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Jennifer Cohen, senior policy analyst with the ed policy program at the New America Foundation and Phillisa Cramer, reporter with Gotham Schools, discuss how teacher salaries vary and what that means for their assets in retirement.
Base salary info is absolutely incorrect. Our base salary is $35,000. No difference between Bachelor or Master Degree.
Brian, in the old days teachers didn't get paid. The local farmer hired young 'single' women that could be available day and night and on the weekends. They got paid in edible farm animals and local produce instead of money. If the teacher got married, she was let go because her husband could now support her. Her retirement was a job on the husband's farm. Maybe we should go back to that system, so the critics of the education system would not feel that teachers are getting overpaid and have too lively of a retirement.
Great Brian, now go after teacher's pensions. You've already ignored the Bloomberg destruction of the public school system for the last eleven years. Could it be that WNYC is afraid they won't have access to the Bloomberg Financial Terminal if they say anything bad about Bloomberg?Could it be that the NY Times, Daily News, and the Post are also afraid of Bloomberg raising the monthly fee on his terminal if they're too critical?How else can you explain the critical pass that this mayor has received from WNYC and all the other media for his two legal and one illegal term?You should be ashamed of yourself...
Your guests yesterday were ill informed. In New York State it is mandatory to get a Masters Degree within a few years of being licensed. Also, your caller who called our tax deferred annuity which,in NYC, in fixed, once did earn 8 1/4% and now earns 7%, a "racket" should not have gotten the last word. What is a racket about having 25% of your salary put in a TDA which earns 7% ? It's not dishonest. But because teachers have it, it's a racket. He also made "home ownership" sound dirty and you said nothing. Your Tier I people who retired at 55 with a pension based on their last year of salary, have huge pensions.(thanks to John Lindsey, whom I adored). Some also have huge TDA's; if they have been saving even 5% in fixed for 30 plus years.they could conceivably have a million dollars from the compounded interest.Tier IV (that's me) get an average of the last 3 years highest salary multiplied by 2% for every year you worked. I put in 23 years (started at 43), retired at $4,1,000 a year and managed to save about 200,000 in my tda which we all moved to fixed after 9/11.
It is interesting that the people who castigate teachers wouldn't dare try teaching themselves. And they couldn't shine the shoes of most of the people who teach.
Teachers should retire: 1) whenever they want, i.e. as early as they want age 42 is NOT too young and NO mandatory retirement
2) and with as high a pension as they want.
One catch: they pay for it explicitly by having the pension promised protected by actual trust fund assets beyond the reach of creditors of the city or school district that makes the promise. In the United States, private employers must set up separate trusts to hold pension plan assets for the sole purpose of paying pension benefits. The sponsoring employer (called legally the "plan sponsor") must also properly fund the pension with sufficient annual contributions.
However with state and municipal employees, firemen cops AND teachers, the federal law PROHIBITS prefunding. Even if they get "Defined Contribution" type accounts like 401(k) plans, they are formally called Section 457 plans, they cannot be funded. They sit as mere empty promises by the state or municipality until retirement date. Else, if they are funded early, the employee would be subject to income tax for the value of the contribution which prefunds the promise.
It is a tax law concept known as "the economic benefit doctrine" which imputes to the taxpayer current taxable income and its current year income tax liability for the economic value of such pension contributions.
HOW MUCH should teachers pay if they allowed to prefund?
Sone teachers through a quirk can get defined contribution plans called 403(b) plans. Although most nonprofits (like WNYC) and universities like NYU allow their employees access to the non-load, low fee TIAA-CREF plan for their 403(b) plans, most school-teachers get the plans which their union buys for them.
These union reps get pseudo-kickbacks like being wined and dined to encourage their bargaining unit to choose their insurance company. The company usually pays a large sales commission to the salesmen meaning that the 403(b) plan bought by that union would be heavily larded with unnecessary fees.
In theory the union could pick low expense plans from TIAA-CREF (like WNYC employees get) or from EVEN LOWER EXPENSE carriers like the Vanguard Group's S&P index account. Or they can even get moderate (lower fees than average) expense plans from reputable mutual fund groups like Fidelity.
But in practice, since most union members aren't experts in distinguishing between insurers that have commission arrangements and other providers that are low cost like Vanguard, the rank and file music or chemistry teacher must rely on the judgment of the fiduciary, their union's pension manager.
If you have a defined contribution plan, and save 25% to 30% of your income each year, it would be reasonable to retire in LESS THAN 20 years without much luck. But look at the numbers! You really need to save a large fraction salary.
If a teacher is really miserly he should be able to retire early, the law should not prohibit him/her from retiring at age 41.
Steve from Baldwin .. check your calendar, teachers go back before memorial day this year, and dont finish till end of June. you must not live with a teacher or you wouldnt have the nerve to comment about how little work they do. My wife works hours similar to a first year lawyer. what you dont see are the hours spent planning lessons, grading papers and the dreaded weekend she prepares report cards. How could you think teachers have no childcare issues? think about what you are saying. we have employed help for over 15 years for care of our two children, at great expense! The tenure process is designed to keep the poor teachers out of schools. Did you have a 2 to 3 year probationary period at your job? Additionally, there are mechanisms in place that enable administrators to remove tenured teachers that arent doing their job. You should consider that it may be that administrators arent doing their job of removing the dead wood, and that is why districts have some poor teachers. it may not be the unions afterall.
A FEW THOUGHTS ABOUT THE QUALITY OF TEACHERS AND THE MONEY THEY MAKE - As a former teacher and school administrator in New York and New Jersey, the best teachers have relevant and ongoing training and supervision in best teacher practices. Sometimes this training comes with a traditional bachelor's and master's degree, but this depends on the quality of higher education programs. School districts who do well, usually offer and require lots of opportunities for ongoing teacher training through additional courses and workshops. Equally important is ongoing training in best teaching practices for school administrators. Unfortunately ongoing training of this nature for school administrators is less common than it is for teachers in many school districts. Most states, if not all, now require teachers to pass tests in teaching practices and curriculum specialty areas in order to receive their initial teaching credentials. Yet, it needs to be understood that even these tests support only a base line of what is required to be an excellent teacher.When you look at net worth of today's retired educators in NY state, you have to factor in that many teachers have managed to buy homes, which in a New York market are priced much higher than the same homes would cost in another part of the country.When salaries and retirement benefits for teachers are compared with other professions, which require comparable training and preparation and in many cases even less training and preparation, teachers are highly underpaid. Until teachers have benefits equal to other professions, we will continue to have difficulty attracting many of the best candidates.
@Joe from Bayside: Right ON. This discussion always suffers from gross mass ignorance of what teachers actually do and the demands of the job.
Just one person's story about teaching:
I taught in an inner city high school for 5 years. My first year I thought I was doing well, but I also had the stamina to stay up until 1 or 2AM making lesson plans, typing out short stories for the kids to read for enrichment (yeah, that copyright thing...not much in my thoughts at the time), reading journals, correcting papers and quizzes, etc. I was told it would get easier after I'd developed more lessons and curriculum.
I was doing well, getting good feedback, won a summer scholarship to study in England -- great stuff.
However, I couldn't keep up the hours needed to develop and handle five different subject classes (all within the English curriculum, plus debate) and became more and more exhausted. And then our school was suddenly redistricted to "save" another district from getting "too many" minority students. The reading ranges for my classes began to range from 3rd grade to college level -- yes, all in one class except for my one honors class. I realized I needed to learn remedial reading instruction techniques -- fast.
I finally decided I couldn't keep this up and moved into the corporate world, where, yes, no summer vacation but I could actually CHOOSE when I did go on vacation. And my shoulders could finally unwind from the continual stress.
By leaving I doubled my salary and that only went up from there. There were other problems with corporate life, but that's another story. Trade-offs? Oh, indeed. Corporate downsizing rose its ugly head...but that's another story.
The callers who are critical of teachers remind me of the guys who call sports programs thinking that they can manage professional teams because they had experience in Little League baseball or H.S. basketball. Everyone has spent time at a classroom desk, so they feel equipped to discuss the nature of the job from the perspective of the teacher. As a retired NYC teacher I can tell you that there is a world of difference between the experiences of a student vs. that of a teacher. Only teachers really know how hard the job is. I am particularly angry with criticisms of teacher salaries from lawyers who are in a profession where 15 minute meetings or telephone calls are billing time. To the caller who quoted $100 - 115 thous. salaries for NYC teachers - that $100,000 salary is reached after 22years. Do you think you could last that long in a classroom? And it also requires a Master Degree plus 30 credits above that. It is not easily achieved and many, if not most teachers, never reach that level. The bottom line is the bottom line; i.e., NYC teachers are not getting wealthy from their work.
The "Best and the Brightest" go into Finance...but that's a bigger issue. If I can earn $5M/yr (after bonuses) from Goldman or Morgan or whomever, why would I go into teaching?
The problem is FALLING middle class incomes. Teachers have a good union which has kept teacher pay in line with the growth in the economy. The rest of us are lucky if our pay has kept up with inflation. Get the Senate to pass the Buffett Rule.
Yes -- raise the pay, regard AND standards.
Re: your "racket" comment. BOTH rackets have the SAME source - undue influence with law makers. Teachers & other public unions provide committed voters & volunteers and Wall Street dirt bags supply massive quantities of money.
brian, they really only ran the numbers, to not know that teachers are required to have a masters within 5 years, and additional continuing ed. is to be underinformed.
Pay more. Demand more. No unions.
All the dumbest kids I graduated with went into teaching. Some smarter ones too, for sure, but teaching was the default profession for the lazy failures of the class that managed to get to college somehow. Did anyone else out there have a much different experience? It's too easy to be a teacher. Make it prestigious make it more lucrative.
Teachers are not overpaid! After twenty years of living modestly - with many depending on spouse incomes also - they have accumulated a home and assets. That's the American dream isn't it? Why are we tearing them down for it?
If one is discussing the budget, I suppose average salary is the appropriate measure, but if the subject is teachers as a group, isn't median salary more illustrative? Also, are administrative salaries included, and if so, doesn't that skew the distribution?
What is wrong with this country? Why shouldn't the individuals responsible for educating the US population earn a high salary and leave the profession with accumulated assets? Why is there no outrage over celebrity and athlete salaries? This is why we aren't graduating the "best and the brightest." Because of angry lawyers who feel educators earning a living is "a racket." My friends, teachers in NJ, cannot go out socially more than once a week because they earn so little. Teachers are underpaid and under-appreciated, and as long as this is this is status quo, we will keep falling behind China, India, and maybe even emerging market countries. Let's have a discussion about lawyers' $500/hour practices and multi-thousand-dollar retainers.
The last caller (David) was spot on. MANY teachers are mediocre (or worse) and make an absurd salary for their work.
I also agree that there are wonderful teachers - but I think the herd mentality grind many them down or cause them to leave teaching.
Sorry, here's the list: http://newjersey.watchdog.org/2012/04/03/100k-sidebar/
"Adjunct" is Korporate Education's® serfdom.
Why are we always knocking teachers? How about the pension for clerks at the DMV, or those in the MTA?
My wife has a Masters and a Doctorate, but was refused a license by the DOE because she has no Bachelor's degree (she's Canada-Italy educated)! She's taught for years without a license, but always losses her position and lost tenure as well.
Teachers deserve a better life. This idea that they have all this free time and an easy job is bunk
Here's a list of retired NJ State workers with $100K pensions. Very few teachers - the really big pensions go to BOE workers.
if you dont pay them, they wont come. you will get people who might work for thr parks dept. you cant ensure quality, as in any hiree. but there are tools in place already to terminete the bums.
You can't mention teacher pensions with out discussing the tier system.
Tier 3 and 4 teachers don't receive nearly the level of retirement benefits enjoyed by the Tier 1 teachers of past decades.
As a new member of the NYC Teaching Fellows Program, how do all the current changes in pensions and payments affect the retirement numbers that are being discussed?
It is national Teacher Appreciation Week, so I would like to state that I appreciate the teachers I had from kindergarten through my M.S.. I was a teacher for 7 years -- 2 in a community college and 5 in the NYC school system. I also appreciate the teachers I worked with who are constantly questioned, blamed, and barraged with bureaucratic policies and yet show up day after day to teach our kids. My leaving the system (as 50% do within 5 years) had to do with having no weekends off and having to work evenings and vacations and also with the unmanageable work load. It had nothing to do with pay.
Pay more but making it much harder to get to be a licensed teacher. How about a rigorous test analogous to the MCAT/medical boards, LSAT/bar or GRE/GMAT to make the profession highly regarded again? Teachers that pass this difficult test get paid higher.
Caller 'David'- nice job skewing the 'facts.' I'm not a teacher but I imagine if you went into a classroom & tried to do that job you would be quite mediocre.
Why oh why do we keep "separating" taxpayers and public sector works? At the same time that these teachers are making these "exorbitant" salaries they are paying taxes on it; ergo, the dichotomy is false and sets up what could be an amusing Monty Python skit but is a sad and ridiculous false public debate.
They make much more in Westchester
http://seethroughny.net/Double click a column heading to resortAgency SubAgency Last, First Position Pay Basis Rate of Pay Total YearHendrick Hudson Central Schools Hendrick Hudson Central Schools (NYSTRS Member) Mc Cann, Daniel T Ndr $279,227 2011Hendrick Hudson Central Schools Hendrick Hudson Central Schools (NYSTRS Member) Catalan, Enrique Ndr $207,340 2011Hendrick Hudson Central Schools Hendrick Hudson Central Schools (NYSTRS Member) Gottlieb, Alice S Ndr $202,058 2011Hendrick Hudson Central Schools Hendrick Hudson Central Schools (NYSTRS Member) Kane, Helene K Ndr $180,495 2011Hendrick Hudson Central Schools Hendrick Hudson Central Schools (NYSTRS Member) LaVallee, Paul R Ndr $175,537 2011Hendrick Hudson Central Schools Hendrick Hudson Central Schools (NYSTRS Member) Mackin, James L Ndr $165,925 2011Hendrick Hudson Central Schools Hendrick Hudson Central Schools (NYSTRS Member) Swerdloff, Mathew Ndr $162,657 2011Hendrick Hudson Central Schools Hendrick Hudson Central Schools (NYSTRS Member) Mc Guigan, Mary F Ndr $160,733 2011Hendrick Hudson Central Schools Hendrick Hudson Central Schools (NYSTRS Member) Hall, Lynda A Ndr $160,697 2011Hendrick Hudson Central Schools Hendrick Hudson Central Schools (NYSTRS Member) Solomon, Craig J Ndr $158,952 2011Hendrick Hudson Central Schools Hendrick Hudson Central Schools (NYSTRS Member) Baker, Thomas P Ndr $156,661 2011Hendrick Hudson Central Schools Hendrick Hudson Central Schools (NYSTRS Member) Bugara, Ron Ndr $155,049 2011Hendrick Hudson Central Schools Hendrick Hudson Central Schools (NYSTRS Member) Owens, John S Ndr $152,882 2011Hendrick Hudson Central Schools Hendrick Hudson Central Schools (NYSTRS Member) Bailey, Marcia Ndr $152,059 2011Hendrick Hudson Central Schools Hendrick Hudson Central Schools (NYSTRS Member) Simon, Carolyn H Ndr $146,801 2011Hendrick Hudson Central Schools Hendrick Hudson Central Schools (NYSTRS Member) Swertfager, Diane C Ndr $146,069 2011Hendrick Hudson Central Schools Hendrick Hudson Central Schools (NYSTRS Member) Marshall, Luann H Ndr $145,396 2011
Teaching is a "RACKET"??? And, Goldman Sachs® raping the world economy is NOT???
I took early retirement in '96 with 23 years teaching. So, NEVER did/will have a huge million dollar bank account! Needed my social security in addition to pension so took social security early as well. Got my masters immediately and then ? credits beyond for a little more pay. Supported two children, myself....NOT exactly wealthy. Can't begin to go into negative changes in the system....problems in the schools...but we need GOOD teachers and RESPECT for teachers!
New Faculty Majority and other national advocacy groups are trying to get out message out. Please. I AMA CUNY adjunct-we are the faculty majorirythereans we are receiving poverty wages.
How about a segment on what cops make on Long Island? $110 after five years on the job in Suffolk County, and you don't even have to be a high school graduate; a GED is sufficient to become a cop.
Teachers, by comparison, have to have advanced degrees and have to take numerous in-service courses.
In my school district, Baldwin, 3/4 of the teachers make over $90,000. Most of them make over $100,000. Some reach $120,000.Not bad for 9 months work a year! And their kids' vacations coincide with theirs, so no child care problems. The pension, though being reduced, is so generous that they don't need to put money in to a 401K, which is highly risky. They can get a pay increase just by learning, say, powerpoint, even for phys ed teachers.There is the opportunity to make money over the summer.Meanwhile, the new teachers make so little they need to live with the parents.The worst is that the unions make it so difficult to fire bad teachers.
Teachers used to have started salaries that were the same as newly minted lawyers.
Good retirement benefits were part of the deal, for putting up with the really bad aspects of being a teacher. This was also the unwritten deal for government workers.
P.S. PLEASE GIVE MEDIAN SALARIES, NOT AVERAGE.
Teachers should get the current amount of salary. After all that how you attract the best talents! However I have big problem with the amount pension and medical insurance that the teacher get. List any private firms that offer that kind of benefits? It angers me!!!
John from NYC< dont think teachers are eligible to retire after 20 years, like police or fire,
Another factor in K-12 teachers accumulating wealth may be that many are able to have summer side businesses. This was definitely the case in the shore community where I went to school.
I am a full-time college professor with PhD and 15 years of employment. I make less than the mean public school teacher and I do not begrudge them that. I also have no extra income from royalties or speaking engagements... that is really only relevant to top faculty and top universities (rare). I will probably never be able to retire since all I have is a 401-k type thing.
For years teachers were very underpaid and it was made up to them by enticing them with good benefits. Now teachers are well paid compared to the private sector. I don't begrudge teachers their pay, they have a most important job. The benefits must be brought more in line with the private sector, though I'd prefer a single payer system for all. The big problem in NJ is a messed up funding system and grossly overpaid administrators.
Higher education faculty are mostly adjuncts we gave NO pensions
A GOOD teacher is worth far MORE than a million after a life in the profession!!!
educators might be smart enough to know to save. nys requires masters in 5 years, or you are out. what other municipal employee is required to achieve a masters, plus additional training? ..
My mother was a teacher for over 20 years. She had a BA, Teaching Certificate and two Masters degrees.
She did not retire a millionaire, but my parents (my father worked, too, and had Social Security and pension benefits) were able to sell the home in which I grew up and purchase a retirement home, so their housing needs were met and they could afford groceries and medical care and some of the extras people in other walks of life enjoy. My mother passed away at age 65, so her pension wasn't paid very long.
The thing is, if my mother hadn't made a sufficient wage and hadn't had adequate housing and medical coverage, she might have wound up on welfare and medicaid, which would have cost taxpayers money for nothing. The money and benefits she had she worked for. So, as taxpayers, which way would we prefer to provide for people?
In addition, of course, to the very valuable service she provided to her students, as well as the babysitting function all schools provide for parents. Do the math and you will see that money spent on teachers is far less than they deserve.
From what I remember as a student, new teachers are the best because they are the most enthusiastic. An MA plus 30 hours for maximum salary? A waste! That MA and the 30 hours do NOT make a better educator. Education is simple an industry that perpetuates itself.
How does teaching in High School compare to teaching in the CUNY system? Should PHDs be going to work in High Schools rather than Comm Colleges?
They should be paid like rock stars and professional athletes. Society would come to a grinding halt without teachers, although the world keeps turning regardless of what Tebow does.
Teachers should be both more highly paid and regarded.
My understanding, when I was in the Teaching Fellows program, was that teachers who were hired with just a BA were required to get an MA within five years of hiring.
DSNY employees make more!!
You are required to get your masters degree in NYC in order to get and keep your permanent teaching license. Teachers pay out of pocket, for both degrees in most cases for this required course of study and degrees, these degrees are part of their profession, it is a difficult and demanding profession, and the teachers deserve every cent and more!
Great breakdown???? (However, the up-tones are driving me crazy???)
Please include a discussion of the absurd benefits that teachers retire with.
Do not forget that payscales in New Jersey are VERY different from city to city and that those payscales do not go up gradually son it could take you many many years to actually reach the high end of the salaries with huge gaps before that.
Gee... imagine teachers working their lives and actually being able to take care of themselves with a home, healthcare, and enough money to actually have some semblance of life.
CUT 'EM DOWN!!!
No one deserves this kind of "LUXURY"!!
We've gotta maintain that 1%!!
Let's tell the truth here.
New York city, 15 yrs experience, standard "overtime." -- what's the pay??????
Now factor in super benefits -- including retire after 20 yrs
As a former instructor at a state University, I only made $50,000 so I doubt that I would have gotten much more if I had stayed, to retire with 3 million net worth. How ridiculous.
The radio promo was about teacher pay, not this followup about how much do teachers retire with. So my comment is on teacher pay. " Not enough". The New York City Dep't of Education constantly adds more burdens to its demands of teachers' planning: data, data analysis, differentiation of instruction, addressing different goal needs of different students in the same class, and now a form of computerized paperwork--especially in the sphere of Special education. The elementary school teachers still haved the same 1 preparation period (45-50 min per day) that they have had for about 15 plus years. I'm estimating that the after school time needed to do planning the way the administration wants it done has grown to at least 2-3 hours day. The school day averages 6 hours 57 minutes over 4 days with 6 hours 20 minutes on the 5th day. Add the afterschool planning time and you have way more than an 8 hour work day. Teachers wind up sacrificing, family, sleep, exercise--their health to get the work done. Hard to be enthusiastic with your students when you are exhausted. I worked several years past my retirement eligibility. Then I got tired of sacrificing a health lifestyle and I retired--I didn't even wait until June.
Please bring up that the legislature has a guaranteed fund in NY city's 401k plan for teachers that provides a 7% return
You should interview E.J. McMahon on this topic.
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