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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Milwaukee Teacher Salaries: 100 grand?

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 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..


  1. So they make 82k and not 100k. The point remains, they are well paid and make more individually than most households in the US.

  2. As most teachers have Master's degrees and many years of experience, one would hope they are paid more than most households in the US. The average household in the US brings home somewhere around 55 to 60K if I'm not mistaken. That doesn't include non-monetary benefits.

    So 55,000 with 27,000 in benefits is not extreme by any measure.

    Do you really think that teachers should work for 30 or 40K a year? It's clear you haven't taught.

    Thanks for visiting and commenting, though.


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