Educators’ salaries up 5 percent

ALBANY — Salaries for teachers and administrators in New York rose 5 percent in the 2008-09 school year from the previous year, including a 19 percent jump for employees making more than $100,000 a year, according to a report Wednesday from the conservative Empire Center for New York State Policy.

The group said salaries rose to $14 billion, a $670 million increase, in the 2008-09 school year compared to the 2007-08 school year. An additional 5,022 employees earned $100,000 a year in 2008-09, up from 27,042 to 32,064.

“It shows that, one, school districts are locked into expensive contracts, but it also shows that they really haven’t done much to reduce their expenditures at a time when New York has plunged into a recession,” said Lise Bang-Jensen, a senior policy analyst at the Empire Center.

The group released a database of the gross pay of 262,088 teachers and administrators.

The database, along with other public-employee information, can be found at www.seethroughny.net.

We’ll make it easy for you, click on the “Salaries” tab to see the % increase.

School groups knocked the report, saying it doesn’t take into account that teachers and administrators have advanced degrees and that salary increases were often negotiated as part of union pacts years ago in better economic times.

Carl Korn, a spokesman for the New York State United Teachers union, said the median salary for a teacher is about $62,000 a year.

“Most teachers are paid fairly for the important work that they do, but many earn far less than what they would earn in the private sector and do a very, very important job,” he said.

Korn said the Empire Center is supported by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, which is backed by wealthy donors from Wall Street. The union and other groups this week proposed a temporary higher income-tax bracket for people making more than $1 million and a partial repeal of a tax rebate on stock transactions to close an $8.2 billion budget gap for the 2010-11 fiscal year.

Source: Poughkeepsie Journal

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