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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

California teachers seek 50% pay raise


Raising teacher and staff pay by 50 percent over seven years is "a big and bold idea," says the president of the California Federation of Teachers. A bill setting the pay-raise target, but not guaranteeing funding, has passed out of the Assembly Education Committee, reports John Woolfolk and Elissa Miolene of Bay Area News Group.


The pay increases wouldn't be limited to teachers with hard-to-find skills, such as special education, math or physics. Support staff, including bus drivers, cafeteria workers and custodians would be included.


Pay varies in California, but the average public K-12 teacher salary is $87,275 Woolfolk and Miolene report, third-highest in the U.S., behind New York’s $92,222 and Massachusetts’ $88,903. "Both those states boasted better 8th grade math and reading scores in 2022 than California, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress," they add.


Scores also are higher in Florida, where the average public school teacher earns $51,230. Texas, where average pay is $58,887, "had better 8th grade math scores than California last year, though reading scores were lower."


California's teacher shortage is easing, reports EdSource. The number of new teachers earning credentials increased by 35 percent from 2017 to 2021, according to the Learning Policy Institute.


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Richard Rider
Richard Rider
May 02, 2023

It should be noted that the teacher pay in the charts are outdated. It's the 2021-22 school year. Most teachers have received an estimated 6% pay increase in the last year. On $90,000 annual wage, that's an extra $5,400 pay. Moreover, probably most districts already have pay increases scheduled in the next 3 years. LA Unified has a 21% pay increase scheduled in the coming 3 years. Sooo, is this state-mandated 50% increase on TOP of these other pay increases? Given the awesome power of the CA teacher unions, I suspect it IS on top of the other pay increases. Finally, consider this: Teachers get AUTOMATIC pay increases based on their time on the job (NOT their job performance). So wh…

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Guest
May 03, 2023
Replying to

Withholding is something different. In addition to Social Security's FICA, it is recommended that people save for retirement to the tune of 15% pre-tax. These are their own investments: IRAs & 401ks etc. Teachers don't have to do that, because their retirements are taken care of.


Ann in L.A.

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Steve Sherman
Steve Sherman
May 01, 2023

And they'd like to go to a 4 day work week with professional development/happy hour on Wednesdays.

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Guest
May 01, 2023

The first two paragraphs are from a teacher at Oakland Unified. Smarter Balanced Test results for that district show less than 1 in 4 Hispanic students reading at grade level, and less than 1 in 5 black students. In math, only 14.5% of Hispanics are at grade level, and 10.6% of blacks. If you add in Asian and White kids, the numbers aren't much better, overall 35.3% can read adequately, and 25.7% can do math adequately.


Other districts do worse. Of the ones listed on their salary chart, Ravenswood (San Mateo county: South of San Fran, West of San Jose, average salary $82,473) is the worst: Reading: 12.6% overall, 10.4% Hispanic, and 12.5% Black. In math, it's much worse. Essentially…


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Bruce Smith
Bruce Smith
May 01, 2023

We Californians are already getting a terrible return on our forced investment in the state school system, and these raises are unmerited; instead, we should constitutionally devolve educational governance away from the corrupt crazies in Sacramento, towards regional municipalities and other local education agencies, whose staffing models should compete to attract physmath instructors and their peers, while bus custodians make what they can in the counties that require them.

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Guest
May 01, 2023

Even if this passed and was signed into law today, it would take a couple years to implement. I would not benefit from this, as I'm not staying a single day past my retirement in 4 years. I'm *done* with this so-called profession.

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Richard Rider
Richard Rider
May 03, 2023
Replying to

Actually, you WILL benefit -- SUBSTANTIALLY benefit -- in CA. Typical teach pensions are today calculated on the average of the 3 highest years' pay. So if you get, say a 10% increase in pay your last three years, your pension will be 10% higher. But the money you and your district employer put into the pension fund will be FAR too little to cover that pension increase. Taxpayers will foot most of the bill for that increase with higher taxes. BTW, I doubt it will pass. Newsom will be vetoing tax increases while he's running for President. And SOMEBODY will figure out that they don't have the money. Moreover, we have a MAJOR tax limiting prop on the CA 2024 ballot,…

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