Thursday, April 14, 2011

Justify My...Salary

Tonight two union bosses – one MCPS, one county - will be at the Taxpayers' League meeting to answer questions.

One of the questions from the Taxpayers' League includes this information:
Q8. MCPS teachers have a system of 20-step increases within each salary grade, all of which are automatic. The current system of step increases has resulted in the highest pay going towards athletic instructors...

As a personal point of interest, do taxpayers - which includes parents - in general believe all teachers should be paid the same?

To open up the discussion on this question, data have been gathered from the two sources below. This is just a small sampling of Elementary School (ES) Physical Education (PE) teachers' salaries; no Middle School PE teachers or High School PE teachers have been included. And this does not include all the ES physical education teachers who make over $75K or even over $100K.

Comparison of 2006 and 2010 Salaries: MCPS Elementary School PE Teachers

Listed as: initials of PE teacher @ initials of elementary school # of tenured years (from 2010 Gazette source).

SL @ BTES Bethesda 11.83 yrs
2006 - $ 91,195
2010 - $101,354
Increased $10,159 over 4 yr = 11.1%

DH @ LBES Clarksburg 13.83 yr
2006 - $88,960
2010 -$103,354
Increased $14,394 over 4 yr = 16.1%

KA @ RCVES Rockville 16.83 yrs
2006 - $78,665
2010 - $95,535
Increased $16,870 over 4 yr = 21.4%

RB @ DCDES Silver Spring 17.83 yrs
2006 - $81,411
2010 - $101,354
Increased $19,943 over 4 yr = 24.5%

DM @ CES Silver Spring 20.83 yrs
2006 - $92,462
2010 - $101,095
Increased $8,633 over 4 yr = 9.3%

DS @ DES Gaithersburg 21.83 yr
2006 - $88,960
2010 - $103,634
Increased $14,674 over 4 yr = 16.5%

CW @ RMES Germantown 28.83 yrs
2006 - $93,247
2010 - $105,134
Increased $11,887 over 4 yr = 12.7%

AB @ GES Brookville 30.42 yrs
2006 - $93,247
2010 - $103,634
Increased $10,387 over 4 yr = 11.1%

TP @ CCES Chevy Chase 31.83 yrs
2006 - $90,962
2010 - $101,095
Increased $10,133 over 4 yrs = 11.1%

The average MCPS teacher salary – the highest in the state – is $75,882

The median MCPS teacher salary is $75,167

This comparison of current salaries for elementary school physical education teachers and their salaries from 4 yr ago is food for thought - something that should be discussed during these tough fiscal times.

As the Black Eyed Peas sing, "Let's get it staaaarrr-ted..."

for 2006 salaries - Examiner MCPS Partial Salary Database
for 2010 salaries - Gazette What They Earn [updated link 12/1/11]


  1. Cost of living in Montgomery County is also the highest in the state, which may be why the salaries for MCPS teachers is also the highest in the state. Plus, having the highest salary in the state enables MCPS to attract teachers to the area, which gives the school system a wider selection of teachers from which to choose, insuring that MCPS teachers are some of the best in the state. We thought that the taxpayers wanted that- good teachers teaching at good schools so that people are attracted to the area, home values go up and everybody is happy. Apparently, we were incorrect!

  2. @ireleand

    Nice way to gloss over the article but that isn't what it discusses. And you are incorrect - home values haven't been going up, people haven't been attracted to the area, revenues are down and many families are struggling.

    The point of the article is should there be different pay scales for teachers.

  3. Your data is flawed. Teachers have not had an increase in the last 3 years. Not even cost of living. And if I'm correct here, you're saying all teachers should be paid the same salary with no regard for years of services, level of education, or quality of their skills. Where have you ever worked that someone who has worked for over 20 years is making the same amount of money as someone who is just starting to work? Funny how people want better education for their children, but they want to pay teachers less, reduce their benefits, give them less resources, and increase the class. The problem in Montgomery County is not teachers. It's the large corporations finding loopholes to avoid paying taxes taking money from the schools, the teachers, the taxpayers. Quit bashing teachers! Focus on the real problems people!

  4. Well the data comes from MCPS. The source of this article is shown at the bottom. MCPS supplied the information on salaries to the DC Examiner and the Gazette.

    If the MCPS data is flawed, where do you suggest the public look for accurate information? Thanks.

  5. and - the school systems budget has been increasing for the last 10 years. What makes you believe that some "corporation" has taken something away from the school system? Thanks for the information.

  6. Lets get the premise of the question clarified and asked correctly. What do you mean by an athletic instructor? There is no such position in MCPS.

    There are physical education teachers and athletic directors.

    Which do you mean?

  7. Council President Valerie Ervin on the MCPS Budget:

  8. The salaries listed need to be broken down into full time teacher salary plus the athletic stipends that are added. You might have an elementary p.e. teacher earning what amounts to the average teacher salary plus a stipend for coaching fall, winter and spring sports at the high school level. That amounts to a significant number of additional hours worked for 5 or 6 days a week. Athletic "instructors" (I assume you mean physical education teachers) are paid the same salary schedule as other teachers. The additional salary, which is paid as a stipend is for working an additional job. Also--it is worth noting that athletic stipends do not count toward retirement. Only the base salary counts--unlike overtime worked by other county employees.

  9. These databases are just salaries. MCPS, to the best of our knowledge, has not released stipend information.

    I believe the Examiner requested that information but they were not given it.

    If you know of a database for stipend information, please post. Thanks.

  10. There are some supplements that are added to one's base salary which would be included in salary figures. National Board certification adds a supplement and the position of elementary team leader adds a supplement. So if athletic stipends are not included, these other items, if applicable to any of the teachers listed , would be included. Those are the only "extras" that are actually added to base salary. Looking at some of the above figures, I suspect some of them included one or both of these salary supplements.

  11. Your statistics are flawed because you are simply looking at an increase in salary WITHOUT looking at the reasons for that increase. For example ,SL @ BTES had a salary increase of 10K+ over a 4-year period. Did he/she earn any advance degrees in that time? Did he/she get any certification that would lead to an increased salary? There are too many parameters that affect salaries that you are not taking into account.

  12. A National Board Certified TeacherApril 14, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    Janis--Do you mean database of who is getting what? Do you mean a database of what the stipends are? If it is the latter you are looking for:
    Here is the link so who can find what person gets which stipends. Also, I am pretty sure these stipend jobs don't offer tenure. People will reapply every year. Also, I had a big jump in pay a few years ago, but that was because I finished my masters, got my National Board certification, and became a department chair within the span of 2 years. Are you suggesting that I shouldn't have seen a pay increase even though my qualifications had gone up and my responsibilities had increased?

  13. Janis, stipend information can be found at the MCPS website. The salary supplements are listed for each fiscal year.

  14. Interesting that you are singling out PE teachers. Is that because you think they do not teach? They are responsible for meeting academic standards just like other teachers. Students learn about health, physical fitness, they take tests and do homework. PE teachers do not just stand around and watch kids play kickball all day.

  15. @National -

    Yes, database of actual salary, plus stipends, plus benefits. Where is that?

    Pay schedule does nothing to detail what is actually paid out.

    I haven't suggested anything. Read the posting. The question from the Taxpayers League is clear.
    Answer that question.

    And listen to the WTOP interview with Council President Valerie Ervin. MCPS staff don't seem to be tracking the conversation that is going on at the Council. It's all about step increases.
    Time to pay attention to what is going on.

  16. @Miss Maryland - Again. Time to read the post. The question is from the Taxpayers League. Examples are shown.

  17. In regard to step increases--without them, no one would be able to make a long term career of teaching. I've been teaching 35 years. I did the math and without any step increases, my salary after 35 years would be in the range of a teacher with 1 - 3 years of experience. Now some people might think that is a fair salary. I would argue that a salary of $48K or so after 35 years in a job requiring an advanced degree in the DC area is not even worthy of a serious discussion.

    Also from what I've both observed and experienced over the years--the more experienced teachers tend to take on more responsibilities, particularly if you have a lot of staff that are relatively new to the profession.

  18. From the Taxpayers League:
    "MCPS teachers have a system of 20-step increases within each salary grade, all of which are automatic. The current system of step increases has resulted in the highest pay going towards athletic instructors. MCEA continues to defend step and grade increases over merit pay? Why?"

    As others have pointed out, there are no athletic instructors in MCPS. As others have pointed out, your list that you included in this blog has deceiving data. It does not account for years teaching before coming to MCPS. It does not account for other factors that come into play for ones salary, such as moving to a new salary lane, increasing job responsibilities, and other factors. You are the one that posted the data Ms. Sartucci. Are you going to take any responsibility for posting data that is deceiving?

    Define what you mean by merit pay. No one in the United States has come up with a fair definition of what that means and how one is able to fairly and consistently measure performance.

    Besides, if county teachers were paid by how well the students in general were doing, then MCPS would need to pay its teachers a whole lot more for being the best school district in the best state in the country.

  19. The years of experience stated in the PE teachers'information is for time in MCPS only. It does not reflect any additional amount of teaching experience each person brought with them. Plus, many teachers have one or more advanced degrees related to their jobs. Many are career changers who bring years of professional experience with them -- the rocket scientist teaching in a MCPS middle school; the lawyer who sold a firm and now teaches English; the computer scientist who worked at Bell Labs and now teaches math. All of these teachers (and many others) are also highly qualified -- received a degree in the subject they now teach and/or passed a rigorous national exam (Praxis).

    I think we should try embedding some of these critics in the classroom for a week or three. See what they have to say then!

    Why aren't people looking at the salaries of other employee groups in Montgomery County? Or the number of people performing the same job function and comparative scope of responsibilities? Or people with rather high salaries relative to the level of skill required by their job -- and the amount of overtime they additionally receive? The Examiner obtained and published these figures last year.

  20. Dear Reading Challenged,
    This is not my post, nor is this the Taxpayer's League blog. You need to go back and read. This evening the head Apple is at the Taxpayer's League meeting. Are you there asking your questions? The Taxpayer's League posed the questions.

    You want better data? You with the Apple folks? This is YOUR data. No one can have any better data because this is all the Apple folks let out of the secret budget process. That's YOUR choice! The public can only work with what we have.

    If you want a better informed public then you are going to have to quit endorsing the secret MCPS budget process. The lack of budget transparency is your choice.

  21. @8:29 Why are members of the public who become educated about the public budget critics? Isn't that the point of education, to have an educated electorate? Why are you so anti education?

  22. @8:29 "People" are looking at other salaries. The "people" are called the County Council and here is what the Council President has to say...

  23. Hey, PE subjects include health education with a topic of sex ed. Do you want to teach that and take all the heat from all directions? Its not just kickball and a presidents physical fitness test anymore.

  24. Prince Georges County is better than Montgomery because there is a caring enviorment and the education is great?


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