It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Thank you.

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

# All of West Virginia's public schools are closed due to a teacher walk-out over pay

page: 2
15
share:

posted on Feb, 22 2018 @ 01:02 PM

If our schooling in this country were not going in the toilet due to decisions implemented by the Department of Education down through the school administrators, maybe I would concede that a better monetary investment is a sound approach.

As it stands, though, throwing more money at poor policy and education tactics is not something that I'm interested in willingly doing with my tax dollars.

Here's something that these teachers need to consider: West Virginia is the third poorest state in the United States, with a median household income (MHI) around \$42,000. Source

Here's another thing to consider: The West Virginia teacher's average salary (TAS) is more than \$46,000. source

So, they make 109%, on average, what the median household income is for their state.

Since they cite "surrounding states" as a means to compare the appropriateness of their salary, let's look at other states in the same eye:
- Kentucky: MHI = \$45,215; TAS = \$50,326; 111%

- Ohio: MHI = \$51,075; TAS = \$58,092; 114%

- Pennsylvania: MHI = \$55,702; TAS = \$63,521; 114%

- Maryland: MHI = \$75,847; TAS = \$65,265; 86%

- Virginia: MHI = \$66,262; TAS = \$49,869; 75%

Now, while I know this is just taking into account numbers, it's at least comparing the salary to something factual and tangible. When you look at the surrounding states and including West Virginia, the teachers land basically smack in the middle when it comes to salary as it compares to median household income. The average of the salary-to-income ratios is 101.5%, so they're even beating the average by quite a bit.

And then look at the two states that rank in the top 10 for MHI (Virginia at #8, Maryland at #1), and you'll realize that they are the two lowest paid in relation to the rest of the household incomes.

Here's the problem, in a state that is one of the poorest in the nation, they can only bring in so much tax revenue in order to pay their public employees, and when these public employees make, on their own 109% of the average household income, I'm not certain that a massive amount of pity needs to fall on them, but what does concern me is that West Virginia falls nearly in the middle of cost-of-living lists, so I don't understand why the cost of living is so high relative to its rankings in other lists.

I would assume that it's because portions of it are so close to the DC area that it really inflates the cost of living for the entire state, but I have no verification of that.

But the bottom line is that, in relation to areas around them, they are sitting fine on their salary, plus they are already set to receive a 4% increase over the next two years. I fail to see, as you seem to, that all of this equates to an under-funded education system. What it probably really concerns is a state that has very finite public dollars not being able to please everyone all of the time.

posted on Feb, 22 2018 @ 01:06 PM

See my post here for a more intellectually honest way to compare numbers.

Just looking at salaries and ignoring everything else about a state is an ignorant way to rebut a comment.

posted on Feb, 22 2018 @ 01:07 PM

work less than 180 days a year.

If you truly think that then you don't actually know any teachers. First off, during the school year it's pretty much a 24/7 job. When they're not teaching they're at home grading papers, creating lesson plans, going out and buying basic supplies for their classroom because there's no longer any money in the budget to provide those things, taking part in parent-teacher conferences, etc. Then during their "summer break" there's professional development and continuing education courses that need to be taken. My mom's been a teacher for close to 20 years now and I'd say the only time she's actually on vacation is the week she spends at the beach every year.

But yeah, those noble people that are educating the future of this country are criminally overpaid. We should probably cut their pay so we can add an extra 0 on to the salary of someone doing important work like the basketball coach at the local college.

posted on Feb, 22 2018 @ 01:12 PM

originally posted by: Bluntone22

originally posted by: Edumakated

originally posted by: Benderisfunny
Another fun fact about the Oklahoma school district I live in: the superintendent of the district, which has failed since she came on, makes over 250,000 dollars per year plus benefits, while first year teachers make between 18 and 25,000 per year. The district complains about why they cannot hire enough new teachers to fill the classrooms.

So you don't think the CEO of the entire school system is worth \$250k/yr?

Ours is around \$150k with bennies.
Fort Wayne schools is more like \$250k but it's a much bigger system.

The jobs worth the pay, but the idiots in those jobs are not...

Can't comment on any particular individual, but \$250k to run a school system seems about right to me. Yes, many admin positions are filled with idiots because the positions are often political in nature. however, that is an entirely different issue.

Teachers are well paid considering:

1) Generally only work 9 mos a year
2) Good retirement packages
3) Hours aren't long
4) Teaching typically does not attract star students in college

Teachers are important and it isn't an easy job necessarily, but the salaries reflect the supply and demand for the positions. If anything, unions might actually depress salaries in high performing school districts as they keep star teachers from being able to demand more relative to the mediocre teachers. Top school districts might pay more for teachers under a free market system.

A big issue with the school systems in general is that teachers are forced to deal with parents/kids who probably shouldn't be in the school system. Schools are set up to deal with the lowest common denominator at the expense of other students.

posted on Feb, 22 2018 @ 01:15 PM

Considering everyone in this country was educated by a teacher to read, write, calculate, perform a specific technical skill, communicate, and be well rounded in other academic areas, you would think teachers would be held at the same importance as engineers and doctors. Education should be held as priority in every country. It's what influences the economy, creates innovation, teaches us how to manage are everyday lives, and above all makes people competent and creates strong leadership skills. Everyone has known a teacher in their lives that has helped and changed their direction in life.

Every job contributes some type of value to society. Yet the pay and the value they contribute to society is very much skewed in this country. Some of the demanding physical jobs that build our infrastructure like construction are also important to society. Without the hard work of farmers we would starve! Nurses who care for the sick are also very important to society.

Yet society values celebrities and professional athletes whose only contribution is entertainment. They're valued into the millions, yet teachers who touch the lives of everyone and give everyone the education and skills needed to perform their careers, are paid less than our elected officials! Actors and Athletes wouldn't even have their skill if it wasn't for Theater and Acting Teacher or Coach.

Teachers also perform a lot of duties that are not specifically required for their job. Such as breaking up fights, comforting students who are occasionally distressed from a dysfunctional home or family problems. With the lack of school funding, many teachers spend their own money on school supplies. They've even performed locker searches during bomb threats. How many teachers have put their own lives in danger trying to protect students in recent school shootings? Teachers develop a concern and friendly relationship with many of their students. They really want to see their students succeed in life. The most rewarding experience is having a student visit 4 or 5 years later and informing the teacher they were a big part in their life and they helped influence the direction they took in their career.

posted on Feb, 22 2018 @ 01:22 PM

originally posted by: Xcalibur254

work less than 180 days a year.

If you truly think that then you don't actually know any teachers. First off, during the school year it's pretty much a 24/7 job. When they're not teaching they're at home grading papers, creating lesson plans, going out and buying basic supplies for their classroom because there's no longer any money in the budget to provide those things, taking part in parent-teacher conferences, etc. Then during their "summer break" there's professional development and continuing education courses that need to be taken. My mom's been a teacher for close to 20 years now and I'd say the only time she's actually on vacation is the week she spends at the beach every year.

But yeah, those noble people that are educating the future of this country are criminally overpaid. We should probably cut their pay so we can add an extra 0 on to the salary of someone doing important work like the basketball coach at the local college.

Cry me a river. Teachers hardly work long hours even if they are "grading papers". When I got out of college, I was making \$38k/yr at a management consulting firm. Maybe \$65k in 2017 dollars. I literally worked 70-80 hour weeks non stop. A 60 hour week was considered a light week. I turned down a job on Wall Street because they worked 100 hour weeks regularly. I sure as hell didn't get 3 mos off the for summer either.

There are some great teachers out there, but let's be real here. They aren't curing cancer. They aren't generating millions in profits. They are engineering high rises. They are teaching ABCs and multiplication tables. Teachers are not going to be making \$150k/yr.

posted on Feb, 22 2018 @ 01:28 PM

Just a question, those people designing high rises, and whatever, did they just wake up one day able to do it, or did someone teach them how it was done? When you graduated college and worked for a management firm, was that based on knowledge you learned in school, or just your inborn ability to do it? If it was just you, why did you even go to school?

posted on Feb, 22 2018 @ 01:29 PM

'Take me home county road, to the school where I belong...'

The student is only as good as teacher, and vice versa. I learnt more out of school than I did within, Hell David Attenborough taught me more about biology than my biology teacher did. As for my English teachers? well they were just going through the motions. If you want kids to learn then make learning fun, I remember learning about relativity when a teacher threw a bowling ball on a trampoline, not through some intricate and intimidating diagrams.

Teachers are close to being expendable so they shouldn't push their luck, being a good teacher requires said teacher being on the same level as his or her students. Take this Brian Greene lecture for example and see how he explains string theory to folk in a simple way, it's as if he was another wolf among the pack.

Maybe if teachers taught better, they might get paid better. But then again kids like me were lil bastards. The key is to make learning fun.

edit on 22-2-2018 by Thecakeisalie because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 22 2018 @ 01:32 PM

Maybe you should have become a teacher if you’re that upset about it.

posted on Feb, 22 2018 @ 01:34 PM

The teachers I know, two of which are in my family, go in to work at the ass crack of dawn. Get home after 5. And then they're working on stuff for work until they go to bed. Even on their weekends their spending a large amount of time getting things ready for the next week.

And while it may not be teachers that are curing cancer, or designing bridges, or working in high finance, the people working in those fields wouldn't be either if it weren't for their teachers. They shape the future of this country and it seems like some are finally reminding us of that fact.

posted on Feb, 22 2018 @ 01:36 PM

originally posted by: Benderisfunny

Just a question, those people designing high rises, and whatever, did they just wake up one day able to do it, or did someone teach them how it was done? When you graduated college and worked for a management firm, was that based on knowledge you learned in school, or just your inborn ability to do it? If it was just you, why did you even go to school?

No one has argued that good teachers aren't important. Of course an engineer had a good teacher down the line somewhere. Does a high school football coach deserve millions because he coached a kid on 9th grade JV team who eventually makes it pro and is now making millions?

posted on Feb, 22 2018 @ 01:41 PM

Maybe teachers would "teach better" if they were actually given the respect they deserve. In any field the quality of the work is going to diminish if the employee is overworked and underpaid. Every year it seems like funding for education gets less and less. Teachers are expected to spend more of their own money to provide even the most basic supplies for their class. And yet class sizes continue to rise and rise.

The ideal class size is 13 to 17 students. Every teacher I know has classes at least twice that size. How can a teacher be expected to perform well when they're already stretched that thin and getting worse?

posted on Feb, 22 2018 @ 01:45 PM

Now you're comparing engineers to football players, really?
Unbelievable. Move the goal posts much? (pun intended)

posted on Feb, 22 2018 @ 01:46 PM

originally posted by: Xcalibur254

work less than 180 days a year.

If you truly think that then you don't actually know any teachers. First off, during the school year it's pretty much a 24/7 job. When they're not teaching they're at home grading papers, creating lesson plans, going out and buying basic supplies for their classroom because there's no longer any money in the budget to provide those things, taking part in parent-teacher conferences, etc. Then during their "summer break" there's professional development and continuing education courses that need to be taken. My mom's been a teacher for close to 20 years now and I'd say the only time she's actually on vacation is the week she spends at the beach every year.

But yeah, those noble people that are educating the future of this country are criminally overpaid. We should probably cut their pay so we can add an extra 0 on to the salary of someone doing important work like the basketball coach at the local college.

I know several teachers. I also know they have subs several times a month, get every single ridiculous holiday off, get snow days and schools delays, and all summer.

I know I work long hours ALL YEAR LONG. So now I should pay extra taxes for them to make as much or more than me? For working half as much? Time for a dose of reality.

posted on Feb, 22 2018 @ 01:49 PM

originally posted by: Aedaeum

Now you're comparing engineers to football players, really?
Unbelievable. Move the goal posts much? (pun intended)

Pretty obvious you didn't have very good teachers if you think that is what I was doing...

posted on Feb, 22 2018 @ 01:50 PM
Average salaries are high because the schools are loaded with lifetime teachers and their annual salary increases. Of course these same teachers started off making very little as well. It's not until their later years that they actually earn a decent living.

posted on Feb, 22 2018 @ 02:03 PM

originally posted by: jjkenobi

originally posted by: Xcalibur254

work less than 180 days a year.

If you truly think that then you don't actually know any teachers. First off, during the school year it's pretty much a 24/7 job. When they're not teaching they're at home grading papers, creating lesson plans, going out and buying basic supplies for their classroom because there's no longer any money in the budget to provide those things, taking part in parent-teacher conferences, etc. Then during their "summer break" there's professional development and continuing education courses that need to be taken. My mom's been a teacher for close to 20 years now and I'd say the only time she's actually on vacation is the week she spends at the beach every year.

But yeah, those noble people that are educating the future of this country are criminally overpaid. We should probably cut their pay so we can add an extra 0 on to the salary of someone doing important work like the basketball coach at the local college.

So now I should pay extra taxes for them to make as much or more than me.

beuracratic bloat within the districts, the biggest waste needs cutting.

Like health care there’s a problem with the massive uptick in administrative positions vs actual professionals.

posted on Feb, 22 2018 @ 02:04 PM

\$45,000/yr is about as good a job as you can get in West Virginia. On the state average I'd bet that puts them in the top 20% of earners. Compared to the parents of the kids they're teaching they pretty well off. Everyone is losing ground on healthcare so join the crowd. Find a job teaching in a better paying state if that's your priority.

West Virginia is in the bottom 10 states for teacher pay but that does not make them underpaid when the rest of the state is languishing from high unemployment and where median income is \$14.79/hr or \$35,000/yr.

And there's your catch-22 situation. In any tech city, the parents earn good money, send their children to good public or private schools, go to top universities to learn the latest technologies, then set up startup companies which either grow into small and medium sized companies, or get bought up by a corporation. And the cycle continues. Locally, I've been to interviews where two people set up a startup company in a retail park business unit (small office + container docking bay), and have taken on 100+ people in a couple of years while at the same time renting more units.

At the other end of the scale, there are sink estates where the parents have never worked, the children are feral, won't respect authority, stay out all night, get into drugs and gangs and become career criminals instead of gaining an education. There's no real way to break this because you have to sort the parents out before you can sort the children out. But since the children don't behave, you end up with teacher shortages and the children won't learn anyway. The parent can't help with homework. The teachers might just write them off. There are some teachers who did try and make the extra effort to get the children to learn using their personal time and money, but their reward was to be assigned even more children by the education board.

posted on Feb, 22 2018 @ 02:13 PM

I never said anything about getting paid millions, guy. But 18,000 w year with a college degree? It happens regularly, and the good teachers here are leaving in droves. There is a whole subset of society who want people flipping burgers to "make a living wage", but teachers are, as one person in this thread put it, "nearly expendable". And we wonder what is wrong with society.
edit on 04/05/2017 by Benderisfunny because: Spelling

posted on Feb, 22 2018 @ 02:22 PM

So, for \$45k/yr, they had to get a 4 year college degree. I wonder how much that cost them?

Like most states, West Virginia requires that teachers hold a bachelor’s degree, complete an approved teacher preparation program, and pass the required content exams. Those who have a bachelor’s degree but have not completed a teacher preparation program may be eligible for alternative teacher certification in West Virginia.

www.teachercertificationdegrees.com...

15