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Cost of a teacher?
Old 08-05-2010, 03:39 PM   #1
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Cost of a teacher?

OK... putting this in the political thread because it will get there soon.. probably at my post..

US Senate clears way for 26 billion dollar spending bill - Yahoo! News

The article is a spending bill to help out the states... the line that got me was "It also adds 10 billion dollars for education, a move that backers say would save 100,000 teacher jobs"....

Now, that is $100,000 per job!!! Are the states or local governments paying anything for them? What about next year?

Government just can not keep on with the same tax and spend mentality.... they have to adjust to reality...


But... I bet it will not happen anytime soon....
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:26 PM   #2
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I agree with you, but it is unclear whether the $10 billion is an annual appropriation, or a one time appropriation.

If it is the former, then it is not $100,000/year... but maybe $100,000 suppliment over a number of years. The information is just not precise enough.
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Old 08-05-2010, 11:31 PM   #3
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I agree with you, but it is unclear whether the $10 billion is an annual appropriation, or a one time appropriation.

If it is the former, then it is not $100,000/year... but maybe $100,000 suppliment over a number of years. The information is just not precise enough.

Could be... that is why I have the questions... but it is $100,000 per job...

If they were let go, it would cost us less in unemployment... and maybe the school districts would be a little smarter on what they spend... I know that around here some of the school districts are building some very nice football stadiums and then cry they do not have money...
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Old 08-06-2010, 05:15 AM   #4
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One local agency I worked for received some of Clinton's, "put 100,000 officers on the street" grants. They hired two deputies. Once the grant money ran out so did the employment of the two deputies. I can't help but believe the same is going to happen with this.
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Old 08-06-2010, 07:41 AM   #5
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Well, Denver could use a few bucks:

Exotic Deals Put Denver Schools Deeper in Debt

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The bankers said that the school system could raise $750 million in an exotic transaction that would eliminate the pension gap and save tens of millions of dollars annually in debt costs — money that could be plowed back into Denver’s classrooms, starved in recent years for funds.
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Since it struck the deal, the school system has paid $115 million in interest and other fees, at least $25 million more than it originally anticipated.

To avoid mounting expenses, the Denver schools are looking to renegotiate the deal. But to unwind it all, the schools would have to pay the banks $81 million in termination fees, or about 19 percent of its $420 million payroll.
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:43 AM   #6
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IMO, this is a bailout bill for public sector employees and their pensions. Still waiting for my 401K to be bailed out, but not holding my breath. It's nice to know I'm paying to secure other people's retirement and I don't want to see anyone's expectations crash and burn, but it would be nice if the rest of us had the same courtesy. It feels like I keep paying for others and it will never be my turn.
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:52 PM   #7
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$100,000 is not fair off, if you include benefits...............

Let's say the "average" teacher across the US whose job is saved makes $60,000 a year. take the $60,000, add on $20,000 or so for the "cadillac" health plan, and money into the state pension plan, and you are really close to $100,000.

It only works for ONE year, though..........
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Old 08-06-2010, 05:18 PM   #8
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IMO, this is a bailout bill for public sector employees and their pensions. Still waiting for my 401K to be bailed out, but not holding my breath. It's nice to know I'm paying to secure other people's retirement and I don't want to see anyone's expectations crash and burn, but it would be nice if the rest of us had the same courtesy. It feels like I keep paying for others and it will never be my turn.
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$100,000 is not fair off, if you include benefits...............

Let's say the "average" teacher across the US whose job is saved makes $60,000 a year. take the $60,000, add on $20,000 or so for the "cadillac" health plan, and money into the state pension plan, and you are really close to $100,000.

It only works for ONE year, though..........
School districts all across the country are seeing there budgets slashed because states are taking in less tax receipts due to lower economic activity and property values are declining which also results in lower revenues for schools. Our local school district just closed four elementary schools for this school year. Teaching positions were saved but class sizes at the remaining elementaries jumped quite a bit. A neighboring district took the opposite approach and let many teachers go. Parents in both districts screamed loudly but cuts had to be made. And these remedies just took care of the coming year's shortfall. They will face the same problem next year unless tax receipts go up one way or another.

And I would think a $60k average salary for teachers is on the high side. My wife starts her 14th year next week and she is $6k under that and she has a Master's in secondary education.
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Old 08-06-2010, 11:39 PM   #9
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The number for Hawaii was that we would receive $39 million which would "save" 700 teacher jobs. That worked out to be about 56K/teacher which sounds about right.
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Old 08-07-2010, 10:01 AM   #10
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School districts all across the country are seeing there budgets slashed because states are taking in less tax receipts due to lower economic activity and property values are declining which also results in lower revenues for schools. Our local school district just closed four elementary schools for this school year. Teaching positions were saved but class sizes at the remaining elementaries jumped quite a bit. A neighboring district took the opposite approach and let many teachers go. Parents in both districts screamed loudly but cuts had to be made. And these remedies just took care of the coming year's shortfall. They will face the same problem next year unless tax receipts go up one way or another.

And I would think a $60k average salary for teachers is on the high side. My wife starts her 14th year next week and she is $6k under that and she has a Master's in secondary education.
you should read our school district's housing market analysis they handed the appraisal district to use. the short and sweet of it was they said my house value increased 7% over the 8 months i owned it last year. someone didn't get the memo that we're in a recession.
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Old 08-07-2010, 02:19 PM   #11
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And these remedies just took care of the coming year's shortfall. They will face the same problem next year unless tax receipts go up one way or another.
If you use just a teensie bit of imagination, you would see another way to balance the budget.

Hint: Lower expenses.

Teachers in our district have been getting automatic 4% raises for the past 4 or 5 years, not sure what they got prior to that contract. The salaries of the many of the people who pay the taxes for those wages have been frozen or cut, or eliminated, or hours cut w/o pay.

Unless they can't fill these positions at those salaries (they can), I don't see why the hardship shouldn't be shared.

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Old 08-07-2010, 03:04 PM   #12
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Why guess when the first google hit on "BLS teacher salary average" takes you right there:

Teachers—Kindergarten, Elementary, Middle, and Secondary

I didn't look further to see if they included a 'total cost with benefits number', but...

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Median annual wages of kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers ranged from $47,100 to $51,180 in May 2008; the lowest 10 percent earned $30,970 to $34,280; the top 10 percent earned $75,190 to $80,970.

According to the American Federation of Teachers, beginning teachers with a bachelor's degree earned an average of $33,227 in the 2005-2006 school year.

...

Teachers can boost their earnings in a number of ways. .... Some teachers earn extra income during the summer ...
I suppose I could have earned extra money in the summer (spring, fall and winter for that matter), after my 50-60 hour week week and commute, and late night early morning conference calls, and...

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Old 08-07-2010, 03:14 PM   #13
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If you use just a teensie bit of imagination, you would see another way to balance the budget.

Hint: Lower expenses.

Teachers in our district have been getting automatic 4% raises for the past 4 or 5 years, not sure what they got prior to that contract. The salaries of the many of the people who pay the taxes for those wages have been frozen or cut, or eliminated, or hours cut w/o pay.

Unless they can't fill these positions at those salaries (they can), I don't see why the hardship shouldn't be shared.

-ERD50
They did cut expenses significantly before they closed the four schools. I'm sure if you or I were in charge of the budget we could find far more to cut though. I'm not a fan of higher taxes and generally believe government at all levels are pretty inefficient when it comes to utilizing the resources at their disposal.

My wife would love to teach in your district as her contract has given her an average increase of only 1% over the last 10 years. With her math eduction she could probably go to work for an insurance company as an actuary and make twice what she does teaching. But she really loves teaching and she's good at it.

Not every school district or teacher is the same so I hate the generalities thrown about when people discuss the problems with our educational system, especially since we don't really have a system per se. What we do have is thousands of individual school districts whose performance is largely determined by the collective effort of the local school board, teachers, parents and students within that district. District expenses and results vary greatly.
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Old 08-07-2010, 03:34 PM   #14
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My wife would love to teach in your district as her contract has given her an average increase of only 1% over the last 10 years. With her math eduction she could probably go to work for an insurance company as an actuary and make twice what she does teaching. But she really loves teaching and she's good at it.
I understand, but in a market-based economy job satisfaction is part of the non-financial compensation. Her desire to stay there is evidence of that. It's hard to have it both ways -- it's hard to insist on high salaries and benefits for jobs people *want* to do and have a high level of satisfaction doing.

I'm not suggesting you don't "get" that, just emphasizing the point. Jobs that more people *want* to do will pay less, all else being equal, than jobs they don't want to do. That's why, from a strictly *market-based* perspective, I don't believe most teachers are underpaid.
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Old 08-07-2010, 03:51 PM   #15
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They did cut expenses significantly before they closed the four schools.
In every public school budget I've looked at, teacher salaries made up the majority of the budget. They didn't cut those, did they? I didn't think so.

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Not every school district or teacher is the same so I hate the generalities thrown about when people discuss the problems with our educational system, especially since we don't really have a system per se.
I agree, but the article posted is about federal money going to schools, so it probably will be treated that way.

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What we do have is thousands of individual school districts whose performance is largely determined by the collective effort of the local school board, teachers, parents and students within that district.
One very powerful group was left out of that list.


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With her math eduction...
What ziggy said, plus...

IME, that very powerful group that was not mentioned dictates that teachers get the same pay regardless of demand for their skill sets. If that were not the case, math and science teachers might be making more than they do (or at least more than other teachers with less marketable skills) . And if that happened, our kids would benefit because this would draw more people who would also be excellent teachers, but who went into industry.

It's kinda silly to 'argue' any of this. Open it up to the free market, move pensions to what the private sector is now getting (you make your own bed) for better apples-to-apples comparisons, and the market will tell us what is right.

I certainly have not met anyone in the private sector that had any sort of guaranteed raise, tenure, or anything of the sort. It's like some kind of alternate universe.

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Old 08-07-2010, 05:27 PM   #16
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It's kinda silly to 'argue' any of this. Open it up to the free market, ...

-ERD50
Yes, quoting myself here, as I had a change of heart after a short nap. It's actually quite easy to 'argue' this.

The fact that the teachers and their reps are so protective of the current closed-market system is proof enough that they feel it is providing better compensation than what the free market would.

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Old 08-07-2010, 07:41 PM   #17
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I understand, but in a market-based economy job satisfaction is part of the non-financial compensation. Her desire to stay there is evidence of that. It's hard to have it both ways -- it's hard to insist on high salaries and benefits for jobs people *want* to do and have a high level of satisfaction doing.

I'm not suggesting you don't "get" that, just emphasizing the point. Jobs that more people *want* to do will pay less, all else being equal, than jobs they don't want to do. That's why, from a strictly *market-based* perspective, I don't believe most teachers are underpaid.
Strictly from a *market-based* perspective, DW teaches Algebra II & AP Calculus and she earns her meager compensation many times over through helping shape the top 10% of students who go on to become scientists, engineers, astronomers, physicists, architects, economists, doctors, etc. who in turn generate the productivity that fuels the growth of the economy and thereby helps fund the growth of your portfolio and, in a way, helps fund your retirement. But she's just one of many good teachers who do this work and do it well. Underpaid? Based upon the value of her contribution to society? Yeah, I think so.

On the other hand, the biggest predictor of student success is the degree of parental involvement. If only those people who have kids are required to fund the public school system then maybe everyone with a stake will place more value on an education and not waste it as many do today. It's like everything else in this world, you have to earn it to truly appreciate it.
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:46 PM   #18
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Yes, quoting myself here, as I had a change of heart after a short nap. It's actually quite easy to 'argue' this.

The fact that the teachers and their reps are so protective of the current closed-market system is proof enough that they feel it is providing better compensation than what the free market would.

-ERD50

Strictly from a *market-based* perspective, DW teaches Algebra II & AP Calculus and she earns her meager compensation many times over through helping shape the top 10% of students who go on to become scientists, engineers, astronomers, physicists, architects, economists, doctors, etc. who in turn generate the productivity that fuels the growth of the economy and thereby helps fund the growth of your portfolio and, in a way, helps fund your retirement. But she's just one of many good teachers who do this work and do it well. Underpaid? Based upon the value of her contribution to society? Yeah, I think so.

On the other hand, the biggest predictor of student success is the degree of parental involvement. If only those people who have kids are required to fund the public school system then maybe everyone with a stake will place more value on an education and not waste it as many do today. It's like everything else in this world, you have to earn it to truly appreciate it.
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:26 PM   #19
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Strictly from a *market-based* perspective, DW teaches Algebra II & AP Calculus and she earns her meager compensation many times over through helping shape the top 10% of students who go on to become scientists, engineers, astronomers, physicists, architects, economists, doctors, etc. who in turn generate the productivity that fuels the growth of the economy and thereby helps fund the growth of your portfolio and, in a way, helps fund your retirement. But she's just one of many good teachers who do this work and do it well. Underpaid? Based upon the value of her contribution to society? Yeah, I think so.

On the other hand, the biggest predictor of student success is the degree of parental involvement. If only those people who have kids are required to fund the public school system then maybe everyone with a stake will place more value on an education and not waste it as many do today. It's like everything else in this world, you have to earn it to truly appreciate it.
You can't make a "market" based argument that someone is underpaid, when the "market" continues to drive their compensation down despite resistance from non-market forces (i.e. teacher's unions).
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:33 PM   #20
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You can't make a "market" based argument that someone is underpaid, when the "market" continues to drive their compensation down despite resistance from non-market forces (i.e. teacher's unions).
You can when it's a government subsidized market. Government involvement always distorts the market. Mix government and unions together and you have majors distortions.
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