TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Teacher pay: Overcompensated

Daily Photo Galleries

Monday, Nov. 7, 2011
 

A new Heritage Foundation study overturns the conventional wisdom that public-school teachers are underpaid, finding their compensation actually exceeds market value by $120 billion.

For example, when teachers and non-teachers' cognitive ability -- not their own educational attainment, a more common measure -- is compared, the wage gap disappears. And that's not the only indicator of overcompensation.

Public-school teachers earn more than private-school teachers. And when non-teachers take teaching jobs, they make about 9 percent more; when teachers take non-teaching jobs, they make about 3 percent less.

Salaries for similarly skilled public-school teachers and private-sector workers are comparable. But teachers' retiree health care benefits -- almost unknown in the private sector -- are worth about an extra 10 percent of wages, with their job security worth another 1 percent to 8.6 percent.

That makes teachers' "total compensation 52 percent greater than fair market levels, equivalent to more than $120 billion overcharged to taxpayers each year," the study concludes.

Distorted by teachers unions, it's a market that's neither free nor fair -- especially to the taxpayers whose pockets are plundered to overpay teachers.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read News

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.