Saturday, July 30, 2005

Deal Raises Teacher Pay

Today's Miami herald published an article detailing the proposed one year contract for all of Dade County's teachers. The article explains that every teacher will move up one step on a 22 step ladder, and that the average teacher salary will increase to about 48,000 dollars per year.

This might sound pretty good to a person unfamiliar with the average young teacher in today's schools. The "step ladder" referred to in the news article is a top heavy scale. A teacher in the first 8 years of service may receive a raise of only a few hundred dollars a year, and that is only if the teacher is awarded a new step each year. As I am set to begin my eigth year of teaching high school in Dade County, I am making only about 1900 dollars a year more than when I started.

In contrast, a teacher in his twentieth year of service will have received the bulk of the raises offered in the step ladder process only after their 12th year of service. The average teacher salary stated in the article is a telling sign of the nature of the workforce in the school system. Young, talented teachers are unfortunately not attracted to a profession in which after 7 years of hard work and dedication, their salary will have only increased by less than two thousand dollars.

It is wonderful that Dr. Crew has set aside money for additional salaries and pay increases, but it is important to keep all teachers in mind when discussing benefits of increased pay.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You make some interesting points about young teachers, but it's hard to look a gift horse in the mouth, no?

4:26 PM  
Blogger dsgolburgh said...

It is true that it is hard to look a gift horse in the mouth, and if the school district began handing envelopes to their teachers full of gifts, I am sure they would be greatly appreciated regardless of what they held inside.

But a raise is not a gift. Teachers, like other professionals, should be earning yearly raises based on their level of performance. For too long teachers have held the attitude that "they should just be happy they got something."

Unfortunately, this attitude has only helped to further lower the public perception of teachers. Salaries in society are based on need, and if the quality of education is to improve, teachers need to be shown they are needed.

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But all government workers are compensated in a step program. You can't judge each individual gov't employee. It's impossible. So, we have a step program. And here the state has increased the $$ you get for the step. Of course you should be making more, but when you get a raise, should you be really be complaining? Maybe it would better to say thanks, but there is still a lot of work to be done to increase quality of teaching. And maybe that is what you are saying, so perhaps we really don't disagree.

9:03 AM  
Blogger dsgolburgh said...

It really all comes down to increasing quality of teachers. The step program, if teachers were awarded their steps on schedule, would be an acceptable program. However, the way the hierarchy is constructed, teachers are always the last in line to receive compensation. When the step is finally granted, teachers have been trained to breathe a sigh of relief.

Instead of feeling proud of their accomplishments, teachers generally begin to feel some resentment toward the system.

Teacher quality will improve when quality becomes the main criteria for hiring, advancement, and stability. Teachers will stay dedicated to the profession when the salary demands the quality.

10:45 AM  
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11:14 AM  

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