Suburban districts top Milwaukee-area school salaries

Amy Hetzner:

Professional staff in the Nicolet, Muskego-Norway and Port Washington-Saukville school districts earned more on average than their public school counterparts in the metro Milwaukee area for 2007-’08, according to state data.
The pay figures for the three districts were boosted by large percentages of teachers, counselors, librarians and other school specialists perched at the top of the pay scales for their school systems. They were among six school districts in the region – including the Maple Dale-Indian Hill, Mequon-Thiensville and Waukesha districts – that had more than 30% of their professional staff making at least $70,000 in 2007-’08.
Nicolet had more than 40% of its teachers and other professional staff making above that amount.
In contrast, in the school system with the lowest average salaries paid to professional staff – Dover #1 in Racine County – the highest pay was $51,956.
The 2007-’08 compensation data was reported by the individual districts to the state Department of Public Instruction, which made the information public last month.
Jack Bothwell, executive director of human resources for the Waukesha School District, said retirement postponements are likely the reason for the lopsided payouts in some of the districts.
“Right now, the pension’s such a mess and the economy,” he said. “That is inhibiting a lot of people from retiring.”