As an education policy analyst, I am very concerned about the quality of education our children are receiving. My research has led me to conclude that the key impediment to improving public education is not lack of money, but the organizational structure of public schools. Private schools in Washington and public charter schools in other states are given the advantage of operating free of public education’s centralized and highly regulated superstructure. As a result, private and public charter schools can better direct resources to the classroom, more reliably place effective teachers in every classroom, and offer better life prospects to children through higher-quality education. Cutting central bureaucracies and putting qualified principals in charge of their schools would help make sure that education dollars actually reach the classroom.
Recently, I turned my attention to a restrictive policy that applies to public schools but not to private or public charter schools: mandatory collective bargaining agreements. Here is a link to our full study of Seattle’s current collective bargaining agreement [563K PDF], and below is a summary of our findings.
School district salaries and benefits
- Teachers in Seattle receive an average of $70,850 in total salary (base pay and other pay), plus average insurance benefits of $9,855. These figures apply to a ten-month work year.
- Teachers in Seattle public schools can earn up to $88,463 in total base and other pay for a ten-month work year, or $98,318 including benefits.
- Seattle Schools employ 371 people as “educational staff associates,” who receive an average of $76,339 for a ten-month year, or $86,194 including benefits.
- Seattle Schools employs 193 non-teachers, mostly senior administrators, who each receive more than $100,000 in total pay.