplishments to be at that position. That's what matters.

Arkansas123 Neoconservative
10/21/13 4:26 pm

The average public school teacher in Chicago makes more than $70,000 per year. Four-fifths of the eighth graders are not proficient in math, and four-fifths are not proficient in reading.

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bMyComrade Stumptown
10/21/13 4:29 pm

Some areas are like that- please don't judge all teachers and all teachers' salaries by the bad examples.

SugarShaq
10/21/13 4:38 pm

My area is like that, too. I think there is a 65% graduation rate even though dropping out is illegal.

MrsLizT South Louisiana
10/21/13 4:40 pm

Maybe the pay is so high because they can't find teachers?

SugarShaq
10/21/13 5:52 pm

I will take 55k to work 9 months of the year!

skacey best poll is evenly split
10/21/13 6:01 pm

Comrade, if some areas are like that, then would it be fair to say we should not generalize that teachers, as a profession, should make more money?

bMyComrade Stumptown
10/21/13 6:03 pm

Generalizations, in most cases, are wrong - including pay generalizations.

bMyComrade Stumptown
10/21/13 6:03 pm

Averages are notoriously misleading, especially across an entire nation as they can't account for outliers, which in this case would be high pulling the average up, and cost of living expenses.

BeachSt Coastal Virginia
10/21/13 9:27 pm

9 months? More like working summers. Sure it's not the same everywhere. But not only do teachers get a shorter summer than students. It came out to about 1.5 months. They also had to have their lesson plans and objectives planned out for weeks...

BeachSt Coastal Virginia
10/21/13 9:29 pm

...in advance. They also only got 2 sick days during the school year, so think of the breaks as their personal days that they don't get during the entire school year. Also, out of our 11 high schools, 4 or so would not close all summer (meaning...

BeachSt Coastal Virginia
10/21/13 9:30 pm

...there were teachers teaching) generally because they wanted extra money. And at my specific high school, the IB teachers were required to attend speeches, workshops, and meetings on the program and all that. Now what if I told you that they...

BeachSt Coastal Virginia
10/21/13 9:32 pm

...all start at $39,000? They make well under the average income in wealthy Virginia and work just as much as anyone else. If not more because they also put up with 120-150 rowdy, hormone-raging teenagers every day.

BeachSt Coastal Virginia
10/21/13 9:33 pm

So sure, it's a blessing to get $70,000 (even though the cost of living is much higher and they're unionized) but there are those that put in a lot down here too that are still trampled on and not properly compensated.

PeppyHare Do a barrel roll
10/21/13 4:25 pm

Depends on the teacher experience, level, and quality. New teacher out of college shouldn't be making more than $35k, high school more than elementary, STEM at a higher rate.

bMyComrade Stumptown
10/21/13 4:28 pm

New teachers are lucky to make even 30k. most new teachers will make low 20s and pay is independent of field.

Arkansas123 Neoconservative
10/21/13 4:30 pm

As it should be.

All subjects are important.

PeppyHare Do a barrel roll
10/21/13 4:34 pm

Not really... a gym teacher and art teacher shouldn't be making what the calc and physics teacher is making all other things equal.

stickman46 NJ
10/21/13 4:23 pm

Teachers worked hard and put I more time than most of the corporate people. They deserved it and more.

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skacey best poll is evenly split
10/21/13 5:58 pm

Business does not pay based upon efforts, they pay based on results. Why do they deserve more?

stickman46 NJ
10/21/13 6:25 pm

Many good teachers. Can you read and write? That is very positive results.

skacey best poll is evenly split
10/21/13 6:58 pm

I would have to say that basic literacy is, at best, a minimal standard. Literacy alone will not be sufficient for gainful employment in the US.

stickman46 NJ
10/23/13 5:39 am

The problem today is not the teachers, but the parents particularly in the intercity which views them as baby sitters. Sad but true.

skacey best poll is evenly split
10/23/13 7:11 am

If that is the case, how does it justify higher pay for teachers?

Happy Hong Kong
10/21/13 4:15 pm

So, if you have two average earning teachers in the household you're making $110k with 3 months off.

That would put them into the top income quintile (top 20% of all households in the US).

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Arkansas123 Neoconservative
10/21/13 4:18 pm

83% mark to be specific

Plus the summer vacation

Happy Hong Kong
10/21/13 6:05 pm

And the great pension.

Arkansas123 Neoconservative
10/21/13 4:14 pm

No, that puts you at the 60 percent mark -- more than most people make -- for nine or ten months of work.

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bMyComrade Stumptown
10/21/13 4:23 pm

and substantially more working hours during those months than most other jobs. not to mention the continuing education classes and prep work which tends to dominate those months "off".

Arkansas123 Neoconservative
10/21/13 4:29 pm

"National data shows that on average teachers work fewer hours per week than people in other professions -- nearly three hours a week less."

bMyComrade Stumptown
10/21/13 4:30 pm

Source please. This is not my experience of myself and my colleagues.

bMyComrade Stumptown
10/21/13 4:31 pm

thank you I'll look into this information

bMyComrade Stumptown
10/21/13 4:43 pm

ok, I have a few issues with this. Margin of error is not stated, and with approx 24 minutes difference per day the actual difference is statistically insignificant. Especially with stated issues like self categorization of activity.

bMyComrade Stumptown
10/21/13 4:45 pm

It combines all levels of teaching, so for example kindergarten teachers who will obviously have less take home work draw the average down significantly.

skacey best poll is evenly split
10/21/13 6:07 pm

Swjboucher, what is not true? Based on what data?

This is the equivalent to "is not", "is too" arguing.

bMyComrade Stumptown
10/21/13 6:08 pm

I think he misplaced his comment, I took this as an intended reply to the thread below.

swjboucher Just Run
10/21/13 4:13 pm

No! Our schools are failing the next generation. Until they start showing improvements they should get cuts or fired.

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bMyComrade Stumptown
10/21/13 4:25 pm

teachers tend not to be at the root of the issue, and paying the position less certainly won't draw gifted teachers to the field. allowing autonomy in the classroom will.

swjboucher Just Run
10/21/13 5:23 pm

Comrade
Hold the folks on the front lines accountable and they will expose the fallers within the system. The issue will be holding the failed system responsible.

bMyComrade Stumptown
10/21/13 5:41 pm

Would you hold an enlisted man responsible for the failure of a battle? No. Teachers have to work within the system, changes are not welcome, by administration or parents. Few places are willing to step out of the norm and even then its limited.

bMyComrade Stumptown
10/21/13 5:41 pm

Would you hold an enlisted man responsible for the failure of a battle? No. Teachers have to work within the system, changes are not welcome, by administration or parents. Few places are willing to step out of the norm and even then its limited.

swjboucher Just Run
10/21/13 5:54 pm

Yes as a Marine I would. We all have our objectives that need to be carried out.

bMyComrade Stumptown
10/21/13 5:55 pm

But you aren't allowed to deviant from the plan. If the plan was a failure, you blame the plan creator, not those bound to the plan.

bMyComrade Stumptown
10/21/13 6:06 pm

I never blamed those under me when my plans as an officer went awry. And in my study of history, I don't hold those fighting on the trenches of WWI responsible for the poor tactics, I blame the chateau generals.

Emily33 North Carolina
10/21/13 4:09 pm

Woah. I wish I made that much.

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Emily33 North Carolina
10/21/13 4:19 pm

(For the record, I am a teacher.)

bMyComrade Stumptown
10/21/13 4:21 pm

I know, right! I wish I were even close!

Emily33 North Carolina
10/21/13 4:24 pm

Seriously. It's about half of that....

droo Santa Barbara
10/21/13 4:38 pm

This frustrates me. You two deserve more. The only thing preventing me from becoming a teacher in secondary education is the low pay.

talbotfarwell Appalachia
10/21/13 7:47 pm

There's that, and at the school I went to, the teachers were ineffective in getting a bunch of horny binge-drinking teen rednecks to actually care about the subjects taught. Football and getting laid/drunk (or both) took priority over Shakespeare.

icytoes the tepid north
10/21/13 3:58 pm

Depends on how you look at it. Thats $6,100/mo, with 3 mos off in which they can do another job if they wish.

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bMyComrade Stumptown
10/21/13 4:27 pm

please, don't forget taxes and all that other good stuff, as well as the fact that it's still paid over the whole year, not just in the school months. take home each month is substantially less than that.

Wert A picture of my junk
10/21/13 3:56 pm

Some are. Most not.

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