Calling all recent unemployed college grads! Hundreds (yes, hundreds!) of teachers in the Anne Arundel County, Maryland school district earn over $100,000 per year in salary alone, not to mention extremely generous benefits and a guaranteed pension that can bank as much $2 million buckaroos for a person of normal life expectancy. Starting salaries clock in at a nice round $40,000, too--not including $15,000 in health, dental, and vision benefits. Surprised by these figures? You're not alone; according to Education Next, Americans underestimate average teacher salaries by 30 percent. That's because recruiting groups like the Maryland Teacher Shortage Task Force and the National Education Association continue to downplay the fiscal benefits of teaching, counting on the altruistic nature of young idealists to form the base of new teachers. Countless top candidates are deterred from teaching by the rumors of low pay, so why all the secrecy? If districts really want to recruit the best and the brightest, it's time to get out there, scream from the rooftops, advertise on billboards, do anything to make it public: Teaching = $$$!
"Need Teachers? Show Them the Money," by J.H. Snider, Washington Post, February 8, 2009