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Dori: The truth about teacher pay in Washington

(Washington Education Association, Aug. 25, 2018)

On Wednesday, I spoke with Washington Policy Center Center for Education Director Liv Finne about the truth of teacher pay here in Washington.

WA teacher salary data from 2017-18

Take a look at this list of teacher pay in Washington state. These are the stats the teachers union does not want you to know. And, bizarrely, they are stats that no one else in the media seems to be talking about.

(From left to right, district name, number of individuals, average additional salary per individual, total full-time employees, average LEAP 1 mix factor, average base salary per FTE, average total salary per FTE, insurance benefits per FTE, mandatory benefits per FTE, days in one FTE. OSPI)

This is from Table 19 on teacher pay from the state superintendent’s website. In Seattle, where teachers are threatening to strike, the average teacher makes $105,218 in salary and benefits — for working 36 weeks a year. (According to salary.com, the average base salary for an elementary school teacher is $62,581.)

In Shoreline yesterday, teachers announced a 24-percent raise. The teachers there were already making, on average, $108,057 per year in salary and benefits. (A tenured teacher in Shoreline currently makes about $62K in base salary.) And they, too, get 16 weeks per year off.

(From left to right, district name, number of individuals, average additional salary per individual, total full-time employees, average LEAP 1 mix factor, average base salary per FTE, average total salary per FTE, insurance benefits per FTE, mandatory benefits per FTE, days in one FTE. OSPI)

And spare me the complaining about “continuing education” and “grading papers at night” and all the other gripes I hear from teachers. The average worker in our state earns a little more than half of what the teachers get. The money is not there to sustain these massive pay increases. They will be demanding to lift the local levy lid that was supposed to take a bit of the sting out of the massive property tax increases.

Also, after telling us how important it is to reduce class sizes, the union is now bargaining that away so already very-well-compensated teachers can get even more from hard-working taxpayers.

We are seeing a incredibly well-coordinated rip-off of the taxpayers with these threatened strikes. The teachers union is and remains a powerful and dangerous force is ripping off the taxpayers of Washington.

Editor’s note: We’ve added some information to this piece about a teacher’s base salary (minus benefits) and a link to pay schedules from the state.
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