They may not vacation in St. Barts, but teachers in Southeastern Virginia's booming Norfolk/Hampton Roads region are hardly at the bottom of the salary chain. Besides receiving across-the-board raises this year of between 4 percent (Norfolk) and 8 percent (Portsmouth), the Virginian-Pilot finds that their salaries have outstripped inflation and risen faster than those of other area professionals. Moreover, teachers have the vast majority of their health insurance paid for, a generous pension plan, and work an average of 45 fewer days per year than other professionals. Not enough! screams the union. "A teacher molds a [sic] life of a child," says a Virginia NEA representative. "I don't know of any other profession in which that happens." How about ministers, nurses, and the heads of groups such as Boys' and Girls' Clubs to start? All are paid less than teachers, on average, without the time off. So how much is enough? The union says it best. "I don't think there would ever be a point where we'd say we have enough." 'Nuf said.

"Higher earning? Teachers fare better than many other professionals," by Amy Jeter and Deirdre Fernandes, Virginian-Pilot, August 7, 2006

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