Teachers are too rich?

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By John Hubbuch

The high school's teachers and the District 200 school board announced agreement on a new two-year contract last week. The contract provides no pay increase in the 2012-2013 school year, and teacher compensation will be limited to step and lane increases the next year. As a skeptic, I must admit I was surprised, and as a taxpayer, I was pleased by what is clearly a good contract. Nice job by all parties.

Predictably, the electronic miasma we call online comments did not focus on the contract but rather the tired arguments and complaints that teachers make too much money. The great bogeyman for these complainers and whiners is "The Hundred Thousand Dollar Teacher." These folks just can't get their head around the concept that a kindergarten or biology teacher should make that much money.

Never mind that society has only recently begun to appreciate the value of an educated populace and workforce as the best and only way to a secure future. Increased pay for teachers was one way to attract the better and brighter into the profession. The days of paying teachers with a pittance, root vegetables and fresh baked pies have passed.

Never mind that the only teachers exceeding the $100,000 benchmark are those experienced teachers in their 50s and 60s who have been teaching for decades and have many hours of post-graduate credit beyond a master's degree. I dare say there are quite a few white collar workers with similar education and experience who make a similar salary.

There are number of criticisms of teacher compensation. None of them are very good. One is that teachers only have to work nine months a year. Actually, it's 10 months, but so what? Kobe Bryant only works six months a year. Farmers and construction workers don't do much in the winter. Mitt Romney doesn't work at all.And some teachers don't work very hard for their pay. Quite right. Neither does Alfonso Soriano or Carlos Boozer. I believe it is called a bell curve.

There's the argument that teachers have unions. Right. Unions are not the Mafia. They are collective bargaining units recognized by law and contract. Gone are the good old days when you could work children 12 hours a day for a couple of bucks. To be sure, the economic landscape is changing for unions. So be it. It's called history.

Then there's "teachers are paid by the taxpayers." So every two years, there are elections where these taxpayers get to vote for their representatives who negotiate the contract. If you think they're paying teachers too much, there's always the next election. That's probably better than having some Spawn of Satan boss arbitrarily set compensation.

Try this approach: In a capitalist society, people can do whatever job they can get. Unlike the planned economy of post WWII Russia or the medieval guild system, you have freedom of occupational choice. So whatever you are doing for a living now, you can go back to college and take some education classes and do a semester of student teaching. Then you can apply as one of say 50 seeking a job at OPRF. Then you can work for four years as a probationary teacher during which time you can be fired for almost anything. Then you can work for 30 years in a demanding, constantly changing workplace. While doing all this, you get your master's degree plus 45 more credit hours.

Then and only then you get to make a hundred thousand dollars a year.

Reader Comments

77 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

California Transplant  

Posted: February 12th, 2012 8:16 PM

Mr. Borderman is right. And if trends continue, we will see the same things happen in our public schools. Which means new teachers every year, because who can live on that?

Enough already  

Posted: February 12th, 2012 6:37 PM

I dont care how many masters degrees or years of experience any person has. Teaching drivers ed or being a pe teacher NEVER rises up to the level of 100K in my book.

Mr. Borderman from Oak Park   

Posted: February 12th, 2012 1:18 PM

Not to worry, Oak Parkers. The average pay for adjunct faculty with a Masters at a Chicago area university or college, is about $21,000 a year, with no medical benefits, no pension, no contract, no guarantee of being rehired from semester to semester, and no protections of any kind. That tells you something: the people teaching your children in college are paid slave wages and the people teaching your children in high school are paid twice the national median income - consider your priorities.

Unfortunately  

Posted: February 12th, 2012 11:35 AM

@Parent. The average is still $100K ($97,500) for the teachers - regardless of the time period (9-12 months) that they choose to be paid in. Also, the last OPRF report card says that the avg teaching experience is 12.5 years. Which strongly suggests that teachers at around age 35 are already earning $100K - contrary to Hubbuch's piece of their being 50 or 60. Lastly, I wish to emphasize that most D97 and D200 teachers ARE excellent - I'm just going broke paying for them.

Parent  

Posted: February 12th, 2012 10:02 AM

It makes the $100K mark even more of a joke. Technically teachers are making $115. Seriously? Cap it.

Just the Facts  

Posted: February 12th, 2012 9:52 AM

@Parent - Just so you're clear, the checks teachers receive in the summer are not for phantom summer work/vacation. The checks are for the work year (mid-August to early June) and are simply offered during the summer to allow easier budgeting for employees. Many districts still only give checks during the work year and employees must save out of each check to cover the summer bills. Unless they are teaching in the summer, these checks are only for school year work.

California Transplant  

Posted: February 12th, 2012 8:46 AM

The only schools Prop 13 helped were private schools.

Another Choice from OP  

Posted: February 12th, 2012 8:23 AM

@boohoohoo: Yes, the OP/RF private schools are filling up with kids who live in FP/B'wyn, Cicero whose parents save on taxes and spend it on quality private education. So, your attitude of "pay or move" is driving just that. So be careful what you wish for. If OP public schools can't deliver increasing quality on their high tax base, there will be fewer left to fund it (driving taxes even higher). The broken system must be fixed. And that means addressing teacher pay & pensions.

rj from Oak Park  

Posted: February 11th, 2012 10:56 PM

The smartest thing CA did in 1978 was pass Prop 13 - returned assessments to 1975 levels and capped annual property tax increase at 2% of your tax bill - not assessed value- rate dropped 57%. 65% of the 70% voted yes to this. I had a duplex in Hollywood for 5 yrs - probably increased less than $100/yr. 1976 CA ruling Serrano/Priest- property tax based finance system for schools unconstitutional. Your home should not be used as a cash station by bureaucrats - Vote NO next time.

Unfortunately  

Posted: February 11th, 2012 10:00 PM

@boohoohoo. 1.) People ARE moving from OP and/or not moving here at all because of the high taxes - which have increased a great deal in the past few years (y'know, after we already moved here - surprise!). 2.) You are now expanding your "sit down and shut up!" rant to "move!"? Classy. 3.) Your "to Morton or PE" logic can be nothing but, well, racist. Why? Those schools are both overwhelmingly minority. Are you a racist and a bigot, too? With "supporters" like you for those pensions...?

boohoohoo  

Posted: February 11th, 2012 8:46 PM

If you think taxes are to high,and you don't want to pay for the quality of education in OP, move. Go live in Berwyn or FP and send your kids to Morton or Proviso East.You get what you pay for.

Parent  

Posted: February 11th, 2012 11:05 AM

Would you like your pay check all year round or for only the months you work? I have no problem teachers getting paid 100K, if only they got paid for when they work. Summer break doesn't constitute work!

Unfortunately  

Posted: February 11th, 2012 10:50 AM

@boohoohoo. Per your logic, what should my "pissed off" emotions be regarding the LEGAL abuses of Wall Street, lobbyists and the IL politicians who manipulate the system for their benefit? Why doesn't Hubbuch or Trainor EVER write about how Don Harmon (lieutenant to Madigan and an OP resident) is a party to this? Or am I simply guilty - per your juvenile logic - of "sour grapes"? Should people like me simply sit down and shut up? What's the history of abusing the taxpayer? Hint: not pretty.

Unfortunately  

Posted: February 11th, 2012 10:34 AM

@OOPRF Achievement. Agree completely with your post. Would like to add something that I read in this morning's WSJ. It was an article about the effects of the drought on the southern plains. The sentence that stood out for me was "the avg age of a rancher...is 58"! And teachers retire at 56?!? In truth, I've concluded that when those vet teachers walk out the door and replaced by a bunch of kids - our children suffer. Why? The vet teachers have so much knowledge, experience and skills! Gone.

Unfortunately  

Posted: February 11th, 2012 10:26 AM

@Understand. I disagree with your 10:09 post. I do believe that it is fair to compare soc sec with the DB "pension plan like teachers have." Why? Because I have read numerous posts of "we paid for it!" from the teachers and that "we earned it!" However, they didn't pay much more for that DB pension than we do for soc sec AND they pay for far fewer years than we do for soc sec - then receive much more. Is that fair? Agree with your police/fire comments, but not with your military one.

OOPRF Achievement  

Posted: February 11th, 2012 8:53 AM

@bohoo - Life is Great! How is yours...really? The gist of the issue...Teachers and all public union folks work for the Taxpayers, plain and simple. Right, who else pays their salary and Pension. So, the issue comes down to should these very well intended folks be paid more on average...than the folks that are paying their salaries and benefits? That plain and simple is the issue. You see, there is no sour grapes. It comes down to the system. It is Broken. This is why people are so mad.

boohoohoo  

Posted: February 11th, 2012 7:54 AM

To eveyone whining about home much teachers make,how easy they have it with their short work year, how they retire with a pension that allows them to live comfortably, I have a suggestin; if its so easy become a teacher. Most of you just seem pissed off that your lives suck and you didn't plan for your career. "Say sour grapes, you can laugh and stare. Say sour grapes, I don't care.

Just Low Rates from Oak Park  

Posted: February 11th, 2012 7:44 AM

To be fair: The teachers won't see the pensions they've negotiated. No one can seriously believe the State of Illinois will actually honor all of it's obligations. Has anybody taken a look at how unfunded the pension plans are. The deals that were made won't be honored. And the language in the Illinois Constitution, won't save the pensions.

Understand  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 10:09 PM

It is simply ignorant to equate Social Security with a defined pension plan like teachers have. SS was devised as a safety net to supplement other retirement savings. If you are depending on SS as your sole retirement income you have done a poor job of financial planning. And by the way, lots of other public sector jobs-- police, fire, military-- have pension plans equal to or greater than what teachers receive.

Unfortunately  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 4:36 PM

And by the way, many started paying in to soc sec at age 16 and the earliest that we can expect our $28K is when we are 67 - which means that we pay in to the system for a lot longer and receive a check, which is much less than the teacher pension, for a lot less time. Hey guys, do the math - there are a lot more of us than you and so I'd take JC's ridiculous comment at 10:26 yesterday and change it to "respect the taxpayer!" It'll "serve you well throughout your life" of receiving that pension.

Unfortunately  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 4:31 PM

To all of those who are either receiving those pensions, will soon be receiving those pensions, or otherwise think that any sum (why not $200K? - don't wish to show disrespect to "a teacher!") is appropriate for someone retiring at the "old age" of 56...how do you think that the rest of us mortals feel when we KNOW that the large sum paid in to soc sec will not be there for us when we retire? Like teachers, we paid a lot in to that system and is there a sane person who thinks we'll receive much?

irony  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 3:30 PM

Its ironic that teachers teach kids to grow up and get jobs so they can work more hours and for a longer time and make less. Whats wrong with that equation.

Russ  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 2:34 PM

Funny, no duh! If tax payers weren't on the hook no one would care because then it wouldn't be any of our freaking business what a private entity pays their employees. However, because I pay a ton of taxes to live in this town and the schools are public, it is my business. Again, most people don't care that some teachers make $100k if that is what they are worth in a free market. The benefits/pension are where the system is failing as they are unsustainable and need to be reformed.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 2:26 PM

@ Funny - agreed

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 2:15 PM

@ Funny

Funny  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 1:30 PM

The funny thing is if teacher salaries weren't being paid by tax dollars no one would complain about how much they make. The people who educated you, that helped you get the job you have today are all of the sudden not that important. Teachers are just as important as all other union jobs. A place to send your kids for 8 hours minimum and they can learn everything from math, history, english, social skills, behavior. All of the sudden teachers arent worth the money.

Referendum  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 10:32 PM

Respect your Dollars people. You voted for all these poor souls that are over worked and under paid and retire at 56.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 10:26 PM

I'm sure most of us were told by our parents to "respect the teacher". Good advice that will serve you well thoughout your life.

To Retired District 97 Teacher  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 10:08 PM

I would encourage you to move on and not follow the comments here. Know that there are many, MANY of us here who appreciate and honor your years of service. As a parent of two D97 kids right now, I thank you. SO many WJ posters can be nameless bullys with their insensitive comments. Bullys love it when fuel is added to the fire, but they really should be ignored. You have so eloquently stated your case, don't get caught up in the meanness here. Enjoy your well-earned golden years. And THANKS!

OP Taxpayer  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 9:56 PM

Chances are you dont live in OP any longer on your fixed income. Or maybe your the kind that thinks 20% of your yearly pension should go to pay your property taxes and pay the current teachers in the system. I'd say 10 month years, 7 hrs days and pd long breaks during the year is silver platter to me. Would you like health benefits with that too and free parking?

Retired District 97 Teacher from Oak Park  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 7:18 PM

And, most important of all, during all of the years I taught here, I felt honored by the people of Oak Park, who consistently valued our work and even raised taxes to support us. Seemingly, they valued our contribution to society, so it was all a wonderful thing. And now that I'm retired, I have to listen to mean-spirited people who want to deny us what we worked so hard for. It's a shame! We should all work together so that everyone has a decent retirement, decent pay and decent benefits!

Retired District 97 Teacher from Oak Park  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 7:14 PM

I would like to point out that our pensions have not been handed to us on a silver platter. We have contributed every year from our pay check toward our pensions. Speaking for myself, I worked very hard for very little pay during the first 20 years of my teaching. After gaining some experience and getting a Masters, I was paid more.

Retired District 97 Teacher from Oak Park  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 7:10 PM

I am dismayed and disheartened by all the negative comments here. Just a few facts: we teachers worked for our rights. Our unions helped us get our pay and benefits. If others don't like that, then they should try to work to improve their own lots, not try to drag us down.

Ned Ryerson from River Forest, Illinois  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 4:41 PM

John makes the wrong point here. Of course professionals should be paid a market rate. The issue is their benefits and retirement. Teachers now live longer which puts pressure on pensions, and do not teach as long as they could, and (generally) have beneift and retirement plans that are more competitive than those in the private sector. Those are the issues of the day, not salary, for which they should be generously compensated given their long days are professionalism.

Unfortunately  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 2:11 PM

@Mr. Jack Facts. True regarding the changes from Springfield. Bit by bit they are reining things in. Why didn't the union cry "it's in the constitution!" when the "bump" changes occurred? They did a semi-radical change for new employees last year. Next? Keep your eyes on the 3% COLAs. But the numbers still won't add up and more changes will occur - to EXISTING pensions. Why? The money simply isn't there - even with the temp tax increase. "The times they are a changin'" for all of us.

OP Rez  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 2:09 PM

How many 60 something year old retired teachers are living with annual pensions of $60,000 or more......???? Too many in my opinion.

Just the Facts Jack  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 1:46 PM

As noted by Done, there were several D97 teachers at or over $100K when the old system of retirement bumps was still in place. Until changed by the State, teachers could get a 20% salary bump in the their final 2 years prior to retirement. This accounted for the those large salary jumps. Now, 6% per year for 4 years is allowed and that is probably on the way out, too. This "bump" is a relic of old pension laws.

Info  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 1:30 PM

great resource for Public salaries/pensions. http://www.openthebooks.com/

Check your numbers "Done"  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 11:42 AM

ok, thanks. not going to go back and count, taking your word for it. but that still means only 9% are above the 100,000 mark across this district, which I think is the main point.

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 11:37 AM

I stand corrected - 3 Librarians, 8 Middle School teachers, 26 Elementary teachers, 1 Reading Specialist and 6 Special Ed teachers for a total of 44, not 41.

Check your numbers "Done"  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 11:21 AM

Just checked your source. There are not 41 "teachers" making 100,000 or more, of the 41 listed, only 18 are teachers. The rest are admin. Of the approx 450 "teachers," that means only about 4% of district 97 teachers are making 100,000 or more.

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 11:06 AM

I've been in accounting almost 30 years and no, I don't have a MBA, but I also don't have a union behind me giving me a mandatory increase because I got one. It's up to my employer to recognize my effort or I find a job elsewhere that might compensate me for it. And I would be willing to bet that those increases at the top end of the D97 scale aren't for recent achievements. These are soon to be retirees that are playing the system to jack up pensions.

Teacher's Wife  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 10:56 AM

@Done, our posts crossed eachother's but funny how we both used the same work "begrudge". To your question, I have no idea how the pay raises work (obviously), but I am sure they are carefully considered given all of the scrutiny and transparency out there.

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 10:55 AM

I'm sure they didn't just all obtain their Masters or Doctorates in the same year.

Teacher's Wife  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 10:54 AM

I see it now, but holy crap look at the yrs of service and level of ED for those making $100K! After 25 yrs of service (many 35 !) and a MA why would anyone begrudge a teacher, whether it's spec. ed, librarian, etc...these salaries? I looked up one of my kid's teachers who has been dedicated for 27 years with an MA. She makes less than $90K. That is sad to me. But it does seem some EL Ed teachers are being paid fairly in MY opinion.(not gonna argue fellow posters, just my opinion here)

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 10:53 AM

Teacher's Wife - Understood. True - the numbers are available if anyone wants to search the internet for them. I don't begrudge anyone making a living. I have a problem with footing the tab for an expense that is getting more difficult to justify. If you scan the information, the highest increases are at the highest end of the pay scale. What is it thay are doing after 20 some odd years in the district that justifies a 20% pay increase in some cases.

russ  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 10:48 AM

The taxpayers are footing the bill for the excesses in the pension/bennies. There is no reason teachers need a union and certainly no reason they need such generous pensions. In the real world, the shareholders (tax payers) wouldn't allow employee bennies to get out of wack or the business risks failing. The problem with govt is the lack of competition and too many tax payers ready and willing to continue financing the largesse instead of making the cuts needed

Teacher's Wife  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 10:40 AM

@Done, it's this D97 info you are speaking of? I don't dispute what you are saying at all, if the reports are out there, they are out there. I only posted the info I had / was aware of which on the surface did not show a possibility of a salary over $100K but clearly I don't understand the certified pay scale or raises, etc...Apologies if my info is incorrect, but it's what is posted on D97.

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 10:39 AM

http://www.suntimes.com/news/education/5679128-418/illinois-teacher-and-administrator-salaries.html?appSession=352270971444681&RecordID=&PageID=2&PrevPageID=1&cpipage=1&CPISortType=&CPIorderBy=

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 10:30 AM

Teacher's wife - according to a Sun-Times link available for the 2009-2010 school year, there were 41 elementary/middle school teachers, special ed teachers, librarians making over $100K, of which 27 received a pay increase of over 10% from 2009 to 2010. The highest paid librarian, at $125,103 for 2009 received a pay raise of 14.7% for 2010. The highest paid middle school teacher at $118,289 for 2009 received a pay raise of 16.7% for 2010.

Teacher's Wife  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 10:12 AM

Must clear this up with some facts. A Kindergarten or K-8 teacher in D97 will NEVER make $100K. The principals of our grade/middle schools make ~100K, but not the teachers. This $100K salary thing is strictly regarding OPRF. The D97 pay scale is here. http://www.op97.org/hr/Certified-Staff-Pay-Scale.cfm And the D97 administrator pay scale report is here. http://www.op97.org/hr/documents/CompensationReport-2011-2012.pdf

OPRF Guy  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 9:59 AM

@ Patricia...Not teachers but the school board sitting on $100 Mill and the contracts they agree to that are out of wack. BTW...OPRF HS accounts for approximately 28% of your property taxes. That seems like a pretty good place to start.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 9:09 AM

OPRF guy. Honestly. With all that is wrong with government we should start with the teachers? I think you're barking up the wrong tree.

OPRF Guy  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 8:55 AM

@ Baggnight.Correct. The game is what we the taxpayer must change. It is not the teachers fault, their Union got what they could. Its good that they froze their salary for 2 years, but the taxpayer needs more. The taxpayer should be valued more. The taxpayer should not have long term financial outlook worse than the the teachers. The school board should not be sitting on $100 Mill. All of these games are putting the taxpayer at the bottom and the taxpayer must wise up and change the game.

Baggnight  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 8:47 AM

@oprf guy. Life isn't fair. Suck it up. Don't hate the playter - hate the game. Not teachers fault that they have pensions. It is what they signed up for. What .. do you expect them to say... "you are right.. it isn't fair.. screm my pension, I'll take the soc security"

OPRF Guy  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 8:08 AM

@ 100,000 Teacher..You sound like a dedicated teacher. I would expect no less from you and all at OPRF. However, has I dutifully pay my taxes to support your pay and benefits I can barely save for my retirement. My home equity is gone. I am 47 and retirement in 9 years is impossible. In 20 years is doubtful. One day you will quit working and get paid like you never left for the rest of your life with no savings plan needed. I will be a Wal-Mart greeter at 68. Fair?

OPRF Guy  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 8:01 AM

@ HMMMM...Long ago a basic run through of math showed that defined pensions where not sustainable in the private work force. This is why the private sector has defined contribution plans. Teachers are not getting pensions on top of SS, they are getting pensions instead of SS. They get to deduct the cost of the pension, SS payments are not deductible. Their money grows, SS does not. Their payout is generally 3 times their contribution. They can retire at 56. IS all of that fair?

realitysux  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 12:13 AM

The issue is not salary but the pensions. MAX ss payout is about $28k/ yr. Pensions go UP dollar for dollar with no cap so a teacher earning over $100k gets a $60-80k/yr pension guaranteed vs. less than $30k per year from ss. And the irony is that almost all pension plans are invested in stocks, bonds, hedge funds and private equity. If ss is so great, why don't any unions offer to join ss and drop their pension plans? B/c they are not stupid, but alot of their supporters are.

100,000 teacher  

Posted: February 8th, 2012 10:46 PM

INFO As with any job or profession, the more you put on your plate, the more organized and creative you have to be with your time. I use my planning periods and often have a working lunch in order to prepare for each day.

100,000 teacher  

Posted: February 8th, 2012 10:44 PM

INFO the salary includes every dollar made through teaching, coaching, summer school teaching, summer coaching and any other job a person may be paid for at the school. The salary listed on public websites includes all the extra jobs as well as the teaching job.

Info  

Posted: February 8th, 2012 10:18 PM

Coaches get extra pay on top of their crazy salaries. What kind of teacher are you ? Clearly you have no time to make lesson plans or grade papers. LoL

Unfortunately  

Posted: February 8th, 2012 9:03 PM

@100K Teacher. I applaud and salute your effort, drive and passion. As I've stated many times previously, I know that you are not alone in doing this. Most OPRF teachers are stellar. But I also know too many of your peers who are teachers/coaches and are more juvenile than the teens that they teach/coach. Know any? They have tenure. I'm also guessing that you are not a PE teacher - or Dr. Ed teacher or librarian. Do you have any thoughts regarding my 8:16 post?

100,000 teacher  

Posted: February 8th, 2012 8:39 PM

and the best part is I worked in another profession after college because I didn't land a teaching job right away. This life is so mch more rewarding and much more challenging than I ever expected.

100,000 teacher  

Posted: February 8th, 2012 8:35 PM

I do this for two sports seasons then I get to my summer break. What a summer break it is. I coach everyday in the summer except Saturdays and Sundays and start my summer break on August 1st and then back to practice the 2nd week of August. I don't need a pat on the back and don't need your thanks becuase this is the life I wanted, but please don't act like any of you know how my 100,000 salary is earned.

100,000 teacher  

Posted: February 8th, 2012 8:32 PM

of you do. I choose to live here becasue comparable communities are all in the same tax situation. I get to work at 6AM to supervise athletes lifting weights (unpaid) then I teach my 5 classes. Immediately after school I go to practice and coach until 6:30PM and on game nights until 9:30PM. Unlike most of you, I don't take weekends off, I coach on Saturday. When I get home from practice or games, I spend time with the family and when they head off to bed, I try and get some school work done

100,000 dollar teacher  

Posted: February 8th, 2012 8:28 PM

Let's get this out of the way.....I know you already hate me because of the salary I make However you are very wrong on how I get to that number. I went to school and got my degree, then received a post grad degree which I actually learned something then the hard part started. You people look at the salary and paint me with a broad brush without knowing a thing about me. I will fill you in: I do not work at OPRF but do work in the same conference. I live in OP and pay the same taxes as most

Unfortunately  

Posted: February 8th, 2012 8:16 PM

@Hmmm. The odds of obtaining a job at OPRF are similar to winning the Lotto. Even Hubbuch wrote 1/50. Have you also noticed that many new teachers are related to existing ones? So, awful odds and it helps to have "an in." Obtaining the degree in Dr. Ed, Masters in Library Science, or PE is easy...but there is a reason why hundreds apply for every open position - the job, while important, is viewed favorably by many. And then retired at 56 with a full pension primarily paid by taxpayers?!?

OPRF Achievment  

Posted: February 8th, 2012 7:08 PM

WJ NEW Business Model! They read the comments about prior weeks articles and than take their usual slanted Liberal Views against the posts they do not like. It is catching on. Wow - why did someone not think of that?!?

Hmmmmm  

Posted: February 8th, 2012 6:49 PM

Let me see if I have this right. I have a crappy retirement plan so therfore anyone with a good retirement plan shpuld lose it so they are in the same boat? Why not fight for a better pension plan for youselves instead of dragging people down to your level.Sounds like sour grapes to me. If it's such a cushy job maybe you whiners should become teachers. After reading your views on teachers I'm sure you would all excell. (Did the sarcasm come through?)

Unfortunately  

Posted: February 8th, 2012 5:02 PM

Five points: 1.) OPRF has teachers in their 30's and 40's making in excess of $100K. 2.) Please disclose if your wife is a retired teacher. 3.) Do you support PE, Dr. Ed, and librarians earning the same pay as science and math teachers? Why? 4.) Few people in the real world equate the Master's degrees obtained by ed majors as a "real" degree. For a Driver's Ed teacher?!? 5.) It is 9 months - not 10. You have a column - I have 500 characters. I'll wait for your reply.

Parent  

Posted: February 8th, 2012 4:15 PM

The only teachers worth their weight in gold are KIPP teachers. Who says you have to be under performing and poor to have access to teachers like this. Lets try and implement that mentality in Oak Park and see what happens!!

OPRF Guy  

Posted: February 8th, 2012 2:43 PM

@Retired Teacher...here is a respectful question to ask you. I will assume your neighbor makes around the same that you do since similar incomes buy similar housing. I will also assume that they are not govt. workers. 38 years makes you around 60. Can you compare the retirement income you both receive? Now ask yourself this...my neighbor contributed to my retirement yet they live under a system that pays much less than I get or they saved more over the years. Is that fair?

Retired District 97 Teacher, 38 years of experience from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2012 2:26 PM

John! This is an awesome column! Every single point was right on target! I don't understand negative remarks about teachers. We deserve a living wage like everyone else! We work HARD for our pay. We are highly trained! Thanks so very much for expressing these thoughts to counter the negativity we see about us. Thanks for your work as a former District 97 school board member. I think you understand how schools work better than most people! BLESS YOU!!! I'm thrilled to read your column!

OP Taxpayer  

Posted: February 8th, 2012 1:27 PM

Kobe Bryant brings the organization 10's of millions of dollars. I wish I could quantify the home value that good schools bring? Thats what OP always says when it comes to "high" school taxes. Oak Park homes have fallen in value just like everywhere else in this nation. Good schools or not, it's hard to rationalize good schools require high pay when our schools have fallen!!!

OPRF Guy  

Posted: February 8th, 2012 10:58 AM

John...at the end of those useful comments many people came to this conclusion...why do teachers not get SS? Why has govt. decided that these workers do not have to contribute nor take SS? Why does a teacher get a retirement age of 56 and payments 2 to 3 times larger than SS? Those are valid questions. I think 75% of OPRF have no issue with the $100K. Its the unfairness of retirement that bothers us.

Russ  

Posted: February 8th, 2012 9:58 AM

I don't think anyone has issue with teachers making $100k if that is what they command in an open market like other professionals. I know I don't. My issue is that they needed to work under the same free market forces as everyone else who earns those types of incomes - performance expectations, can be replaced at any time, get 401ks/bennies like normal folks, etc. While their profession is noble, teachers are NOT firemen or policemen.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 8th, 2012 12:48 AM

John - Both Ken Trainor and you led off your columns this week with slams on the WJ Comments posts and posters. Neither column was about the posts, continuing the WJ tradition of not having context when WJ Comments is involved. Why the heck are you two reading the comments if you disdain them so much. Both of you never/rarely post other than your columns (unless you are using pseudonyms) but claim the right to be the official critics (add Dan too) of those who do. Check your business cards, it is your product. If you don't like it, change or dump it. Whining is getting us nowhere!

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