Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Living the Good Life Working A 9-Month "Year": 14,000 Illinois High School Teachers Make +$100k

ChampionNews is reporting that: 

"As Illinois citizens struggle with the severe economic downturn plaguing the state, Illinois public school employees enjoy another record year of salaries, fringe benefits and pensions. See "Top 100 High School Teachers Salaries" here," each making $144,000 per year or more, and averaging $158,432 (Source: Illinois State Board of Education).

Note that:

1. The highest-paid public school teacher in Illinois is a physical education teacher making $191,124 per year (I'm assuming this is a 9-month teaching "year").

2. Six of the top 12 highest-paid high school teachers in Illinois teach physical education, each making $170,000 or more. 

3. Six state employees teaching driver education make $150,000 or more. 

4. Six high school teachers make more than the Illinois Governor's salary of $177,500.

5. 14,048 Illinois high school teachers made salaries of $100,000 or more in 2010, which is up 13% over last year.

HT: Steve Bartin at Newsalert

13 Comments:

At 12/14/2010 4:51 PM, Blogger Rand said...

One thing I find interesting. There is not a single science or mathematics teacher on this one hundred highest paid list. No wonder we are falling behind India, China, Japan, and Korea.

 
At 12/14/2010 4:58 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

How much should a school teacher make? I assume most of these teachers have a master's degree or more and 20 to 30 years' experience. What's the going rate for jobs with credentials and experience such as these in comparable fields? Would we be surprised finding a person with an MBA and five years' experience bringing in this type of income in a very similar education and training industry?

 
At 12/14/2010 5:55 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Rand: There are some physics, chemistry, biology and calculus teachers on the list.

Mark

 
At 12/14/2010 5:58 PM, Blogger Craig said...

How much should a school teacher make?

A teacher should make as much as any qualified candidate is willing to work for. I should think $75K after 30 years might be about right -- which is about what a competent engineer with no management responsibilities earns.

All that said, the problem with government salaries is that they are almost completely arbitrary. There are no economic guides to setting them because in government work, as in socialism, economic calculation is impossible.

We also cannot even accurately judge results. An excellent teacher may achieve poor results in an inner-city school while her idiot-colleague in the suburbs looks much better based on her students' performance.

We've gone slightly insane in this country on education spending.

 
At 12/14/2010 6:07 PM, Blogger rjs said...

physical education teachers are usually football coaches as well...and football players are among the highest paid by this society, except for oprah...that's what happens with unfettered capitalism...

still, says something about your country's priorities...

 
At 12/14/2010 6:59 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Well, maybe the drivers ed teachers earn their pay. Do they actually get into the cars with the teenage drivers?

In the US military, employees retire after just 20 years service with full pension and complete medical. A "retiree" could be just 38 years old--boy, I know of no one who gets a deal like that in the private sector. Nobody.

 
At 12/14/2010 7:10 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Here are some wage numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau and BLS. Average year 2000 total wages for a master's degree professional over a lifetime $2.5 million. That's $83,333.33 over 30 years. Using the BLS CPI calculator, that's $105,799.22 per year in 2010 dollars.

I guess we still have the nine-month teaching debate even if we accept a ballpark $100,000 yearly wage. I have a sister who is an elementary school teacher, but she has work through June and starts back in mid-August that she is not paid any extra money to perform. I don't know if that is typical or not, but she seems to think so.

How much money does the bottom 100 or 14,000 Illinois teachers make per year?

 
At 12/14/2010 8:11 PM, Blogger Nelson said...

$83,333 per year over 30 years for a holder of a masters degree sounds right. But a masters of education is different. I've taken a couple of graduate education classes and any high schooler who stays awake can get an A. It is not in the same league as a real masters in an academic subject.

 
At 12/14/2010 8:32 PM, Blogger cluemeister said...

Walt: "I assume most of these teachers have a master's degree or more and 20 to 30 years' experience. What's the going rate for jobs with credentials and experience such as these in comparable fields? "

Walt, that's your union brain talking. Job pay needs to be paid on performance, not solely on experience and length of service.

In the case of high school teachers, do the 30 year veteran teachers really outshine the 3 year experience teachers? I would love to see data supporting that, but in my 4 year high school experience, that was not the case.

In fact, I recall long term teachers that were just going through the motions to get to retirement, knowing they were protected with tenure.

As Craig said: "A teacher should make as much as any qualified candidate is willing to work for."

 
At 12/15/2010 6:55 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

"Walt, that's your union brain talking. Job pay needs to be paid on performance, not solely on experience and length of service."

Maybe, but that was not my question or labor market compensation as we know it today. I can see where what you discussed needs to be explored.

 
At 12/15/2010 12:09 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Any wonder why people are fleeing Illinois?

 
At 12/16/2010 2:32 AM, Blogger James said...

Walt,
They don't have an MBA. They have a masters in education and the going rate in an alternative field is much less (charter school rate). Their salary is artificial and in a competitive market they woudl be worth 50-60k. Teachers are worth much less than this 100+k but public sector unions have, once again, screwed the taxpayers. A masters in education is easy to obtain and the sole reason most teachers obtain it is for the pay boost. Even in non union states it is substantial (4k in NC for example).

Your sister is another beneficiary of a union since she has no performance benchmarks. Actually, I'll say that she's the victim of the union's anti-performance standards. I'm sure she's a good teacher, but since you're from a union friendly state that has seen the result of it's union friendly policies, I would assume that the teacher's union is not doing it's students a service by failing to allow pay for performance.

 
At 12/16/2010 9:49 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

James,

I think you will see the salary range you are discussing is right in the 25% to 75% percentile as shown by the data. In any analysis, the outliers need to be examined to see what makes them outliers. It's possible the highly paid teachers are or have been in administration with higher salary structures or handle multiple duties with additional responsibility (e.g., gym teachers who take over an athlete director's job in a reduction in force, which would be one person performing two FTE jobs).

I think this proves my point that teacher pay is usually a union discussion and not a student achievement discussion even if the word “union” or “public” is not explicitly in the title or body of the message.

 

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