Letter: What a bargain

Dennis Reese, Marco Island

What a bargain

Does a teacher make too much money?

Complainers and supporters in any school district can use fifth-grade math to calculate a teacher’s hourly student rate for a 7½-hour per day, 186-day, in-building contract paid over 12 months. Add one hour daily for conferences, assistance to less-able students, state-mandated activities and other educator responsibilities. Subtract one-half hour for lunch, when not providing extra help to a student to total an eight-hour workday. No “after hours take-home work” or professional development hours are considered.

The answer to if a teacher’s salary is reasonable for the taxpayers is this formula:

Average annual salary (or total compensation package) divided by work hours times days times typical student classroom size. So eight hours times 186 days times 25 students equals 37,200 student school hours. An average annual salary of $50,000 divided by 37,200 student school hours equals $1.34 per student school hour for in-the-building education time.

Most people would be embarrassed to pay a sitter $1.34 an hour to be responsible for their child when going out for an evening.

Go extreme: A hypothetical annual salary and generous benefits of $100,000 would equal $2.69 per student school hour for in-the-building education time.

Substitute your local school numbers to calculate a teacher’s per-student hour rate — $1.34 or $2.69 per student hour rate in this example.

What a bargain for an education!

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Comments » 7

marco826 writes:

You must be a teacher...

Sparky100 writes:

You forgot to deduct the 8 or 9 monthly teacher workshop days without students. Bottom line, you still get 70 more vacation day than me.

deltarome writes:

It is not the pay, it is the outrageous lifelong benefits paid for by taxpayers. Then there is the unbelievably poor quality of their end product. 20th to 30th in world ranking math and science is disgusting. Educators just don't care about anything but their end jobs.

mahiman writes:

I'll take the 3 months off in the summer. Every major and minor holiday...and days in between off. And I'll be running out the door with the kids when the bell rings! Yes, you teachers are dealing with society's idiot offsprings...but you still have it better than most employees!

RayPray writes:

Statistically government teachers are recruited from the bottom 1/3 of college graduating classes.

When you examine the substance & rigor of most of the dubious ed courses they take, this is really scary....

MarcoDefender writes:

A famous saying..."Price is what you pay, and value is what you get." Don't just look at cost, you need to look at the value (or results). If we (the U.S.) weren't ranked in the bottom portion of most major global academic performance stats, cost could easily be justified, but that is not the case. I don't think it's appropriate to place the burden on teachers alone, but the system as a whole is not working well. It's time for a new approach. Yet, it doesn't appear we're collectively smart enough to recognize that, and/or do the right things to make a change happen.

Seawaller writes:

186 days X 8 hours per day = 1488 hours. $50,000 divided by 1488 hours = $33.60 per hour. Add in pension and hospitalization. Union forklift operators can expect to make this much. So is it enough to attract the best and brightest to teach our children? I don't know the answer to that. But the premise was that the present cost of education is a bargain. I guess it would be if we were able to attract the best and brightest to teach.

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