Report: California Teachers Among Highest Paid

Friday, 01 Aug 2014 09:00 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Teachers in over half of California's schools are paid an average $84,489 a year, a new think tank survey shows.

The data from 653 of the state's 1,058 school systems was compiled by think tank The California Policy Center and posted on transparentcalifornia.com.

Figures were missing from Los Angeles Unified, California’s largest school system and the second biggest in the nation – which refused the center’s request for the information – and San Diego Unified, California's second biggest school system, the Contra Costa Times reports.

Los Angeles district officials later stated base salary information had been given to the center; base salary figures represent only a portion of total compensation, the newspaper notes.

"We’re doing this because the public employs the public sector; and members of the public, as voters, are being continually asked to approve tax increase and bond measures," the center's director Ed Ring told the newspaper. "You can’t make an informed decision if you don’t know how much public employees make."

The California school teachers' salaries average is 50 percent higher than the national average in 2013, and more than three times the $27,519 average annual compensation in 2012 for all Americans.

According to the policy center figures, of the 10 highest-paid school administrators, Fresno Unified Superintendent Michael Hanson had the highest take home pay – $430,121.

But Montclair-Ontario Unified School District Superintendent James Hammond collected the most of any official in the database, $492,076.92, taking into account total compensation, including pension, tax deferred savings, healthcare benefits and other types of perks, the Contra Costa Times reports.

Another 121 administrators collected more than $250,000 in total compensation, the data show.

School systems across California are now required by State Controller John Chiang to supply all W-2 information to his office as part of a statewide public employee pay and compensation database set to launch in the fall, the Contra Costa Times reports.

"We’ve had different levels of resistance, but for city and county governments and a lot of them have come to appreciate it and use it," Jacob Roper, a spokesman for the Controller’s Office, told the newspaper.

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