From CNS News. (H/T Doug Ross)
Public school teachers receive greater average hourly compensation in wages and benefits than any other group of state and local government workers and receive more than twice as much in average hourly wages and benefits as workers in private industry, according to a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Public primary, secondary and special education teachers are paid an average of $56.59 per hour in combined wages and benefits, BLS said in the report released last week.
That is slightly more than twice the $28.24 in average hourly wages and benefits paid to workers in private industry.
In fact, according the BLS, the $28.24 in average hourly wages and benefits that private-industry workers now earn in the United States is less than the overall national average for hourly wages and benefits of $30.11.
That is because the overall national average compensation is dragged upwards from the private-industry average by the much higher wages and benefits paid to state and local government workers—who take in an average of $40.76 per hour, according to BLS.
[…]According to BLS, private school primary, secondary and special ed teachers worked an average of 1,560 hours per year—or an average of 155 hours more than their public school counterparts.
According to the BLS report, private school teachers were not compensated as highly as public school teachers. When private school primary, secondary and special ed teachers were added to the pool with public teachers, average hourly wages and benefits for teachers dropped from $56.59 to $53.87. The report did not publish the disaggregated average compensation for private school teachers alone.
The $56.59 average hourly compensation for an American public primary, secondary and special education teachers includes $39.69 in wages and $16.90 in benefits, BLS reported.
For each hour at work, according to BLS, the average American public school teacher is paid $4.78 in retirement and savings benefits alone.
The average private sector worker, according to BLS, is paid $1.02 per hour in retirement and savings benefits–or less than one-fourth the average hourly retirement and savings benefits paid to public school teachers.
And what do we get for overpaying public school teachers? ECM sent me this article from the Manhattan Insitute.
If an out-of-control national debt weren’t reason enough to worry about America’s global competitiveness, here’s another. Virtually all education reformers recognize that America’s ability to remain an economic superpower depends to a significant degree on the number and quality of engineers, scientists, and mathematicians graduating from our colleges and universities—scientific innovation has generated as much as half of all U.S. economic growth over the past half-century, on some accounts. But the number of graduates in these fields has declined steadily for the past several decades. A report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation concludes that “bachelor’s degrees in engineering granted to Americans peaked in 1985 and are now 23 percent below that level.” Further, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, only 6 percent of U.S. undergraduates currently major in engineering, compared with 12 percent in Europe and Israel and closer to 20 percent in Japan and South Korea. In another recent study, conducted by the Conference Board of Canada, the U.S. scored near the bottom relative to major European countries, Canada, and Japan in the percentage of college graduates obtaining degrees in science, math, computer science, and engineering. It’s likely no coincidence that the World Economic Forum now ranks the U.S. fifth among industrialized countries in global competitiveness, down from first place in 2008.
Making matters worse is mounting evidence that America’s best students—kids we’re counting on to become those engineers, scientists, and mathematicians—have had a drop-off in academic performance over the past decade. A recent Thomas B. Fordham Institute study finds that the country’s highest-performing students in the early grades are losing some of that advantage as they move through elementary school and into high school.
The teacher unions want taxpayers to give them even more money, which no expectations of better performance. And Obama agrees.
Our president agrees it’s a good idea. Obama took in more teachers’ union campaign funds than any other donor — $50 million in 2008. Not surprising, he touts pay hikes to teachers as his chief economic plan. “How do we pay them more?” he asked last month.
A quick search of the atmosphere around teachers’ salaries on Google News suggests he’s off base.
- In Sudbury, Mass., teachers are expected to get an 8% annual raise.
- Polk County, N.J. — in the same state where Gov. Chris Christie had to explain basic economics to an angry, six-figure teacher unwilling to accept a salary freeze — teachers will get step raises.
- In Alameda County, Calif., unions are demanding the county drain its rainy day fund to pay teachers.
- In Richmond, Va., Gov. Bob McDonnell has struggled to find an extra $1.6 billion for teachers’ pensions.
Oh yes, and don’t forget that the largest chunk of the stimulus package of 2009 went to “education.”
Yet educational output isn’t improving.
Why throw more money at a costly and unproductive system without demanding better results?
In reality, it’s like pouring public money into bankrupt Solyndra — money straight down the drain.
This is not good. We have to stop falling for the old canard that if you raise taxes to give the Department of Education more money, then it will automatically result in better student performance. It’s a lie.