Polski3's View from Here

Quote of some personal revelence: "Is a dream a lie, that don't come true, or is it something worse?"

Friday, March 30, 2007

Life on a Teacher's Salary

What is your life like on a teacher's salary ? Mike at "Education in Texas" ( see my blogroll for his interesting blog) posted an interesting post, "How Much Are You Really Making?" about the economic reality of having a teacher in the family. Ms.Cornelia recently commented in her blog that to move back to her "ancestral homeland in the US mid-west, she'd take a $30,000/year pay cut! ( see my blogroll for her great blog! ) I have been teaching here in California for nearly 20 years, and if I was just entering the state, even at my current salary, I could not afford to have a house for my family.

Fortunately, because of my length of service and education, I earn enough that we do have a house in a decent neighborhood and for the most part, my wife is a stay at home mother for our sons. We also live in about the only part of California where this is possible due to the lower cost of housing in this locality, at least when we bought our house almost five years ago just prior to a big jump in housing costs in California.

We don't live "high on the hog", and I have had no meaningful pay raises in five years or so.....due to the ever increasing cost of our health insurance and teaching in a district where they refuse to negotiate an increase in the amount paid by the district towards health insurance. We (the teachers of my district), were also screwed out of $4-5,000 dollars recently due to union blundering and school district administrative apathy regarding an insurance pool we were part of.

We don't take long or expensive vacations and we drive vehicles that were new in 1996 and 1998. Our costs for electricity, water, sewage services and garbage collection have at least doubled over the past five years. And as you know, the price of gasoline has gone up considerably over the past four years ( today's price for regular unleaded at our cheap gas station was $3.27.9 a gallon ) If I was teaching any place else, I wouldn't be teaching to support my family because I could not earn enough teaching to support my family.

YES, my family is better off than many working class families. But in terms of salary for professional people with similar levels of education and job experience, I am, as a teacher, far below their salaries. I guess the message being sent by society is that teachers are just better educated blue collar workers who will not be regarded or paid as educated professionals.

Perhaps someday, we'll hear a new version of an old folk song;

Where did all the teachers go?

Long Time passing.

Where did all the teachers go?

gone to retirement, everyone.

Where have all the teachers gone?

No one wants to do anymore.

Can't make a living, or live on dreams,

Where have all the teachers gone ?

( My apologies for butchering the above classic folk song )

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