primetime wrote: Robert Godfrey wrote:
Ed Blume wrote:On this particular issue, MTI wants low starting salaries and higher salaries for more experienced teachers.
Madison has the highest starting salary in the neighborhood.
Sun Prairie, $27,603 (2005-6)
Middleton-Cross Plains, $30,551
and it's still not enough for a middle class professional IMHO.
Wow the starting salary is really $32,000 plus some pretty nice benefits and summers off. That sounds like a very nice starting salary for someone with a four year degree fresh out of school.
I know I will get crucified for this but I don't think these salaries need to be raised.
I haven't been out of college that long and I started at $24,000/year with no pension, and I had to contribute about $30/month for health insurance with two weeks a year off. That was at a bank with a degree in Economics.
Granted, I was able to move up the salary levels by changing jobs. Adjusted for inflation the starting teacher salary is still above what I started at and since the health care is covered (which has had the biggest inflation) the teacher's aren't making out so bad.
Three of my roommates in college were education majors and only one of the three is actually teaching now 7 years out of school. Why? Because there is an oversupply of teachers. Look how many people graduate each year with a teaching degree, compared to how many leave the profession and how many job openings there are. It is near impossible to get a job in a district like Madison out of school because there are so many applicants and few people leave. One roommate was able to break into teaching by moving to Houston and teaching in one the worse off school districts for a few years. He eventually gave up teaching because his wife wanted to move back to WI and it was still near impossible to get a job even with 4 years experience. One other gave up and started working for a mutual fund company because there were no openings for an Econ/History teacher.
I also dated a girl who spent the first 3 years out of college babysitting and subbing trying to break into any school district around Madison.
It may be anecdotal but there are a lot of teaching graduates who don't go into teaching because there just isn't that many job openings, especially in good school districts.
I know the argument that good teachers are underpaid but I blame that on the union. The union protects the jobs of the bad teachers at the expense of letting turnover go higher and more competion allowing the best teachers in and weeding out the poor. This proctection of the existing base allows for mediocraty by the few teachers who are burned out, or just not that good. At the same time some potentially good teachers are pushed away by no job openings.
I also think playing into the oversupply of teachers are the intangible job rewards. Most teachers get some enjoyment out of the job and genuinely like the kids. The top end of salarys are limited compared to other professions but the rewards of the job should also be factored in.
Teachers are also government employees and most government jobs pay less than the private sector but come with better benefis and job security. Even in my profession, the investment managers at SWIB are highly compensated for government jobs but relativly low compared to the private industry.
To sum up, I think teachers do an important job but they are never going to make top dollar as an oversupplied, government positioned, unionized entity. And considering what a lot of people with a 4 year degree make they come out looking o.k.