The Wall Street Journal is floating a story that teachers in Milwaukee, WI, make $100,000 year on average if you consider their benefits as well as their salary.
Being a fact-finder, I went to a site that displays the salary of every public school employee in the state of Wisconsin. I pulled a few random samples of teachers in Milwaukee.
Milwaukee teachers (not administrators, subs, program directors, speech pathologists or any other employee other than those deemed "teacher") averaged $54,000 last school year. Their benefits, however, do not come out to $45,000, unless they've gone up an average of $20,000 in the past year. The average Milwaukee teacher gets about $28K in benefits.
I don't know how much education and experience an "average" teacher has; I'm assuming about 15 years with a Master's degree. How much do people with Master's Degrees and 15 years of experience in their field get? It's hard to find numbers, but Salary.com came up with an average of $53K for someone with a Master's degree.
If that is in the ballpark, it is clear that the Milwaukee teachers are not overpaid in terms of wages. Benefits? I still don't have any hard date on "average" benefits.
$54,000 can seem like a lot of money if you are unmployed or underemployed. But it's not really excessive for someone with a Master's degree. And the $54,000 is for teachers in Milwaukee, probably among the highest paid teachers in the state. I haven't looked at the salaries of teachers in other districts in Milwaukee, but I would bet they are much, much lower.
The 100 grand figure was bandied about by someone from the Milwaukee school board. Perhaps that number included administrators. I have not been able to find any specifics as to what data the Milwaukee woman used to come up with her number.
So.... Don't believe everything you read..