View Full Version : Local News Some Illinois public school teachers earning six-figure salaries

05-31-2011, 10:12 AM
From Chicago Sun-Times (http://www.suntimes.com/news/education/5484550-418/some-illinois-public-school-teachers-earning-six-figure-salaries.html) by Rosalind Rossi and Art Golab:
Want to wind up making at least six figures as a public school teacher?

Send your resume to Highland Park or Deerfield High School, both in Township High School District 113.

The district — which has no teachers union — boasted the highest average teacher pay in the state last school year, at $104,737.

More than half of all District 113 full-time teachers — 55 percent to be exact — pulled down at least $100,000 in total compensation, including benefits and extra pay for extracurricular activities.

“I would love it if we weren’t number one,” said District 113 School Board President Harvey Cohen. “Our goal isn’t to say, ‘Lake Forest pays $50,000 so we’ll go $60,000.’ ”

But, Cohen said, in a consistently high-scoring, affluent district with average ACT scores of 25.7 and highly credentialed teachers, “you get what you pay for.”

As teachers’ salaries face national scrutiny and calls for pay tied to student performance, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis of educator earnings, based on total compensation last school year, found that public school teachers who make at least $100,000 like those in District 113 are the exception rather than the rule in Illinois.

Statewide, 11.25 percent of high school teachers and 2.26 percent of elementary-grade teachers hit that mark. Statewide, the average elementary teacher made $61,140 — including all benefits, summer school pay, after-school stipends and retirement payouts. The average high school teacher took home $69,366.

In Chicago, where the typical teacher stands at the head of a classroom comprised of 87 percent low-income kids, a six-figure pulldown was rarer still. Just over 1 percent of Chicago public elementary and high school teachers hit that mark.

Back in the ’60s, said Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, Chicago teachers were highly compensated compared to many suburbs, but “that has changed drastically and we have tougher conditions. The fact is, teachers who choose to stay do so because they are totally committed. It’s not about the pay.”

As expected, most of the top-paying districts are affluent, serving few low-income kids. But Dolton District 149, with 90 percent low-income students, was the exception.

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Database: Average salaries at Illinois school districts (http://www.suntimes.com/news/education/5682239-418/database-average-salaries-at-illinois-school-districts.html)