Do you Think that we should pay teachers 100K a yr?

The Rise of the Six-Figure Teacher

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By FORD FESSENDEN and JOSH BARBANEL

Published: May 15, 2005

Correction Appended

TEACHING has always been known as a noble calling, but as affluent parents and administrators strive to give their children every possible advantage, it has also become a better-paid profession than in the past, with thousands of public school teachers in the New York suburbs now earning more than $100,000 a year.

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Where the Highest Paid Teach

Forum: Contemporary Education

The salaries, among the highest in the country, are paid only to the most experienced teachers, with the most education, in an area where the cost of living is notoriously high. But they are high enough to have raised the ire of some taxpayers, who are making it an issue in budget votes on Tuesday.

One in 12 teachers in Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland and Putnam Counties now earns more than $100,000, and the ranks are growing fast, according to an analysis of state data by The New York Times. On Long Island from 2001 to 2003 (the most recent figures available), the number grew fivefold, to 2,800, including 498 elementary school teachers, 29 physical education teachers and 83 kindergarten teachers.

School administrators say that the salaries are needed to attract and keep the best teachers. But the proliferation of the higher salaries, combined with recent increases in medical insurance costs and the fact that teachers retire with pensions based on these salaries, is straining local budgets. Last year, 46 of 124 school district budgets were rejected on Long Island.

Whether this trend is improving the quality of education and children's futures is a subject of debate. Many of the top-paid teachers are in wealthy districts with high-performing schools, like Manhasset. But many are also in districts with little wealth and struggling schools, like Central Islip.

Still, critics of the salaries as well as those who consider them necessary agree that the image of teaching as an altruistic, low-paid occupation is no longer the case in the suburbs. A family with two public school teachers can earn enough to put it in the top 4 percent of families on Long Island.

Six-figure teachers are not unique to the New York suburbs. Connecticut officials reported about a dozen in 2004, and news reports indicate that some Chicago suburbs pay that much. But the highest salary for New York City teachers is $81,232, and only a handful in the rest of New York State are paid as well. In California, the highest teacher salary in 2003 was well under $100,000, according to state figures.

A teachers' union official said that the salaries have to be high. "I think it's only fair to say that given the cost of living on Long Island, and the cost of housing, it would be impossible to maintain a teaching staff at anything less than what's currently being paid," said Richard Iannuzzi, a former Central Islip teacher who is the president of the New York State United Teachers.

But teacher salaries on the Island have increased faster than those of other workers, and school officials worry that this will affect the outcome of budget votes on Tuesday. The median salary for a teacher with a bachelor's degree and 10 years' experience increased about 4 percent a year from 2001 to 2003. The average salary for all full-time workers on Long Island during that period went up about 3 percent a year, according to Census figures.

"It's going to be a very tough time for school budgets," said Edward Walsh, the vice president of the East Islip school board. "People are in a squeeze, and when it's a tough time, it's supposed to be a tough time for everyone."

Teachers point to their years of training and decades of service as justification for their salaries.

"There's a lot of people out there who make a lot more than I do," said Patricia Daniello, 53, an East Islip teacher at the pinnacle of her profession - 30 years' experience, a master's degree with 90 hours of additional credit, and a $116,772 salary. "Do I think my salary is high, based on what I do for children and the amount of education I have in my background? No, I do not."

But some taxpayers in her district disagree. Ms. Daniello is one of more than 100 teachers whose six-figure salaries appear on a list circulated to voters by the East Islip TaxPac, a group campaigning against the district's proposed 8.8-percent tax increase.

14 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    What are complaining about. Teachers are paid less than babysitters.

    Teacher's Salary

    Teachers' hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or 10 months a year!

    It's time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do--baby sit!

    We can get that for less than minimum wage. That's right. Let's give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked, not any of that silly planning time.

    That would be $19.50 a day (7:00 AM to 3:30 (or so) PM with just 25 min.

    off for lunch).

    Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children.

    NOW...

    How many do they teach in a class, 30? So that's $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day.

    However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!!

    We're not going to pay them for any vacations.

    LET'S SEE....

    That's $585 x 180= $105,300 per year.

    What about those special teachers and the ones with master's degrees?

    Well, we could pay them minimum wage, and just to be fair, round it off to $7.00 an hour.

    That would be $7 x 6 1/2 hours x 30 children x 180 days = $245,700 per year.

    Wait a minute--there's something wrong here!

    Average teacher salary $50,000/180 days = $277/per day/30 students =

    $9.23/6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student. A very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even try - with your help - to EDUCATE your kids!

    • <36 years agoReport

      Best thing I've read so far THANK YOU TEACHERS DO DESERVE IT

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes teachers do. Many people dont realize what a hard job teaching is. You end up working more than 40 hours a week with out pay and your "time off" your busy grading papers or making lesson plans in which you also are not getting paid for your time. Your tax money is going to pay for your CHILDREN'S education and the future leaders of this nation. If anyones salary should be lowered its the politicians who makes millions through doing corrupt operations. Education is not only important but needs to be improved in this nation. The teachers who are getting paid 100,000 are the ones who have had at least 6 years or more of college and many years experience. As far as location goes if where you live is expensive then its probably equivalent to 50,000 at a cheaper state or the location is much harder and deserves more pay. Teaching is one of the lowest college requiring paid jobs there is out there, especailly for the work they put in. A good teacher defiantely makes a difference and if a higher salary causes better education then who wouldnt be for it. I live in Georgia and starting salary for a teacher is 30,000 it requires much time, effort and college to make 100,000 and by the time you do its almost time to retire.

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  • Linda
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    In most states they have guidelines that the courts have to go by unless both parties agree to a higher or lower amount. Look online for a child support calculator in your state and see if it should be lowered. Her income is taken into consideration, only if he has visitation with the kids, of course the more time they spend with him the less child support he will have to pay. But if he does not have to pay child support when the kids visit him, then they calculate the other months as if he had no visitation. About the OAG still withholding child support during the months the he has the kids, does he owe money? That might by why, you always have the option of going to court and letting the courts figure out how much and when to pay.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Not going to read this but this would be best. I think teachers should be paid around 50 to 65K a year. Pending experience and education level.

    Many teachers have to continue to go to college courses after finishing their degree to become a teacher. The only way my mother can receive a higher pay is if she attends college courses and get her Doctorate.

    This country has been increasing the spending on students forever. What do we get? Less results. Why don't we stop spending so much on the students who will end up dropping out and being on welfare and just give it to the teachers.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No

    most teachers are terrible at educating kids. The proof is clear - most of our kids graduate without being able to functionally read or do math.

    Of course there are some kids who learn very well, but that's because they have loving and caring parents and are natually smart.

    The teachers of the USA , and their bosses, have failed us all and should be fired, not given raises.

    • <36 years agoReport

      You are just an ignorant person. Maybe there are tons of bad teachers out there , but there are also many many out there that do an amazing job, especially taking care of so many kids at once.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Well educated good teachers whom actually care about their students and the education of the kids by all means yes pay them well. But the bad ones don't deserve it and their raises should be based on performance.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Teachers should at least make in the 60-80k range. Especially in the inner city. They also need to raise the salary for social workers. They make about 35k with a bachelors. Sheesh!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think good teachers should be paid what they are worth, if the market demands $100K for good teachers so be it. However, the teaching profession is a unionized one. There are no "incentives" for teachers to be good, bad or indifferent.

    For the life of me, I don't understand why a 1st grade teacher needs "tenure". I can understand a college professor. He or she may have views contradictory to the main stream and his administration. People in college are there to learn and enlighten their minds. Differing points of views are needed. However, I can't see how a 1st grade teachers' philosophy or political agenda will interfere with his or her profession. They are 6 y/o for gods sake. The only reason for tenure is to strengthen the union.

    Give people vouchers and let the market decide.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I'd pay the good teachers $100K, with the quid pro quo that I got to fire the lousy ones. Think the union would go for that?

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  • 1 decade ago

    I would be willing to consider that if we could get rid of the unions. Teachers need to be held accountable for their actions and classroom performance. Too many teachers that have no business in the schools are shielded by the union.

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