Skip to comments.Unsustainable: Public School Teachers Make Twice the Private Sector Average
Posted on 12/15/2011 1:35:20 PM PST by Kaslin
RUSH: According to a new study from the Bureau of Labor statics, public school teachers are now the highest paid state workers. Public school teachers. In fact, public school teachers receive more than twice as much in average hourly wages and benefits as workers in private industry, on average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Public school teachers "are paid an average of $56.59 per hour in combined wages and benefits," which is twice the $28.24 an hour in wages and benefits paid to workers in the private sector.
Now, some of you are probably saying, "I don't understand, Rush. Why are you upset about that? I mean, I've heard you say that you're all for everybody doing well. I've heard you say you're all for everybody being as wealthy as they can get. Have you changed your mind, Rush?" No, I haven't. The problem with this is -- and I will say it again -- is that the people who earn $28 an hour on average are the ones paying the people making twice that. And we're not talking about evil CEOs. We're talking about these teachers' neighbors. With public school teachers we're also talking about a protected class of people. Whether you want to believe me or not, a sizeable portion of Obama's stimulus was earmarked for states to keep public employees on the job.
A sizeable portion of the stimulus was to make sure that teachers and other public sector employees did not lose their jobs. It wasn't out of compassion. It was pure politics. Every one of those teachers and every one of those public sector employees is a union member, and as such they have dues deducted from what they're paid, and those dues, as we know, all end up back in the coffers of the Democrat Party. And that is why the stimulus was structured so that public sector employees state to state would not be laid off. So the people who are earning on average $28 an hour are paying public sector workers $56 an hour on average, with the largest pay being for teachers. That can't go on. In any formal structure, that is not sustainable. I give you Wisconsin. And there will be other states. I give you the city of Detroit.
This kind of thing just can't go on. And that $56.59, don't forget, this includes pensions, lifetime health care that the people whose taxes pay these salaries are not given. They don't have lifetime pensions. They don't have lifetime health care benefits. They have to find that on their own. Now, while they have to pay for their own, they're also paying for the public sector union employees. So that's why it's just a little unfair, I guess -- let me throw that word in -- I like using that word. It's unfair. Well, the left likes to always tell us how unfair things are. This is the epitome of unfairness.
Now, let me add one more thing to this. In addition to public school teachers now being the highest-paid state workers at an average of 56 bucks an hour, according to the study by the Center on Education Policy -- which a nonpartisan think tank -- this year, "a record number of public schools failed to meet the adequate yearly progress benchmarks established by the No Child Left Behind Act." Forty-eight percent. For those of you in Rio Linda, it's almost half: 48% of all public schools in the country failed to meet the No Child Left Behind standards for reading and math proficiency.
So while teachers are making more than they have ever made with lifetime pensions and health care paid for by people who earn half what they earn, their job performance across the board on average -- on balance -- does not warrant this, in a merit sense. Amazingly (ahem), amazingly, Washington's public schools are ranked near the bottom. Eighty-seven percent -- 87% -- failed to meet the No Child Left Behind standards. In reading and writing and math, 87% of the students failed -- and we're not talking about standards that require you to be Mensa, here. Basically all you have to do is know how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich by being able to read "peanut butter" and "jelly" on the various labels.
Only Missouri, my home state can be did worse than Washington. That's right. Eighty-eight percent of Missouri schools are failing. You got me. Eighty-eight percent of public schools in Missouri are failing the No Child Left Behind standards, "even though, according to the Census Bureau figures in 2009, Washington is second only to New York in the amount they spend per student. New York spends $18,000 per pupil. Washington spends $16,000." I don't know what Missouri spends. New York: $18,000 per student; Washington: 16,000, and they're near the bottom in student performance. So we know it's not a problem of money. But yet remember now, item number one: Teachers earn twice on average what the people paying them via their taxes in the private sector are earning.
RUSH: By the way, by the way, that story I just had on the schools and how the students there are faring according to the No Child Left Behind stashing, that doesn't account for all the cheating that went on, for example, in Atlanta. For ten years, remember all the phony grades that were awarded by the teachers, or the waivers from the No Child Left Behind standards. It's pathetic! The state of public education is pathetic. I don't mean this as an attack on the individuals in it from the standpoint of teachers. I'm just telling you: The whole education system has been corrupted by liberalism. It's not even an education system anymore. It is an indoctrination, a series of indoctrination camps. It's not education. It's been totally taken care of and corrupted. I know so many teachers are activists, maybe more than I'd like to believe. They are legitimate liberal activists, disguised as teachers. But it is why so much insanity exists. It's why there's so little knowledge of the point of and the beauty of free markets.
It's a concept not even taught.
Okay, what’s the correlation? What’s the equivalent public sector job? Just wondering.
Also: The article breaks down the cost per pupil. How much of that money is for administration costs? If teachers make so much money what is the school principal making? Toll booth operators in NJ are making $100,000. And school janitors in NYC are making more than teachers. Why single out teachers? Again, just wondering.
And they’re doing such a “great” job too. In Los Angeles, the drop-out rate for hispanic high scrool students is 50 percent.
I think the teacher jobs ARE public sector jobs. ??
The equivalent private sector job for a teacher in a public school would be a teacher in a private or parochial school. You know, those schools which have to actually convince their customers to pay tuition when they are already paying property taxes for a free public education.
Yeah, but it’s for the children that they make that much! They work so much harder than the rest of us for 9 months out of the year to equal our 12 month totals don’t you know?
Okay, I see the relevance there. What I’m saying is that there are other government jobs that pay way more than teachers such as those toll booth people who make upwards of $100,000 a year and school janitors in NYC who make around $80,000
What I’m looking at is how unfairly teachers are maligned. Again I posted about toll booth operators making upwards of $100K per year and school janitors in NYC making almost twice what teachers are paid. How’d you like to be a teacher in a violent school district making $60k a year. Think it’s worth it? Just saying.http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=48128
I don't know of many public school teachers making $116k annually, which is $56/hr full time.
Figured against 8 months, that equates to about $78k, still very high for a nationwide average.
Salary.com shows mid career teachers at about $48k annual locally.
Most teachers would be very surprised to find out they are making that much money, even when benefits are included. Most Administrators would be frothing mad over the pay cut. Public school administrators are among the most overrated and overpaid people in the world, and that’s the ones who perform necessary jobs. A great many could be cut without any deleterious consequences to their school districts.
When I was growing up, my parents both worked as faculty members for a small state university. Their work included research, writing, advising and, in my father's case, oversight of the livestock on the state experimental farm.
He worked 12 months of the year, mother worked 10. Neither ever made what the unionized school teachers in the local school district made in nine months even though they had longer working hours and a higher educational attainment.
I'm not whining. That's just an observation. And the gap has only grown worse in the quarter century since they retired.
No, it's not. They have every opportunity to go do some other work during that three month period.
I once dated a guy who was a school teacher. He slowly became very disillusioned with it. Through him I found out all about what it means to be a teacher esp. in NYC where gangs rule the schools.
Not at $56/hr. They might be overpaid, but an annual number would be more believable; too many variables in a "per hour" number.
And he claims that this disparity -- which he doesn't show in the first place -- is "unsustainable". Which only shows how challenged Rush is in terms of integrity, intelligence, and basic mathematics.
Sorry, I understand and agree with LEGITIMATE arguments that public employees, generally, often make more money than they should; but this is NOT a legitimate argument.
Plus, I'm very annoyed and disappointed (disgusted) with Rush lately; only in part due to his propensity toward this kind of LIE via statistics.
I’ve noticed lately whenever there’s a thing about the cost of running a public school it’s the teachers salaries that always comes up; on how much they make for only a six hour day and work only ten months a year. Until people find out exactly how their salaries are paid out and the time they put in (upper grades homework correction, etc) and putting up with the snowflake’s parents during teachers conferences (after school BTW - own time) teachers are going to be the whipping boy for government excess - not politicians, not roads and grounds, not any other government employee.
$58K per year for 9 months work does, indeed convert to an annualized salary of $77.3K or almost exactly what you calculated.
I'm giving teachers the benefit of the doubt here. Even though the shorter work weeks, longer school vacations during the year and other perks does, indeed, translate to closer to eight months of work, better teachers put in time off the clock equivalent to at least one extra month. By no means all of them, of course, but a significant number.
Bottom line is while what Rush is saying isn't popular, it is true.
Same too of office staff. I don’t know where their pay is but I’d bet it would be up there as well. It’s always the teachers who get the brunt of public outrage at their salaries and how they’re paid (six hour days, ten months of work) - it’s always an eye opener when people find out the amount of time they put in without pay (evenings, etc) and that they don’t get a years pay for ten months work - a fallacy that’s been promoted over the years.
Compare public school teachers to private school teachers; in my area we have a kindergarten teacher not even 45 years old making over $80K. Do you know what this person will cost the taxpayer by the time she dies? Millions!
Private school principals don’t earn that much; this parasite milks the system, getting an un-needed advanced degree to push the salary higher (kindergarten isn’t even required in NJ - school officially starts in first grade). That is why NJ will be left with illegal aliens and the permanent underclass (neither of which pay taxes - read: teachers); this is also why Governor Christie is so popular in NJ - he exposed this nonsense on national TV.
You might want to argue that with how much administrators make, how much school principals make. How much those NJ toll booth operators make with no advanced degree’s BTW. Then of course the school janitors that make more. How much would those two government jobs cost over the years? Millions??
There were times when we were out on a date and he couldn’t stop from being so frustrated - over the kids, the parents the administrators, the union. It totally crushed him because he believed in what he was doing. Dedication. You don’t go into that field without some sort of dedication.
I used 8 months at $56/hr to get the $78k number, annualized it still sums to $116k full time.
$58k for 9 months is about $36/hr, a much more realistic figure that nets about $45k annual.
BLS $56/hr figure includes very highly compensated school administrators, or overvalued pension & benefit calculations.
I don't know what the pension payout is for a typical public school teacher, but hard to believe it equates to $20/hr average.
The hrs in the school are what produces the $56/hr. My late wife spent another 2-3 each night and probably another 6-8 on the weekends.
Rush does not do a good job on statistics when he is on a jihad against the unions. We love him anyway.
What is pretty indisputable though his the superior health care that is provided teachers. It is better than any other public or private employees.
How do you know that? Some do real estate during the busy season. Some work online. Moreover, looking at it in terms of total compensation per hour is the only way to account their opulent benefits, yet it does not consider job security, which unionized public employees enjoy to a scandalous degree. So in that respect, this analysis understates the disparity between public and private employment.
They might be overpaid, but an annual number would be more believable; too many variables in a "per hour" number.
Just as "believable" as adjusting downward every other worker's pay by three months a year, plus all the other time off these slugs get.
No. It's legit. People get paid for the time they spend working, and no other time. People get overtime for extra hours worked, "HOURS" being the constant here.
Do you know that it is becoming more common among professionals to eliminate the small percentage of obnoxious clients and patients in their practice? Their money isn't worth the hassle. These bullies are politely asked to find another professional. One expression that I used in my office was, “We are not a good fit”.
I bet many private schools do that, too.
Parents do this in our nation's socialist schools because they can get away with it.
Privatize education. Starve the beast.
sheer numbers and tenure!!
How many teachers do you think there are in an individual school vs administrators, office clerks, janitors, principals, vice principals and any other staff?
“Science is not what you observe, or what the outdated so-called “scientific method” or what the backwards patriotic Americans tell you it is.
Science is what the government says it is.
Now, open the late Chairman Mao's little red book to page twelve........”
Obviously, a job that requires education and training is going to pay more than average.
Its salary including benefits. Under that formula he makes sense. The tax payer covers all that cost, but one has to include the taxes the teachers pay as well. So it may be slightly less but not by much. Salary plus my benefits I am near 110K, but I done see that on my w2’s.
Having a dad who was a teacher and a bro. who currently teaches and a child who teaches to. While they may work more ‘hrs’ then said (conferences and correcting homework/tests) the teachers who work the most hrs tend to be those just out of college. Once they’ve established their plans they really don’t vary a whole lot from year to year. Getting new texts does require going through them and implementing the plan with the new text.
And of course beginning teachers who end up putting in more time doing lesson plans and such, just because they are just starting out are lower paid then those with the years in and who have established plans that just need tweaking.
I really don’t recall my dad doing much ‘school’ business during the summer except when he had to take a class or such. I’m sure he did some but it wasn’t like he sat around every day working on lesson plans and whatever everyday during the summer, he did spend allot of time coaching tho.
Teachers always get a bum rap. Whenever things go bad in the economy the first thing is teachers salaries and how much they make, etc, blah blah. It really irritated me listening to Rush today bashing teachers pay. I think the people who pass information to him are not credible and thus he runs with it without checking details. I emailed him but I doubt that he’d read it. I hate it when teachers are maligned esp. about their pay. I think they deserve every penny they earn what with having to put up with all that they do.
There is a hatred of teachers in this culture that is truly baffling. Sometimes I wish WE could do an Atlas Shrugged and see how America likes bored children and teenagers running wild year around.
It’s interesting how the media finds fault with kids from Japan and China who are really taught in schools there. Then you look at what is being turned out here.
Public school teacher bashing and cop bashing is quite popular around here.
I don’t get it.
No hatred of teachers whom earn their keep and do a good job—however, public school teachers deserve all the scorn they get. Year after year, they receive more money, and the standard of public schooling declines. Public schools are disgraceful and should be abolished.
Toll booth operators don’t work 6 hours a day, 180 days per year - and their jobs are being phased out anyway. None of our janitors earn $80K, either - and there are a lot less of them. In NJ every municipality has an “education industry” cabal with a chokehold on the people they “serve”, and it has very telling consequences - it is one reason why NJ’s housing market will take years longer than other states’ to recover. It is hard to sell an average home with annual property taxes of $8K+ ($7K of which goes to public schools - whether or not you are a “consumer”). There was a reason Christie had to take on teachers; the flight of taxpayers (individual & corporate) couldn’t be ignored.
It didn't take much convincing. My grandkids (3) are going to parochial school, for under 5 grand a year (I pay for all 3), and get to pray every day and go to church as well as get a quality education, with class sizes of fewer than 20 students.
Yes, I pay for the public schools as well, but for me, the investment in the kids is worth it.
I know that teachers are only part of the equation, but if the results aren't there, they aren't earning their pay. A 48% failure rate doesn't cut it.
The NEA earned its reputation around here.
I think more parents deserve scorn for the ignorant, lazy, disrespectful, arrogant children they raise. You can’t make a silk purse of a sow’s ear.
Here's an example at Nicolet High School, one of the best paying in Wisconsin.
I'm leaving off the full names, but it is in a searchable database here.
Salary for a teacher named Christopher is $78,591, with benefits worth $34,980 for total compensation of $113,571.
A physical education teacher in the Elmbrook district named Mark has salary of $64,555 and benefits worth $30,595 for a total compensation of $95,150.
An elementary school teacher named Rebecca in the Waukesha School district is paid $57,006 in salary and $32,553 benefits for a total of $89,559.
The average public school tab figures out to be between $8K and $10K per year per student, depending on how it is calculated.
Now, I know the teachers don't get all of that. Bus transportation, buildings, administrators and support crew all take their cut, but they still get plenty compared to their parochial school counterparts.
BTW, I am personally acquainted with a parochial school teacher who took a 40% cut in pay to leave the public school sector. I have no idea if the 40% represents an average salary difference, but she told me the pay cut was worth it to get:
You are exactly right: education starts at home. The government has absolutely no business educating our children! Government schools should be abolished.
Didn’t you ever stop to think about why homeschooled children roll up and smoke their public-schooled counterparts?
With your hysterical defense of government education, you must be a public schoolteacher...
A teacher is not a miracle worker. They teach but if the student just won’t learn or doesn’t want to learn there’s nothing they can do. A standard class is around 30 students. If the class time is forty-five minutes how much individual time do they have for each one? Also, where are the parents? Don’t you think they have a vested interest in making sure their kids know the material as well? Fortunately I was home schooled so I didn’t have that problem. From what I’ve been reading about school curriculum is basically the kids are bored with it all and don’t want to learn. There’s two sides to the story.
Dedicated staff, donations, including 30 hours/year of parent time/household doing things which free up teachers to teach. Parental involvement is a big factor.
Kids actually interested in learning. Less bullsh*t in dealing with the administration. The right to banish disruptive kids.
...add in parents with obvious 'skin in the game'.
They care enough that their children get a decent education they are willing to shell out extra for that, and as such they place value on that education.
In that sort of home environment, it is more likely the child will be supervised at home, will learn, will not be a discipline problem, etc.--many of the critical elements missing from public schools, along with the parochial/private emphasis on achievement versus the public school 'crab basket' inertia against it.
It is not strictly a 'teacher' problem--the schools have different worldviews, especially since prayer was forced out of the public schools (prayer which was always optional for those who chose not to--they just did not say them).