Quite by accident, I came across a database listing teacher salaries and benefits for the metro Milwaukee area. The database allows you to enter any teacher or administrator’s last name, and see the value of their salary and benefits for the 2006-07 school year. This is all public information that is required to be made available by the Department of Public Instruction.
I know a few teachers in the area, and I knew they were well-paid. But I had no idea how much. For all of the teachers that I entered into the system, I came up with salaries in the range of $50,000 to $70,000 per year, and benefits in the range of $30,000 to 40,000 per year.
That means the teachers I know, who all have experience in the range of 5 to 15 years, are being compensated in the neighborhood of $80,000 to $110,000 for working part time.
Part time, you say? Yes, part time. That’s what a teacher’s job is… part time. Your average professional logs between 40 and 50 hours a week, for about 48 weeks a year (if you factor in holidays and vacation time). That’s about 1,920 to 2,400 working hours per year.
A teacher works 180 school days, plus I’ll give them another 10 days for meetings and conventions. (Although here, almost no one goes to conventions even though they’re theoretically mandatory.) The workday of a teacher is about 6 hours, even including “correcting papers” or other fluff that makes it sound like they work more. But 6 hours is a pretty generous estimate of the time actually spent working.
That means a teacher works 1,140 hours a year, which is only about 60% of the low end of other professionals, and about 48% of the high end for other professionals. So a teacher works about half as much as other professionals.
And in the Milwaukee area, they’re being compensated $80,000 to $100,000 for that part time job. I don’t ever want to hear again that teachers aren’t paid enough. That is outrageous compensation for what amounts to a part-time job.