Let’s talk dirty, sexy, money.
I miss that hokey show that lasted only 3/4 of a season, but that’s not really the point of this article. Still, we need a moment of silence for the Darlings.
This is Part 2 of my “What the Eff is Going On In Education?” Series.
We’re talking about dirty, sexy, real money, except there’s no sexy in this money: the money teachers are paid to mold the brains of our nation’s youth.
You’d think the white men who sit atop the highest mountain in government would want our youth to be taught by the finest, highest paid, most celebrated professionals possible. But this is clearly not the case.
As I’ve written in the past, I was a public school teacher for 4 years with a Master’s degree in Elementary Education. Two of those years, I taught at a public Charter school, and the last two years, I taught at a typical county elementary school. The salaries I’ll be talking about here are the salaries earned teaching in the Orange County Public School system. All of this information is readily available on the OCPS.net website.
When I started working at the OCPS school with 2 years of instructional experience, I made about 34,000 per year with a $2400 “BONUS” for having a Master’s Degree in a related field.
(Sidenote: I made less per year as a bonus for having a Master’s Degree than it took to pay for one semester in Grad school.)
The current rate of pay for a brand new teacher, fresh out of college with a Bachelor’s Degree is $37,000 per year.
Let’s break this down into hourly pay, shall we?
180 days of school
14 days of pre-planning, post-planning, and contracted teacher work days
37.5 (paid) hours of work per week, required to be on school campus or at an in-service training
1455 hours contracted to work per year
$23.34/hour contracted to work for a first-year teacher
Not bad, right? Not really GOOD, but not horrible. It’s a good start!
Let’s take a look at other jobs in Orlando where you could earn about $23.34/hour worked, straight out of college:
- Business Systems Analyst – $25.00 Per Hour
- Technical Support Specialist I – $20.00 – $24.00 Per Hour
- Programmer Analyst – IT – $40,000.00 – $50,000.00 Per Year (hourly rate adjusted for more hours worked/year)
Not too bad, eh? It’s a good entry point into the workforce.
Now, let’s look down the road 15 years and see what’s available for seasoned, practiced professionals in the teaching field.
A teacher in Orange County is contracted to be paid $45,600 per year. Let’s assume she’s earned her Master’s Degree along the way, so we’ll add $2,605 to her yearly salary.
$33.13/hour contracted to work for a teacher with 15 years’ experience.
Now let’s take a look at what other jobs pay per year in Orlando with 15 years’ experience and a Master’s Degree.
- Vice President, Manufacturing & Product Design – $150,000.00 – $225,000
- Senior Director, Projects and Applications (at OCPS) – $83,998.00 – $95,376.00
- Director of Merchandise Retail Store Design and Visual Presentation – $108,428.80 – $135,536
I’m kind of speechless.
How is this OK in America? OK around the world? How is it socially acceptable for the women and men who teach the future corporate vice presidents and senior directors to earn a comparative pittance?
First step: Respect your child’s teacher. They probably make far less than you and do way more than what’s in a contracted day’s work.