Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Not ALL teachers are scum... but these two are.

Not all teachers are scum. But what the public needs to remember is that most teachers are paid more, on a per hour basis, then firefighters or police officers.

The numbers for their salary may not sound like much... until you do the math.

Teachers work 183 7-hour days per year. So, when you get a starting teacher who earns about $30,000 out of the box, well, that doesn't sound like much... until you break it down.

Divide the number of hours into the number of dollars and a slightly different picture emerges.

A starting teacher is paid around $23.42 per hour for their part time job.

What other profession can make that claim?

And the pay, as "low" as it is, never seems to stop a certain segment of the teaching population from lying through their teeth about how much they make, as the article lays out below.

Well, here's a bulletin for you teachers: If you don't like the fricking pay... then quit. That's right, quit. I don't want lying scum like this within 5 miles of a classroom, let alone teaching MY kids ANYTHING.


Should Peninsula teachers be paid more?

Peninsula public school teachers Brenda and David Aston were featured on the front page of the August 17, 2005, edition of The Peninsula Gateway, picketing school district officials for higher pay. They held signs reading “Our family qualifies for W.I.C. and subsidized health care” and “Ask me about Job #2.”

The image of unfairly underpaid teachers is a compelling one, and it’s fueling several threatened (and illegal) strikes around the state. But is it accurate?

According to data provided by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Brenda and David Aston each earned base teaching salaries of $45,169 this year (2004-05). In addition, both had supplemental contracts with the district, from which they earned $3,599 and $4,546 respectively. On top of that, Brenda’s benefits package (health insurance, etc.) was worth $11,232 and David’s was worth $11,319.

Thus, the couple’s total combined salary for the year was $98,483 and their total compensation package was worth $121,034. And that doesn’t include income David earned from his second job working as a custodian of evidence for a local police department.

Frankly, most families would be thrilled to claim annual income of $90,000 or more, with nearly full health coverage and a pension to boot.

Mr. and Mrs. Aston’s individual teaching pay is not outlandishly high — many professionals earn as much or more. But it is certainly disingenuous to present it as a vow of poverty in an attempt to garner support for the contract demands being made by their local union officials.

Further, Mrs. Aston’s claim that “with my salary, I qualified for WIC (Women, Infant and Children) and subsidized health insurance,” seems easily refutable with a quick online search. Eligibility guidelines for the WIC program provided by the Washington State Department of Health show that a household of six (the Astons have four children) may be eligible if gross annual income is less than $47,860. The maximum income listed in any eligibility category for a family of six on the state’s Basic Health Plan was $51,743.

It doesn’t appear the Astons, with a household income of nearly $100,000, would qualify for either.

The average teacher in the Peninsula School District earned a base salary of $47,939 and total compensation worth $63,406 in the 2003-04 school year. According to district officials, the teachers’ union is threatening a strike if demands aren’t met for a 10 percent pay increase.

That pay increase would, of course, be paid by other working individuals and families in the district who earn, on average, far less. The latest Census Bureau data shows a median household income of $57,701 for families in the district.

Excellent teachers can and should earn excellent pay, but the claims and demands being made right now hardly amount to an honest debate about the issue.

Posted by Marsha Richards at August 24, 2005 02:10 PM

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