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How Much Do Chicago Public School Teachers Make? ? CBS Chicago

How Much Do Chicago Public School Teachers Make?
June 12, 2012 3:59 PM

CHICAGO (CBS) – A day after Chicago Public Schools’ teachers overwhelmingly authorized a strike, CBS 2 wanted to know how much the average teacher earns.

As CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov found out, it depends on who you ask.

Salary figures provided by the Chicago Public Schools show teachers here have the highest average salary of any city in the nation. But, according to the Chicago Teachers Union’s calculations, Chicago teachers would rank second behind New York City.

A Chicago Public Schools spokesperson said average pay for teachers, without benefits, is $76,000.

Block said the average salary for CTU teachers is actually lower than what CPS claims, by about $5,000. It’s a disparity neither side could explain.

By comparison, teachers in New York City earn an average of $73,751. That would be less than the average $76,000 average salary for Chicago teachers cited by CPS, but more than the $71,000 average cited by the union. Depending on which is accurate, Chicago would either be first or second in the nation in average teacher salary. However, Los Angeles teachers make $67,600. The number drops to about $54,000 in Dallas, and just over $52,000 in Miami.

Regardless of where Chicago teachers currently rank in salary, Civic Federation president Laurenence Msall said there’s one big roadblock to a big raise for teachers.

“It’s math. It’s not really politics, as much as it gets caught up in politics. The financial situation of the Chicago Public Schools is dire. The situation of the State of Illinois – that provides significant funding to the Chicago Public Schools – is dire,” he said. “The property tax payers in Chicago are beleaguered.
They’re seeing a drop in their property values, and to be asking them to pay increased property taxes, so we can fund increased salaries for employees is something that’s gonna be a very tough political sell.”

Msall said there’ simply not enough money to support a significant pay hike for the teachers.

“The only way that they will find money to increase some teachers’ salary, is we’re going to have to reduce the number of teachers, and the number of employees in Chicago Public Schools,” Msall said. “There just is no other way to get around it.”

The only other possibility would be imposing a property tax hike.

The taxpayers of Illinois need Scott Walker.
I wouldn't say high life but the benefits are great in some middle/upper middle class towns. My mother's neighbor is a retired teacher who spends the winters, extended, in FL. No rich husband either.

My mother could never afford that. No pensions for her. I know a bit about what teachers and other positions pay in that town and what more they have tried to get, even in this recession. They complained that their $10.00 co-pay would go to 15, and refused to even consider the state health insurance. Which would have saved money, and teaching jobs. Curriculum coordinators making 80 grand a year or more and driving BMWs

I value teachers very highly but you have to be realistic. Teachers' unions are often unrealistic.

I'm sure teaching in a city is quite different.
^Well, it is significantly higher than the life I'm living as a private school teacher. As a general rule public teachers are paid significantly more than private school teachers are, especially the longer you've been teaching. The most a teacher in our parochial system will ever make, at least in this part of the country is $48,000 (maybe the earlier 50's with cost living pay added in).

Does anybody know what the issues are with this strike?
I think the union in Chicago said the pay raises were close to what they'd accept.

Emanuel wants evaluations based on student performance as part of his reform plan. I think they want protection from layoffs too.
Yeah that's what I gathered from a quick scan of the latest articles on the web.

As a teacher it's just hard for me to be comfortable with teachers going on strike. It just doesn't seem fair to the students.

I definitely understand the concerns about evaluation based on student test performance, but I dunno. . .striking just doesn't feel right.
Wow, those numbers are vastly greater than what they are in the suburban school district whose schools I went to, and even in Austin Independent School District (urban schools tend to pay more than suburban ones, probably because the job tends to be harder). I believe it's closer to $45,000 to $50,000 for an average teacher here without a master's degree or decades of experience, though I'm not positive. That being said, costs of living are probably higher in Chicago than in Austin and its suburbs, so I'm not sure what the difference comes to in real terms.

I'm not an enormous fan of public sector unions on the whole (or, in a lot of cases, any unions). But I honestly worry that my viewpoint is tainted from the land of union-free white-collar-topia, so I'm not sure that it's particularly valid.
I think that raises the question-how many private sector jobs provide constant cost of living increases?

I've posted it here before but the town I'm talking about- some of the teachers said they deserved a raise in the middle of this recession because they had spouses who were out of work. I'd love to see how that would fly in the private sector..3, 2, 1 before they show you the door. Sometimes they're just out of touch with reality, and I do blame the union for some of that. Some of the demands, in SOME cases, get to be insulting to those who aren't protected like they are.
Hey, INDY, it's a real shame the way the lefties in this forum just fall in line behind the unions, isn't it.

Like sheep.

Hey, INDY, it's a real shame the way the lefties in this forum just fall in line behind the unions, isn't it.

Like sheep.


Oh when push comes to shove they'll still vote for the party that's bought and paid for by the teacher's unions.

A few more bits of interest:

Chi-Town Shakedown - The Editors - National Review Online
Labor Day may have passed, but in Chicago school is still out for the summer. That’s because, for the first time in more than 25 years, the brothers and sisters of the Chicago Teachers Union are striking. Though they are already among the best-paid educators in the country, making an average of $76,000 per year in salary — plus benefits — the union is unsatisfied with an offer from the city’s board of education that provides them a 16 percent raise over four years, worth a total of $400 million. (The CTU’s original offer was for a 30 percent raise over two years.)

Accounts from both sides indicate that the sticking points are the maintenance of the union’s lavish benefits structure and a teacher-evaluation system that labor officials worry could — horror — result in the firing of large numbers of its most ineffective members.

On the merits, the case isn’t close. Chicago teachers currently pay just 3 percent of their own health-care costs, and nearly three-quarters of new education spending over the last five years has been gobbled up by their retirement costs. This sort of thing isn’t sustainable in a strong economy in a well-governed city in a state with its fiscal house in order, much less in Chicago, Illinois, in the midst of President Obama’s lost decade. To put things in perspective, the Chicago Public Schools system is facing a budget shortfall roughly one and a half times the size of the salary-increase offer rejected by the unions, its bonds have been downgraded by two of the “big three” ratings agencies, and the state’s teacher-pension system is less than 20 percent funded.

Despite the final numbers I can safely predict this: Democratic coffers and teacher's unions will benefit; taxpayers and students will suffer.
Oh when push comes to shove they'll still vote for the party that's bought and paid for by the teacher's unions.

But that won't be the reason why they vote for them, there's many others they would use.

Besides that, whoa, a party's brought and paid for by a special interest group? That...would be an issue no matter which party you voted for.
$70k in Chicago isn't all that much.

and i'd rather my party be sold out to big, bad, evil teachers than, say, guns and oil.
I was going to say, there's that as well.

But I know we're "elitist" for wanting people to be properly educated, Irvine, so...

i don't think teacher's unions are all good. i really don't. in fact, a lot of teachers don't particularly like the unions. but unions are the only real recourse teachers often have, just like trial lawyers are often the only real recourse ordinary people often have. you take the good with the bad, and try to make the good better and minimize the bad.

however, the demonization of teacher's unions and the move to privatize education hardly begins to address real educational needs, it's just more fear mongering by a party that always needs something to hate and to blame while others quietly go about starving the beast.
I actually honestly don't have much opinion on unions one way or another myself-I have no personal experience with them and can see the upsides and downsides, so I remain neutral, generally. But overall, I think your analysis is probably pretty spot on.

And I definitely agree that we barely only ever scratch the surface of what REALLY needs to be done with education. There are improvements to be made, for sure.
As a general rule public teachers are paid significantly more than private school teachers are, especially the longer you've been teaching.

Huh, really? That seems counter-intuitive to me - if you want to earn a halfway decent salary teaching in Australia and New Zealand, you sure as hell don't waste your time in the (routinely underfunded) public system.

Anyway, public or private, I've no problem with teachers earning a good wage; it is, after all, one of the most important jobs anybody could do. I can't speak for the US, but down here, I find it disgraceful that education (and healthcare) workers have to fight tooth and nail for the most minor concessions. Without education and good health, we're pretty much fucked.
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