Teachers Have Good Compensation Compared To Other Taxpayers - And Response

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Hamilton County experienced a property tax increase of about 10.7 percent in 2017. By law the reappraisal of property shall not increase tax revenue. So after the reappraisal the state certified millage rate for Hamilton County was 2.4976 per hundred dollars assessed value. The county commission voted to raise the millage rate to 2.7652 per hundred. That's about a 10.7 percent increase in property tax.  

As for pay cuts due to inflation? The U.S. government says there really hasn't been much inflation in a long time. Social Security benefits have gone a long time with no increases or such tiny increases that we couldn't tell any difference in benefits.   

Hamilton County teachers receive "step raises" every year. We don't.  Teachers have very good benefits as well. Most private companies have eliminated pensions. The average worker puts in 260 days a year at work. Teachers are required to work 180 days a year less 30 days of vacation and personal days. 

All in all, it looks like a pretty good compensation compared to most taxpayers on Hamilton County. 
I'm not dismissing the value of education and the teachers who provide it. But I have asked the question several times without an answer: how much do teachers want in compensation, knowing that it will be taken from so many who already struggle with flat or declining income due to inflation?

Give us that number, not just saying more, more, more.

Harry Presley 

* * * 

My first teaching assignment was in a suburban community of Rochester, N.Y.  I was a 6th grade teacher. My starting salary was $5,700. The district gave me a $300 bonus beginning salary because I was on the dean's list.  My wife was a music teacher in the elementary schools in the same district. Our income was $12,000.  Sounds like a puny income. At the time, early 1960's, one could live on that income and probably own a home or at least have a mortgage for 30 years.

I left that school system at $17,000 with 12 years experience, taking a job in the Cobb County Schools for $10,000. The disparity in income levels from north to south was painfully present.

My paternal grandfather was superintendent of a small school system in upstate New York. He also painted barns and homes for part time work to make a living and raising five children. 

Teachers do not make much money for what they do.  I have an advanced degree. A few of my friends in education have a doctorate degree and pay schedules recognize degree advancements and skills improvement. I paid for my advanced work from my earnings as a teacher. Teachers are not overpaid. The myth of summers of is just that, a myth. I worked because I had to every summer. Often it was summer school, but if that was not available did what I could including painting houses inside and out. 

The notion that because teachers make comparably more money then another citizen is an argument without merit. Teachers that I know and certainly I did spend my earnings to help kids. I didn't do that to be compensated. I helped a child because it was necessary for that child.

Teachers do invaluable service to the community's children and we trust schools to do the job. Most parents cannot. Let me repeat that. Most parents cannot teach and fact be known, they are not good at it because it is a tough challenge every year for a lot of kids that otherwise would fall through the "proverbial cracks." I personally have as much training as a CPA, a nurse anesthesiologist, and a nurse with advanced training to be the sidekick of the medical doctor.    I envy their income.

So many citizens take teachers and the school for granted. We trust the schools with our children. We complain about school taxes but the down side is what is better for the parent.. a school system that trains our youth for the future or chaos?  Pick one. Stop complaining about teacher salaries and appreciate what they do.

Robert Brooks



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