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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Another thing about American schools (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Another thing about American schools
Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by luthe:
quote:
erm, after fifteen years as a teacher I make a third of your $120k figure. Just to lend some perspective to this crazy discussion.
You just need to go on strike more. The district with the highest paid teachers around here, go on strike nearly every time there contract is up.
Can't speak for fugu, but it is in our union contract that we are not allowed to strike. Best we can do is work-to-rule, which means not coming in early or staying late.
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fugu13
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That would be speaking for Icarus [Wink]

And yes, typically teachers are not allowed to strike. Some who are not allowed to do it anyways.

However, I suspect the situation in Icarus' district is, in part, because it is a place many teachers want to work. He could speak much better to possible causes than I, though.

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luthe
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Teacher strikes are legal in PA. The only requirement is you must have 180 days of school in by June 30. This has the effect of limiting the lenght of the strikes, but if no new contract is worked out before that day is reached then they do the whole no early no late thing
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Icarus
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No, I'm not in a desirable district . . . mrm, except, I suppose, by comparison to someplace horrible like Miami-Dade county. We have a long-standing teacher shortage. I'd say it's because we're a rural district in a largely rural state.
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scholarette
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When my husband was teaching school, if it was just his income and we had had kids, we would have qualified for government aid (WIC and Chip). My husband's brother made low 20s his first year teaching, then moved to a different state and makes like 60k, as a second year teacher. So, location can make a huge difference.
in our location, considering though other jobs you can do with an engineering/math degree (my husband taught math), it is hard to justify working as a teacher when you have a family to support. And then add to it the lack of respect from everyone, teaching just is not a desireable job.

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Sachiko
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My dad was asked to teach, I think by the U of U. He's got math and law degrees.

He laughed--it would have taken him 15 years and tenure to make what he was making elsewhere in teh first couple of years.

I am No Comment on how teachers are paid. I teach my own kids at home and still pay taxes for public schools, plus the money for our at-home curricula. To save money I usually write my own unit studies, and try to find the owl pellets for free. [Smile]

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Glenn Arnold
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quote:
Originally posted by Icarus:
quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:
Oh, and your $80k per teacher amount is far too low. While in some districts average salaries reach up that high (typically because a large number of the teachers have many, many years experience), what I'm referring to are the other costs associated with a teacher: benefits, HR overhead, et cetera.

I wouldn't be surprised if in most districts the average cost per teacher, just for the salary, benefits, and management of those items, is over $120k (in private industry half again base salary is often used as a guesstimate; teachers often have decent benefits).

erm, after fifteen years as a teacher I make a third of your $120k figure. Just to lend some perspective to this crazy discussion.
Way to miss the point. Your salary is only a part of the cost of employing you as a teacher.
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Icarus
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[Roll Eyes]

I'm quite sure they're not spending 80 grand on other associated expenses.

[Roll Eyes] [Roll Eyes] [Roll Eyes]

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Sachiko
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Icarus, maybe they are, if they're shopping at the same places the Department of Defense shops at. [Smile]
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Glenn Arnold
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The general figure I've heard is that salary is about half the cost of an employee. That's in industry. I see no reason why it would be less in education.
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fugu13
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Yeah, I'd guesstimate the additional costs above and beyond for Icarus's district would be between $20 and 30k.
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scholarette
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quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Arnold:
The general figure I've heard is that salary is about half the cost of an employee. That's in industry. I see no reason why it would be less in education.

In my husband's district, they didn't contribute to health insurance. They had a group plan you could sign up for, but the legislature cut the funding for contributions to health care. So, that saves them a lot per employee. They also had cut most support staff and training, also saving money. They don't pay social security for teachers here either, so that saves money too.
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Glenn Arnold
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I doubt that's very common though.

Actually, I can't imagine how they get away with not paying social security.

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rivka
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Unless the teachers are considered outside contractors (which is quite a stretch), neither can I.
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dkw
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Yeah. I can't think of any possible way that would be legal.
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scholarette
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They contribute to a different retirement plan. From the paychecks, I can't tell if the school adds anything beyond what they deduct from his salary. And when you retire, you aren't eligible for ss checks. Except that there used to be a loophole in Texas law that let you get both, which they fixed maybe 4 years ago- which is why a whole bunch of teachers retired early that year.
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ketchupqueen
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I thought teachers didn't get social security, same as firefighters and such. Or maybe I'm confused...
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rivka
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Apparently, it depends on the state.

I had no idea! And one of them is California.

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Belle
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My husband does not contribute to social security as a firefighter. kq is right - often teachers and firefighters fall into that category.

That windfall exclusion act is a real bear for us, because he DOES pay social security for the side work he does (in fact, he pays the full contribution because he's self employed) yet we will never collect social security. It even limits what I can collect as his spouse.

They enacted that law to prevent government workers from collecting huge pensions and ALSO social security, yet it wound up hurting firefighters and school teachers - people in the middle class who've worked hard in public service and certainly would never collect what one might consider a "windfall", yet are unable to collect on social security despite years of paying into the system.

In most cases, it affects people like teachers and firefighters who collect a government pension, yet also have a job on the side (as many teachers do in the summer, and as many firefighters do on their days off). That salary has social security taken out of it, yet they're unable to collect it.

Both fire and teacher's unions have been lobbying to have the windfall exclusion act repealed, with no success.

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Glenn Arnold
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Wow. That's just weird.
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DarkKnight
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quote:
That windfall exclusion act is a real bear for us, because he DOES pay social security for the side work he does (in fact, he pays the full contribution because he's self employed) yet we will never collect social security. It even limits what I can collect as his spouse.

I don't think that is exactly accurate. You might want to check the website for more information. Windfall Elimination
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by ambyr:


When I pointed out that would be using summer school for non-remedial purposes, and asked again whether it would be possible to instead take English 3 during the summer the year before, I was met with a blank stare.

I was involved in a similar situation at my university, in which I was told that because of our unit cap, I would have to register as a part time student for one quarter, and then a full time student, and then finish in summer school, rather than finishing, in less time, with all the same classes by enrolling in two full quarters.


I wanted to go down to the Dean's office and punch him out when my petition for enrollment was denied on those grounds. The beaurocracy is pathetic. Really, and truly pathetic.

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