As illegal teachers’ strikes organized with the help of the Washington Education Association (WEA) place a wrench in the day-to-day lives of working families, the question of how the average teacher’s salary compares with the median household income in our state inevitably arises. GOP state Rep. Chad Magendanz revealed that information via a chart based on OSPI data that reveals teachers “on average are not underpaid, but make well above the median household income in our state.” The Washington Policy Center explains,
“The numbers show that on average teachers make more than the taxpaying working families who pay their salaries. The teacher salary figures are for a ten-month work year, while most people earn their income over twelve months.
“The income comparison is important to keep in mind as parents and local communities cope with the wave of union strikes hitting public school children right now.”
You can check out the chart below.
But but but they majored in education! But but but they have to get masters’ degree (worth nothing to students in the real world) in order to get raises!
Merit pay for teachers would also be a long awaited improvement in education. And yes, that means the Principal (ie: their boss), would be the one judging their merit…no doubt with input from parents and students. I, for one, could tell you which of my sons’ teachers were most deserving of merit pay!
Eastside Sanity says
Frankly, I’m getting tired of the public education system & all the crying about every little thing in this state by liberals. U wanted to teach, U knew what a teachers salary was, live within ur taxpayer supplied payroll & government benefits & shut the hell up or change careers.
Look at the chart. 2008-2010 saw the gap widening from almost even to historic levels. Joe Taxpayer got hit hard by the recession but teachers? Being insulated from economic forces gets them a big raise. Now $440 million in raises isn’t enough. Public sector union greed.
My property taxes went up every year during the recession while values fell $100,000. The power of these Unions is well known in Democrat controlled states. Enough is enough but as you might well know we can all expect another grab next year and the next. Voting for these people again and again won’t change anything.
We have to fight every year when they say our property value went up. I live in a logging community in the sticks, and every year when I push back over the tax increases they can never answer when I ask what caused my property to increase in value. Ask for specifics, and if you don’t get specifics tell them to readjust until they can come up with something.
Funding for public (read: government) education always begs the question: How much is enough? And we all know the answer to that. Meanwhile, Democrats routinely use the issue as a cudgel to beat any common sense or fiscal sanity out of every state budget.
I’m having a really hard time with this argument. Is this chart suggesting that teachers should not be paid higher than the median income? This is the same old argument that teachers and unions are the problem. Shouldn’t this chart be a sign that more and more people are struggling to make a living wage, while the gap between the rich and poor is growing larger? Maybe this is also an example of how important organized labor is in fighting for a living wage?! Is there some rule on the books that teachers should never make more than the average worker? This is the typical right-wing “point the blame” rhetoric that never looks at the entire picture…designed to spark outrage and incite emotion at first glance!
And this is a typical left-wing comment that misses the point of the article. It’s not that teachers should be paid less than the average worker. It’s that teachers should not be striking and complaining when their income is above average.
This chart is like all charts and who use them. Of course these numbers will be skewed toward the Shift view. My daughter is a teacher in the Issaquah School District she could not buy a home in her district on her salary (11 years teaching, Masters degree and 45 extra clock hours). The chart would be meaningful and honest if it was split into King Pierce and Snohomish counties instead of statewide. I believe the gap will be reversed. The current HUD Median Income For King County is above $85,000. Another reason why the teacher average income climbs relates to how many people are NOT RETIRING. The real issue here is the state continues to fail the court order to fully fund education. The Court gave the State a set $$$/student and both budgets still do not come close to what the court ordered. This is the real reason why the teachers are striking. All the media ever talk about is the $$$.
Dan Covey says
I have a Master’s of Science degree in Project Management, a PMP, and more than 15 years or experience and I can’t afford to live in Issaquah either. Thanks to the economy, I’m a contract employee, which means no benefits, and I only get paid for the hours I work. I’ve got no sympathy for teachers, at 190 work days compared to the 255 I work, when you calculate their hourly rate not counting benefits, the median teacher makes about $45 an hour. When I had 9-11 years experience I was making about $45 an hour. On second thought, can you come to where I work and tell my boss I’m underpaid because I make about as much as a teacher with similar experience?
Meanwhile, because these are state salaries, in tiny towns, teachers get the same pay as those in big cities. They live like kings here, which is fine but I don’t have sympathy for your daughter. My son lives in San Luis Obispo and makes 100K a year as a software developer and cannot buy a home there either. He graduated top of his class and at the very young age of 19 1/2. And still…no house. People aren’t retiring because they need to continue working. It’s just the way it is… I taught for 11 years at two universities as an adjunct faculty member. I did those stints at two different time periods. That gave me the ability to compare student education in a way I never anticipated. To me, it is simply shocking how poorly the students perform today academically over 20 years ago. Stunning. To add to this, I know of a private Catholic school K-12 where the teachers are paid so poorly you would think they would not go to work daily. No one there gets more than 30K. And, the school wins academic and achievement awards annually. They turn away students — Catholic and non-Catholic. I’d be more than happy to pay them more.
Mike N says
Not all teachers, but it seems a majority have shifted their concern from the students to themselves. It is truly sad to see the bad example they are setting by their illegal strikes. If they feel teachers don’t make enough money they need to find job in the non-government sector and see what the real world is like. They work ten months a year, have job security and a good retirement. Many labor jobs are seasonal and they don’t get paid for the time when they are off work.
Rachel Wyers says
Anyone else notice that this chart uses “average full-time teacher salary” against “MEDIAN household income”? There is a BIG difference in median and average and this chart is not accurate.,
Eastside Sanity says
Liberal Progresive Democrats & the Parties Doctrine are the root cause of all that is wrong with the economic woes we find ourselves in. At every turn we are in the loss column. From Obama to the uniformed voter next door who lives with blinders on that put us on this disastrous course of government controlled madness. They are too blame for this and nobody else. Things are Not Ok. We have nothing to show for this but Red Ink, and we are all paying the price.