Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Salary Gap

Here’s a spin-off from the post I did yesterday looking at teacher and administrator salary averages over the last 35 years here in Washington State.

We’ve heard a lot in the past few years about how CEO salaries are outpacing those of the workers by an ungodly percentage; this article gives a good overview. I was curious to see if that applied on our level, too.

Here are the average salaries for central office administrators, principals, and teachers from 1973-1974 and the current school year:

Central Office$19,540$101,475

This table shows the teacher salary as a percentage of the central office and principal salaries for the two years above (teacher salary/other salary):

 Central OfficePrincipals

So what does it mean?

In 1973, the average teacher made about 58% of the salary of the average superintendent. This year, the average teacher makes less than half of the average supe.

In 1973 the average teacher made 65% of the average principal. Now it’s 54%.

You could argue, then, that teacher salaries have not kept pace with administrative salaries. You could argue further that, given how the state funds administration, that this means that local money is being poured into administrator salaries at an increasingly aggressive pace.

The argument that I’d get from WASA and AWSP is that we need to attract quality people to the principalship and beyond by offering a quality salary. I won’t disagree with the point, but if you’re an administrator it’s also not a very good argument to make because it’s so damnably easy to turn on its head: don’t we also need to attract good people into the classroom by offering them a competitive salary as well?

I don’t know if these numbers matter, or if I’m reading them correctly. I think there’s something there, but I’m not sure what.

Any thoughts?

1 comment:

Dr Pezz said...

I'd rather have the administrator's salary. :)

I think this just confirms what the teachers and public have surmised: if salaries are the measure, then more value is placed on the administrative side of the coin.

Obviously, it's less expensive to raise administrative salaries across the board rather than do the same for teachers. This could have a lot to do with it as well.