News

With new contract, 70 percent of Palo Alto teachers will earn over $100,000

Contract raises compound with salary 'step' hikes and added pay for further education and post-bachelor's degrees

An analysis of data provided by the Palo Alto school district shows that more than 70 percent of district teachers will be earning salaries in excess of $100,000 for the upcoming 2016-17 school year if a proposed union contract is approved Tuesday, as expected, by the school board.

The figure does not include additional pay earned as a result of teachers possessing advanced degrees ($2,219 per degree).

It also does not reflect the 1 or 2 percent bonus teachers may receive at the end of next school year as stipulated in the contract.

The contract provides an immediate retroactive raise of 5 percent back to July 1, 2015, a 4 percent raise for the upcoming year beginning July 1 and a 3 percent increase in July, 2017. Up to 2 percent bonuses will also be paid for each of the next two years depending on whether property tax revenues exceed or fall short of budget projections.

To analyze the impact of the contract on teacher pay, the Weekly created spreadsheets of the current 2014-15 salary schedule and then adjusted them to reflect the proposed increases over the three years covered by the new contract, and then cross-referenced them with data provided by the district showing how many teachers are at each "step" on the schedule. All the data and spreadsheets used in the analysis are available here.

The analysis shows that 575 teachers, or 69 percent of the district's 833 teachers, will make more than $100,000 in base salary starting July 1, 2016. Almost 90 percent (741) will make more than $80,000. Additional compensation for advanced degrees will bump additional teachers above $100,000.

Under the contract, teachers work 187 days a year, or 8.6 months. If adjusted for 12 months work, the rate that would pay $100,000 for 8.6 month would equate to $140,000 annually.

The teachers' salary schedules are complicated tables containing 210 different pay levels that increase on two dimensions: number of years of experience and number of semester units earned by a teacher after attaining a bachelor's degree.

The lowest point on the scale is for a teacher with no experience and no semester units, while the highest point is for 30 or more years of experience and 90 or more units of post-bachelor's education.

As illustrated in these charts, teachers receive increases in base salary as they move across and down the salary schedule. These increases are separate from increases contained in the union contract, so many teachers experience bumps in pay far greater than the amount called for in the contract.

Data provided to the Weekly by the district shows that the vast majority of teachers (520) have maxed out on the education scale at 90 units or more. Only 13 teachers have fewer than 30 educational units.

On the years of experience measure, 31 percent of teachers have fewer than 10 years' experience, 44 percent between 10 and 20 years and 25 percent have 20 or more years of experience. Thirty-four teachers are in the highest point on the scale, with 30 or more years of experience and 90 units or more of education credits.

According to Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Scott Bowers, most teachers earn semester units through master's programs or university extension programs. But they may also be earned, up to various limits, through coursework at community colleges, independent study, private lessons and tutoring, work experience during the summer and by serving on a school site council or a district committee.

Here are two examples of how the system works:

Miss Jones will be starting her fifth year as a teacher this fall and has 30 units of credit from a master's program. Her pay this year was $66,997, but she will receive a 5 percent retroactive pay increase bringing it up to $70,347.

Next school year her pay will increase 9 percent to $76,566 because even though the contract calls for a 4 percent increase she gets an automatic 5 percent bump for having completed another year of teaching, which is based on the "step" schedule.

If Miss Jones also had finished another 15 units of coursework, her pay would increase to $80,539, or a 14 percent increase over her current year's pay and 26 percent more than her salary last school year.

Since the vast majority of Palo Alto teachers have maxed out with 90 units of educational credits, a more typical example is Mr. Smith. He is in his 19th year of teaching and has 90 units of semester credits. He earned $106,679 this school year, but like all teachers will receive the 5 percent retroactive increase once the contract is ratified. That will bring his pay to $112,013.

For the upcoming school year, he will not only receive the 4 percent increase negotiated in the contract, but because it's his 20th year he gets an additional 2.5 percent because of the step schedule. So his pay will be $119,386, an increase of 6.5 percent.

District classified employees, which include aides, maintenance, business and administrative staff, have a similar salary structure but with fewer step increases, meaning they reach the top of the salary range sooner.

Superintendent Max McGee is recommending that all principals, deans, managers, supervisors, directors and other non-union staff receive the exact same raises as the two unions, also retroactive to last July.

At its meeting two weeks ago, when the details of the proposed new contract were discussed publicly for the first time, all board members except Ken Dauber indicated their support for it, not surprising since the board discusses and directs the negotiations in closed session meetings.

View the charts analyzing teacher pay.

Related content:

Salary hikes could put pressure on district budget

School board majority favors teacher pay raises

District asks for quick approval of pay raises

Editorial: The vanishing surplus

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Comments

56 people like this
Posted by Commenter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 23, 2016 at 10:16 am

"Superintendent Max McGee is recommending that all principals, deans, managers, supervisors, directors and other non-union staff receive the exact same raises as the two unions, also retroactive to last July."

WEEKLY: CAN YOU PLEASE DO THE SAME ANALYSIS AS ABOVE FOR MANAGEMENT, AND EXPLAIN CLEARLY WHAT MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION IS COSTING THIS DISTRICT - AND OUR KIDS? (Sorry to yell, but I keep asking, and no one ever says anything!)


51 people like this
Posted by wow
a resident of Barron Park
on May 23, 2016 at 10:27 am

How much does Dauber pay the Weekly to run all these articles? This is absolute collusion by Dauber, no doubt about it. He is using media to further his agenda just as he has done from the beginning. Dauber is behind all of this! I feel sorry for the teachers in this district. Most people have no idea what teachers have to deal with in terms of parental pressure etc...

What does a fire fighter make in Palo Alto? By the way with all their days off they only work 10 months a year. Also 100,000 in this area to live is not a whole lot.

[Portion removed.]


40 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Midtown
on May 23, 2016 at 10:40 am

Thank you Palo Alto Weekly for the analysis.

The implication for the school district 5 years from now, is that the future pension liability will make it impossible to do anything to address class sizes, education reform, etc. Instead, 5 years from now expect class sizes to stay where they are, or increase; tax increases will be required just to keep the staffing where it is.

All those retiring in 5 years will be pulling pensions based on the $100,000+ rate for the next 25-30 years, but the contributions made during their employment will be no where enough to cover the payouts.


38 people like this
Posted by 38 year resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 23, 2016 at 11:30 am

Did I miss the coverage in this story that the new contract allows the school district to fire poor performing tenured teachers?


36 people like this
Posted by retiring teacher from another district
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2016 at 11:33 am

Let's get the facts straight:
Retirement: The district doesn't pay the retirement. Both the district and the teachers pay into CalSTRS for retirement (no social security) while the teacher is employed. CalSTRS pays the retirement. If a teacher makes $100,000 while working that doesn't mean that teacher will make that in retirement. No teacher makes 100% of their pay in retirement. On average teachers receive less than 50% of their salaries in retirement. Believe me, I know and I am retiring from a district that pays better than PAUSD.

10-month employees: Technically teachers are ten-month employees, but that doesn't count the time over the summer they are cleaning out their classrooms, planning new curriculum and then setting up the classroom for the next year. Many even take professional development over the summer to learn more/new practices, content... This is because they always want to get better to be the best for their students that they can be. All unpaid. In fact, to move a column on the salary schedule, teachers are paying for college classes or for other professional development courses to earn the credits to move over a column. You would be appalled if teachers didn't set up their classrooms and get everything ready for your children before school started, yet they aren't paid to do so. Teachers start coming in weeks before school starts to move heavy furniture that was left in a pile in the middle of the room after the room was cleaned, to put everything back up on the walls and much more to get everything ready for your children There is a lot to do and teachers do it without complaints. It isn't an 8:00-3:00 job either. There is lesson planning, grading/correcting, at younger grades, prep work to get projects for each day ready and much more. Even if you happen see a teacher leave school at 3, that big bag they are carrying is all the work they will be doing at home that night.

This is not a complaint, just a clarification. We love our jobs, that is why we do all of this, it certainly isn't to get rich monitarily. We are rich in the rewards of teaching children!


30 people like this
Posted by Ed DeMeo
a resident of Midtown
on May 23, 2016 at 11:39 am

This is welcome news to me. I'm glad to see us moving toward paying teachers what they are worth and providing encouragement for motivated young people to enter the teaching profession. In an age when society pays sports figures millions or tens of millions a year, I'm heartened to see increasing value placed on the education of our children. The positive impact of a good teacher on a child or a teen is priceless. I still remember with much appreciation my best teachers -- after more than 50 years!


41 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 23, 2016 at 11:47 am

"38 year resident" nailed it! I cannot believe that some of the bad teachers are earning six figures when they rely on students to pay for tutors instead of helping and teaching them. In addition, they are stressing out our students by their poor teaching methods.


17 people like this
Posted by Dean
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2016 at 11:52 am

This may be my last post, and some will probably say, Thanks be to (whoever is your DIETY). I have accessed all of the articles that I am allowed without paying.


#WOW, I agree that $100,000.00 is not a lot to live in this area. What about trying to live on $50,000.00, or $35,000.00, or even less than that? Many of us barely manage with a lot less than $50,000.00.

I do not feel sorry for those who only received $60,000.00 to $90,000.00 last year, because there are a lot of us whose lives would be so much better with those incomes. We are generally on fixed incomes, which diminish in value in two ways, we have to pay increased taxes, and we have to pay the the increased costs incurred by the companies who have to raise their prices to compensate for their increased costs in taxes, every time a salary increase is given to people who are paid with the tax money we have to pay and when the minimum wage increases.

Nobody worries about those things in part because we will be dead and gone soon. Part of that reason is that we can no longer pay for adequate food and health care, oh, you say if you don't have health care you will be fined. How do you suppose we can pay a fine with money that we don't have? THAT is one of the most ignorant ideas put into force that could be imagined!

Those who can afford to pay the fine, can also afford to pay for health care. Those are the same people who came up with the idea. They also believe that by passing laws will prevent people from breaking them! Only honest people follow the laws, and when laws become oppressive, even honest people will not obey them even when they otherwise would not break them.

King George would be proud of our politicians of the past 70 to 100 years, as they have been oppressing the American people the same as he did in the latter part of the 1700s.

The USA has, in my lifetime, become a Socialist state. Soon we will not be allowed to use cash, we can only use a money value that is placed into our bank account and paid out with a credit/debit card, so the Government can control us 100%, in our spending! It gets worse, . . . We now live in the USSA (United Socialist States of America) run by the Communist/Socialist Party (both parties are essentially the same party) which became what Kruschev predicted back in the 1950s, when he said, "our grandchildren will bury you!", and so they have.

Did I wind up my tenure well? I have retained civility, and have not vilified anyone on this forum, and I would hope that I might be welcomed back at some time.

.


16 people like this
Posted by Gunn parent
a resident of Gunn High School
on May 23, 2016 at 12:19 pm

Yes to raises for teachers and principals. NO TO RAISES FOR ADMINISTRATORS.


39 people like this
Posted by Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on May 23, 2016 at 12:19 pm

Midtowner is a registered user.

It is ridiculous to cling to the "187 days a year, or 8.6 months" claim. Most of you have absolutely no idea of how many additional hours outside of the mandatory work day teachers spend doing their job, and that includes a large amount of time during the summer prepping for the year to come. I have worked both in industry and as a teacher (how many of you can say the same???), and teaching requires as much, if not more, time outside of the "official" work day. Just like a business or medical professional, teachers regularly take their work home each night and each weekend, spend early mornings and late nights answering emails from parents and addressing requests from students. Unlike a person in the "working world", teachers don't have the option of scheduling a dentist or doctor's appointment in the middle of the day, or taking that long "business" lunch with colleagues. How has it happened that the value that teachers bring to this world is denigrated to this extent? How would it be received by the medical or law profession if their income came under similar scrutiny? I strongly believe that every parent in Palo Alto should be required to teach for one week in a classroom to get an accurate idea of what it requires. You seriously have absolutely no idea, even if you're certain that you do. After earning a doctorate from M.I.T. and working in high-tech engineering R&D for several years, I will say hands down that being a classroom teacher has been the most challenging (and rewarding and frustrating...) experience of my life. Stop begrudging, and start appreciating, the individuals that are molding your students' character, self-esteem, and ability to be life-long learners.


24 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Community Center
on May 23, 2016 at 12:20 pm

Thank you Ken Dauber for trying to balance increasing teaching salaries and helping the students, such as reducing class sizes, expanding kindergarden hours, etc... I can't believe the rest of the board caved completely to the teachers union putting the students clearly second. Retroactive salary increases? Still allowing oversized classes in middle schools because teachers want to all have the same period off? Ken will be the only one of the existing PAUSD board members I vote for in the future. There are lots of good and great teachers in PAUSD, whom I applaud, but there are some incompetent uncaring teachers protected by the tenure system, including in the high schools. This also reflects poorly on Max McGee and his ability to effectively manage the district.


19 people like this
Posted by well regarded sub
a resident of Downtown North
on May 23, 2016 at 12:23 pm

Dear Dr. McGee,
Please don't forget that most disenfranchised group of highly qualified and mostly educators, the substitutes in our district.
In the past TEN years, we have only had one raise. Our daily rate has gotten lower and lower in relation to a teachers salary, while requiring us to do more with less. Most of us earn less than 15,000 a year!
Why do we keep working under these conditions? Most of us love teaching, however, our ranks are thinning because of low pay and no promotion opportunities nor seniority. Teachers also suffer because our pay is less than a high school graduates salary.
At many schools a position goes unfilled or teachers go to school sick because there's no one available.
As a former teacher, all the teachers I work for value me highly, sometimes arranging for me months ahead. I though will be leaving this profession if the district shows us by its actions that we are not valued by them.


17 people like this
Posted by Izzy
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2016 at 12:26 pm

I guess I should go get a teaching credential!


36 people like this
Posted by Absurd!
a resident of Midtown
on May 23, 2016 at 12:55 pm

This is absurd. Most residents make less money than the PAUSD administrators! We work far more hours and have far fewer benefits, to boot! Most of the administrators are too many in number, and not worth their pay as it is.

There are too many chiefs and not enough Indians in this district!


5 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 23, 2016 at 1:02 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

@ Dean

Yes, I commend you for maintaining civility, and I understand your frustration. You must be a long time resident of this area and have gotten caught up by all the changes and enormous cost increases, especially in housing. I empathize with you, altho my situation is much better than yours. I think I understand why you still want to live here...it's been a comfortable place for you to live and a place that was affordable up until recently, but that has all changed.

I will always resist advice from others that I should consider moving to another area where housing and the cost of living is cheaper. My friends, neighbors, most of my family, and doctors and dentists are here. That makes it so much more attractive and easier to stay here.

But, now I'm going to give you advice. I'm not trying to be snarky about it...but there are so many nice affordable areas to live if you're willing to make the move. My daughter and family live in Colorado Springs. They're in a totally different economic world out there. They would never move from it because they also have their friends, neighbors, church people, and doctors and dentists, just like I do here in PA.

And I can't let you go w/o challenging your political views and Kruschev's prediction. If you remember right...the wall did come down and the USSR was broken up. We're not there yet and Bernie is the closest one to follow that Socialist path. In the end, Hillary will have her say, way, and day, like it or not. Only the few of the young and naive will follow him or the real rebel in Republican politics, Donald Trump. So, status quo rules for at least another 4 years, and Wallstreet will be smiling. Money matters and that's where the money is. Unfortunately, the poor and homeless don't have much clout in these elections. They only vote for candidates who make the most promises. A captive gullible group they are.


8 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 23, 2016 at 1:22 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

@ well regarded sub

Good for you. My wife, Garnet, was a sub for several years. I don't remember what she earned, but it was a pittance towards our home budget at that time. And subs have a tough time because kids know that and then they can have fun and goof around, and not pay attention to the sub, all day. Subs definitely need a pay raise also.


10 people like this
Posted by Abe
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 23, 2016 at 1:31 pm

Raises regardless of performance - that's wrong
Poor performers get the same as top performers

If Max values the teachers for this generous raise now why won't he value the teachers' perspective on full day kinder???


2 people like this
Posted by Peter
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 23, 2016 at 1:31 pm

[Post removed.]


20 people like this
Posted by Tired
a resident of Barron Park
on May 23, 2016 at 1:46 pm

[Portion removed.] The district administrators and teachers are good people trying to do the best for our kids. They don't have hidden agendas and they certainly aren't lining their pockets at the tax-payers expense. Thank them for their service and let them have their overdue raise.

[Portion removed.]


23 people like this
Posted by Disappointed_Again
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on May 23, 2016 at 2:02 pm

We are lucky to have a lot of great teachers who are caring and knowledgeable. They inspire our kids with love for the class subjects and are great role models.

However, most parents who have been through the district also know where the bad apples are and how these bad apples frustrate students, ruin their budding taste for subjects like computer science, math and sciences. How long are these poor teachers going to continue hanging around in our district and our schools and around our students???

I thought there was commitment to look through the bad apples and have strict review processes with the teachers' union, which was part of the promise for Measure A that we voted for with our hard earned money. Now these people also get raises???

Will there also be a report of the teachers' performance when they do get the raise?? Are we going to be asked to vote for another Measure A down the road??? Guess I already know my vote...


20 people like this
Posted by Strength in numbers
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 23, 2016 at 2:36 pm

I am starting to think you need to re-name your newspaper the “Palo Alto Anti-Teacher Weekly”, to more accurately reflect your clear bias. In the last week or so there have been no less than 7 different articles critical of increased teacher salaries. To be fair, some of these threads also occasionally reflect support for our teachers but the overwhelmingly negative tone is hard to miss. You’re doing a good job of giving a platform to spread and support a lot of very misinformed views regarding things like pensions and pay raises (the title “Recreated by the PA Weekly” on one of your spread sheets is more than richly ironic); on the other hand, it’s got to be generating a lot of clicks for you, which will increase your ad revenue I am sure. It reminds one of a certain strategy in other political arenas where “dog whistle” proclamations serve to incite a lot of fervor at the cost of critical analysis or any IN-DEPTH understanding. But we do have a free press, right? And it’s a free country. You could probably generate additional revenue by setting up vending machines selling torches and pitchforks right next to the newspaper rack. Not that I expect this comment to survive the censor. Keep it classy.


33 people like this
Posted by Reality check
a resident of Barron Park
on May 23, 2016 at 2:42 pm

It's more than a little odd to see a completely factual article that simply lays out data about salaries described as "critical of increased teacher salaries." As for the rest of the Weekly's coverage, the editorial last week was very critical of the school board for spending ALL of the surplus on teacher raises, rather than reserving SOME for other purposes and SOME for teacher raises. I understand Mr. Dauber's proposal to be along similar lines, for a 9% pay increase rather than 12%. None of that sounds "critical of increased teacher salaries" or of teachers for asking for higher salaries.

As for me, I support "increased teacher salaries," while reserving some property tax increase for other needs. Mostly, hiring more teachers.


34 people like this
Posted by Former teacher
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2016 at 2:46 pm

Like Midtowner, I am a former teacher turned entrepeneur, so I've been in both education and business. Teaching, hands down, is the toughest, most demanding job I ever had. Good teachers deserve competitive pay and spend countless hours (and often their own $) in support of their students. These teachers are the "glue" within our communities.

That said, broadly speaking, public school teachers can be grouped into 3 buckets:
--Difference makers (top 10-25% depending on the school) who enliven their classrooms, connect and advocate for kids deeply, and embrace innovation. True professionals who deserve top pay.
--Well-intentioned, conscientious teachers (middle 50-65%): In teaching for the right reasons, maybe not the most creative or innovative, do more than the minimum but aren't zealous in their pursuit of excellence
--Mediocre to bad teachers (+/- bottom 25%): These folks typically lack skill, interest or professionalism and take advantage of a system where their performance isn't under scrutiny like it is in industry. Most of these folks couldn't find equivalent pay, not to mention a 184 day work year (and yes, most of these folks only work their prescribed hours, unlike the other 2 groups), anywhere else.

Bottom line: It's next to impossible to fire a teacher, so schools are continually weighed down by deadwood and by the salaries they command. Most teachers deserve better pay, but the system is entirely broken by a comp structure that's dictated by years served and that has no real performance evaluation with teeth.


11 people like this
Posted by Joel
a resident of Barron Park
on May 23, 2016 at 3:50 pm

You get what you pay for and we have the best of the best. Be proud of the Colleges that your students go to and the salaries that they get and the worth that they give back to the communities they live in.
Congratulations to all the teachers the supportive school board members and the community that wet live in.


6 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2016 at 4:12 pm

Palo Alto prides itself on good schools, but at some point current teachers will retire and new ones will have to be brought in... and either heads are buried in the sand about the severity of the housing crisis (which is true for many I don't doubt), or Palo Alto thinks they can still attract "the best of the best" while expecting these new teachers to commute in from Salinas or Tracy.


3 people like this
Posted by Dean
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2016 at 4:23 pm

#Gale Johnson, Yes I came here when the population of San Jose was only 100,000 people, like 1955. The air was so yellow it was impossible to see beyond 2 city blocks, and smelled like rotten eggs. I lived here for three months before I knew there were hills around the bay area. Some friends suggested we go to Mt. Hamilton, and I asked if it took half a day or more. Half an hour later we were at the James Lick Observatory, and saw the ugly yellow blanket over the valley. By the way, after about two weeks the air didn't smell like rotten eggs any more, but if you left for 2 weeks or more, when you returned it was the rotten eggs all over again. Even though people today seem to believe the air was pristine back then, it was not, the orchards had a problem with pests, the pests were kept down by using a sulpher spray to coat the trees and fruit quite often. The sulpher spray was the source of the rotten egg smell.

Once the PCV valve became a mandatory item in every new car, the garbage that was vented from the car engines before was now sent back through the combustion process, we had much cleaner air.

I have no idea how old you are, but I doubt if you were alive when Roosevelt was in his second Administration, if you had been, you too would realize how much our freedoms have been eroded since that time. The State legislatures and Congress seem so intent on passing laws, that they forget about the Constitution, and that sometimes the new laws about the same thing that a previous law covered slightly differently. The result is a mass of confusion which is used in courts to prove anything the best argument (at the time) by the most eloquent speaker, to establish precedent that is not necessarily consistent with the Constitution, and the SCOTUS declines to hear it or even to review it because of more pressing issues.

If you want to see what happened to the USA during the Roosevelt years, please read "The Roosevelt Myth" by John T. Flynn published in 1948. All of the people written about were alive, with the exception of FD Roosevelt himself, and if the book was not truthful John T. Flynn would have been sued for libel, he was not. Pointing out how Roosevelt took full control of the press by following Eleanor Roosevelts advice, can explain why the press is considered Left Wing today. Eleanor told Franklin that he could point out to the various news agencies that he wouldn't allow them access to his press conferences until they hired and put in control the people he told them to hire. As we know, yesterday's news has little value, so the press complied. The people hired were either known Communists or communist sympathizers, friends of Eleanor. She was questionable as to her communist sympathy's according to John T. Flynn, but many of her closest friends were out and out communist party card holders. Control the press and control the people. The current press makes news, and reports what they want you to know, not everything that has happened.

Even the "Free Speech Movement at Berkeley was at least partly controlled by the Communist Party of the United States. Herb Aptheker who lived in San Jose was the head of the Communist Party of the United States. His daughter Bettina Aptheker was the girlfriend of Mario Savio, one of the leaders of the Free Speech Movement, and she was very active in both the Communist Party activities and the Free Speech Movement. Were Mario and other leaders of the Free Speech Movement Communists, I don't know for sure, but the tactics employed were right out of the book that Communists used to take control of many countries.



32 people like this
Posted by Reality check
a resident of Barron Park
on May 23, 2016 at 4:31 pm

9% vs 12% isn't going to solve the problem of Silicon Valley housing prices. The job of the school board isn't to figure out how to fix the budget of every teacher, just like any other employer. It's to set the salary at a level that attracts and retains the teachers we want, without wasting money on excess salary that could go to other educational needs (like more teachers). I haven't heard of any evidence at all that there is a problem in that regard.

If instead the goal is to Appreciate Our Teachers, I suggest that school board members express their feelings with cards, rather than overspending taxpayer money and making schoolchildren sit in overcrowded classrooms.


3 people like this
Posted by Dean
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2016 at 4:38 pm

Oh, I know many areas where I could move to for the rest of my life, but why should I have to? My spouse is who controls where we live, at least for now. Her immediate family lives here in the Bay Area, my children do too, but I am OK with many places in the world where I would be very close to friends or relatives, but why? I would not move to Colorado, but I might move to Nevada, or Idaho, or Washington, or, . . . In comparison to here there are many places where I could buy a house for less than $400,000.00 that would be nicer than many houses here that cost as much as 2 or 3 million dollars. But why?

I believe you may have remembered reading some of my previous posts, as the reason for making that suggestion. I am sure you didn't just want me to get out of Dodge and stop bothering everybody. I am a perennial optimist, and see the bright side of things until the chickens come home to roost, then I am quite vocal.

Good luck, Gale Johnson.

.


6 people like this
Posted by more than meets the eye
a resident of Barron Park
on May 23, 2016 at 4:45 pm

Good work, Weekly!

Unfortunately this information is only useful if you do the same for districts of similar size with a similar cost of living including house prices.

We know that Los Altos pays their teachers 20K more than PAUSD. Yes, they aren't K-12 but they have a similar cost of living index and house prices.


13 people like this
Posted by Insightful Auto correct
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 23, 2016 at 5:28 pm

[Post removed.]


25 people like this
Posted by over burdened taxpayer
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 23, 2016 at 5:30 pm

Sorry, these multiple raises - even retroactive! - are outrageously high and burdensome to local taxpayers. Most of us are not receiving raises anywhere like this in the private sector. Don't base your ideas on what Google pays its interns. That is not real life in the real professional working world, only a teensy teensy slice of privilege.
The public sector is way out of control with salary and benefits.


2 people like this
Posted by @Dean
a resident of Mountain View
on May 23, 2016 at 5:39 pm

[Post removed.]


12 people like this
Posted by A Resident
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 23, 2016 at 6:46 pm

"We know that Los Altos pays their teachers 20K more than PAUSD. Yes, they aren't K-12 but they have a similar cost of living index and house prices."

MVLA pays way more than any district around here, probably in California. On the other hand, they are ~25% our size since they are a high school only district, so they don't make the market. PAUSD was tied for 4th among competitive area districts in the comparison done by the district's consultant - though that includes high school only districts, which typically have higher average pay.

We don't have to figure out whether we are paying the "right" amount - the teachers tell us by whether enough of them stick around or apply every year. The answer so far seems to be "not a problem."


17 people like this
Posted by Commenter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 23, 2016 at 7:07 pm

"advocate for kids deeply,"

Look, I think a lot of district teachers, mostly, but I have NEVER ever witnessed any teachers who would engage in advocacy for kids, save Marc Vincenti, who is retired. I've seen teachers pile on when administrators were bullying or smearing parents for personal reasons, so the ostraciizing worked its way into the child's relationships at school. I've seen teachers backpedal on things they said in front of whole rooms of people, even though they had tenure, in order not to look bad to an administrator. I've seen teachers tow the line on new curricula even when they were a disaster for some kids, because admin told them not to say anything bad. I have seen teachers collude with administrators to LIE in special ed cases, conspire behind parents' backs, and deliberately pressure children when they disagreed with parents or even just because admin told them to. I have never ever seen one teacher consider questioning the ethics of any if that, or going public about any of that, or standing up for good kids who are hurt by that.

I have never seen a single teacher stand up for a kid struggling academically if something else would change their learning entirely. How many teachers have stood up to special ed? Protested the district suing special ed families? I know people who are even bigtime volunteers who can't get services for their clearly disabled children, because they don't kniw how to advocate, and teachers don't. They just don't.

Worse, during the darkest times of the last few years, I have not only never seen teachers advocate for kids, I saw teachers pressure kids more, making them feel unsafe to go to anyone at school at times of emotional distress.

I am not saying this is all teachers, but I have also never ever seen ANY teachers actually advocate for kids. Advocacy is a dirty word in this district, because it involves thinking morally for oneself and possibly acting in conflict with what comes from above. Teachers here Do Not rock the boat. How many teachers here even join the PTA and go to meetings? [Portion removed.]


39 people like this
Posted by Not-Jeff
a resident of Stanford
on May 23, 2016 at 7:36 pm

Not-Jeff is a registered user.

Those of you defending the pay raises miss one of the key points: the parcel tax increase paying for the pay raises WASN'T SOLD THAT WAY.

The parcel tax increase was marketed as needed for class size reductions, but once it passed that money instead went to pay increases to not only teachers but to everyone, even non-union workers; a classic bait-and-switch.

The community is justified in being outraged by the pay raises; they were achieved in a very dishonest manner by deploying a blatant bait-and-switch.

I don't begrudge the teachers getting more money, but I do think the manner it was achieved was very dishonest.


24 people like this
Posted by Fiscal_Responsibility
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 23, 2016 at 7:53 pm

It's pretty clear that with the exception of Ken Dauber, this school board is totally irresponsible fiscally and has abdicated its obligations to students and voters.

They're pretty clear that they don't want the teachers union to trash them when they're running for re-election.

Here are some statements made in favor of Measure A by the then supporters:

----------------------------------------------------
Board President Melissa Baten Caswell said, "For me, this is about being able to invest in the programs that our community would like us to invest in."[1]
----------------------------------------------------
Nana Chancellor, co-chair of the Support Palo Alto Schools 2015 parcel tax campaign, said, "We cannot innovate and grow in the areas that our community, students, parents and teachers are seeking without making an additional investment." She continued, "[The increase] will actually go to new and existing programs, rather than to help fill a financial hole in order to stay at status quo as prior campaigns (did). Basically, with an increase, we get to add a few new much-needed pieces to the puzzle while leaving all the current pieces still in place -- new pieces that I'm hearing our students, faculty and parents are united in asking for and that our superintendent and school board members are wanting to provide. This is not the time to cut resources. It's the time to unite and pitch in a little bit extra." Chancellor referred to the outcry for better student mental health programs and mentoring programs after the suicides of three students or recent graduates of Gunn High School.[7]
----------------------------------------------------

Boy, are we suckers, or what?!


7 people like this
Posted by real data
a resident of Barron Park
on May 23, 2016 at 8:31 pm

"MVLA pays way more than any district around here, probably in California."

It doesn't sotp there - all around here and beyond pay more than Palo Alto....
St. Helena
Montecito
Menlo Park
Los Gatos
...

You have to go a long way down before you get to Palo Alto.

Of course, you can start saying that these cities aren't valid comparisons for whatever reason but teachers in Palo Alto can teach in all of them. They are the competition.


18 people like this
Posted by targetted raises?
a resident of College Terrace
on May 23, 2016 at 9:25 pm

Would it be possible to target raises so that newer teacher, who have the lowest salaries and typically most challenging economics (student loans, no home ownership) get the biggest raises and those with the highest salaries have comparatively smaller raises?


13 people like this
Posted by A Resident
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 23, 2016 at 9:35 pm

Los Gatos/Saratoga pays slightly more - about 2-3% - thought they are a small high school district. Menlo Park elementary pays more at the lowest column, less in all the rest - so overall less.

St. Helena and Montecito are pretty far away. I'm not sure how many teachers are shopping all over the state for work based on small differences in pay. There might be other factors more important that would lead one to live in Napa or Santa Barbara vs. the Peninsula.

Overall, we seem pretty competitive, and don't seem to be suffering from undue attrition or insufficient good applicants.


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Posted by don't need top teachers
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 23, 2016 at 10:01 pm

"Menlo Park elementary pays more at the lowest column, less in all the rest - so overall less."

Menlo Park Elementary average teacher pay is higher than Palo Alto.


"Overall, we seem pretty competitive,"

Yeah, why come to Palo Alto, certainly isn't for the salaries since they are higher at all the surrounding school districts. a


4 people like this
Posted by A Resident
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 23, 2016 at 10:11 pm

@don't need - I'm looking at the salary comparison with Menlo Elementary - PAUSD is higher in all but the first column. Per the Weekly today, almost no PAUSD teachers are in the first column, even when they start out. So I'm not sure how you calculate, but it looks like PAUSD is higher.

PAUSD is ~4th among Peninsula districts, and #1 among larger districts. This is relevant, since there just aren't that many jobs at smaller districts, so we aren't always actually competing with them in particular situations.


11 people like this
Posted by competition
a resident of Mayfield
on May 23, 2016 at 10:44 pm

Senior teachers are unlikely to leave the district as they'd need to start all over again to gain tenure and put in the necessary years to earn a pension. It's the younger teachers (who are also paid far less than $100,000 per year) who the district will need to work hard to retain with higher salaries.


4 people like this
Posted by SEA_SEELAM REDDY
a resident of College Terrace
on May 24, 2016 at 7:05 am

SEA_SEELAM REDDY is a registered user.

Finally the teachers are receiving well deserved high pay.

Many young teachers want to teach and now can take up teaching in high schools rather than going to industry.

Now, the responsibility is on the teachers not to slack off. Keep motivated and make our children happy, smart and kind to humans and animals and to environment. Yes you can!

Respectfully


4 people like this
Posted by Focusing on What Matters
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 24, 2016 at 7:30 am

Clearly, this issue has touched a bigger nerve in our community than past items from the school board agenda this year. But this issue truly highlights the need for more time for discourse and more strategic, thoughtful leadership by our school district and community. Too often this year, big issue decisions have come before the board without any sense of an overall vision and with lack of depth in the discussion. The only discussion forums for large items such as salaray increasese, class size, school innovation, kindergarten strategy, social/emotional programs, etc. are the board meetings and perhaps some poorly advertised committee/task force meetings. Then, when the issue hits the newstands, people feel they have to quickly take sides and put flags in the ground, rather than having the time to ask questions, get more data, discuss, and ask more questions, so that we work together as informed citizens and a team working to actually solve some of the toughest questions to answer. The kneejerk that comes from all sides whenever any topic regarding our school district is raised doesn't seem to do anything to actually advance what should be our primary concern, our common cause - our children's well-being and opportunities for engaged, meaningful, authentic learning. Without the chance for deeper discource, we don't have the chance to uncover more creative, innovative and effective solutions.

In this case, yes, teachers in general in our country should be paid better. And specifically in our region, housing is a huge issue for many people. Yet I have never heard our district administration say "Hey, we're looking at creative ways to solve the housing cost crunch for our teachers long-term. That's a strategic priority for us. Because we value our teachers as professionals and they are key to the success of our students." And then be creative about how you solve the housing cost crunch - rather than just throwing the surplus at a raise that really won't make much of a dent in a teacher's ability to afford this area, other districts are and have looked at ways to actually partner with developers in their towns to build more affordable housing specifically for teachers. Or there's the Stanford model that could be followed to help teachers finance housing. And I'm sure many more other possibilities, if only we had leadership that would take the time to set out a set of strategic priorities and actually facilitate community discussion, idea generation, idea validation, etc. etc. We're really missing the boat in terms of putting our minds together to come up with better solutions that honor our teachers, put our children at the core of solutions, and create long-term, efficient uses of the funds we have at our disposal.


2 people like this
Posted by google is easy
a resident of Downtown North
on May 24, 2016 at 8:09 am

CALIFORNIA — Average teaching salary: $69,324

4th highest paying state for elementary school: $69,320
According to the California Department of Education, California’s top-paying* schools in 2012–2013 were as follows:

Mountain View-Los Altos Union High: $103,172
St. Helena Unified: $99,099
Montecito Union Elementary: $98,588
Menlo Park City Elementary: $95,258
Los Gatos-Saratoga Jr. Union High: $93,896
*Average salary


1 person likes this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 24, 2016 at 8:36 am

[Portion removed.] Just because our teachers are being paid $100,000, doesn't mean they have to justify their salaries. They should be paid that much to give our kids an easier life. PAUSD high schools operate like private schools. Other public schools in the area (besides the Asian Fremont and Cupertino schools) allow students to have free time and their students are being admitted to colleges at nearly the same rate.


25 people like this
Posted by Reality check
a resident of Barron Park
on May 24, 2016 at 9:48 am

It's easy to see the data for this. In 2014-15, PAUSD had the 8th highest average teacher salaries in the state (out of something over 1,000 school districts), at $95,811. It's over 3 times the size of the next largest district with higher average salaries. It's the highest paying district statewide with more than 4,000 students. Locally, MVLA, Los Gatos-Saratoga, and Menlo Park Elementary have higher salaries. All of them together aren't as big as PAUSD. (There are over 50 school districts in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties).

Web Link

Sorry, but the idea that Palo Alto is way back in the pack on pay just doesn't pan out.


14 people like this
Posted by more than meets the eye
a resident of Barron Park
on May 24, 2016 at 10:00 am

@Reaility Check,

You're missing the point. The teachers in Palo Alto are just that - teachers. They can go to any school district not just one that is the same size as PAUSD.

It's been pointed out by several posters that the the school districts surrounding Palo Alto pay more - QED Palo Alto teachers aren't being over paid.

The problem with the Weekly's article is that it gives no context. It just screams out a headline number with the obvious response from posters with salary envy. When you add in the context you can start to understand the numbers. We haven't even started to consider how the cost of living in Palo Alto is higher than these neighboring districts.


3 people like this
Posted by Reality check
a resident of Barron Park
on May 24, 2016 at 10:10 am

@more

Thanks for responding. Size matters because it reflects the number of jobs that competitors are trying to fill. A smaller competitor that pays more isn't as important as a larger competitor that pays more, because PAUSD isn't competing over as many teachers. And we don't have any larger districts anywhere in the state that pay more than us.

I don't say that Palo Alto is overpaying teachers. I say that Palo Alto is paying them well relative to the market. That's fine with me, but it doesn't support a 12% raise rather than a 9% raise.

The cost of living in Palo Alto versus Mountain View, Menlo Park, and Saratoga does not seem relevant to me. Teachers can easily live in any of those places and teach in Palo Alto, and vice versa.


Like this comment
Posted by more than meets the eye
a resident of Barron Park
on May 24, 2016 at 10:49 am

"The cost of living in Palo Alto versus Mountain View, Menlo Park, and Saratoga does not seem relevant to me. Teachers can easily live in any of those places and teach in Palo Alto, and vice versa."

Yes, teachers can live in any of the places for less and get paid more than working and NOT living in Palo Alto.

Thanks for making my point.


8 people like this
Posted by Reality check
a resident of Barron Park
on May 24, 2016 at 11:07 am

@more

Maybe some do, even though they are smaller districts. What we know is that PAUSD loses very few teachers to other districts, and that the district is able to hire excellent teachers to fill its needs. It's not broken, why is the school board committed to spending all $8 million of the surplus on fixing it? Are you really saying that it has to be 9% rather than 12%, to prevent a catastrophe that shows no signs of actually happening?


7 people like this
Posted by wow
a resident of Barron Park
on May 24, 2016 at 11:34 am

Wow!!! I'm confused. Weekly and Dauber imply on a weekly basis how Palo Alto Schools are coming up short yet if you look at Paly seniors this year 95 percent of those kids are attending some very impressive colleges with a few going junior college route and nothing wrong with that.

Reading Weekly and listening to Dauber you would thing PAUSD is falling apart and teachers are not doing their job!

I'm very confused here, am I missing something? You can not argue results!!!!


11 people like this
Posted by really
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 24, 2016 at 12:26 pm


@wow

Yes we should all congratulate the seniors for their academic achievements, and send them off with confidence and pride that this community produced yet another bunch of responsible young people to the society.

However, did we ever look into how many students have highly educated parents, hired tutors and supportive families spending tons of time with them? Was there ever a correlation between the local students' college admission rate and the above resources? Why is there the achievement gap in PAUSD, and what family composition there is for those students who aren't striving? To be fair, the school did part of the job, the families delivered the other half. So don't be so quick to claim credit.

I do not even know Dauber; I just think that we should not discredit different opinions or different voice. I start to wonder how many people hanging around here are PAUSD employees who will benefit from this proposed raise...


9 people like this
Posted by wow
a resident of Barron Park
on May 24, 2016 at 1:09 pm

Hey Reality,
The cold hard truth is those kids going to colleges worked hard and did whatever it took, them and their families. The so called disadvantaged kids most often than not get out of their educational experience what they put into it. Yes, you can lead them to the water but you cannot make them drink the water. To you this will be completely politically incorrect but is the truth.

Education is a inside job that starts at home, it is a family affair, no doubt about it.


3 people like this
Posted by Alphonso
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on May 24, 2016 at 4:25 pm

This is just another distorted hit piece and whoever put it together did not bother to put much thought into it. Take a look at a couple of sentences -" Under the contract, teachers work 187 days a year, or 8.6 months. If adjusted for 12 months work, the rate that would pay $100,000 for 8.6 month would equate to $140,000 annually." The simpleton who wrote that assumed that the rest of us work 100% of the time. The fact is that we do not work 100% of the time - we all get time off for vacation and holidays. There are 260 weekdays in a 52 week year and most of us in the tech industry get 3-5 weeks of vacation and 12 to 13 days of holidays - does that mean we only work 10.4 months per year? - it does not feel that way.


9 people like this
Posted by Parents Unionize!
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2016 at 5:32 pm

My only concern with this whole proposal is that it puts teachers over the real needs of students who are in the bubble now. I sincerely hope (and I have written to all the board members) that the board goes back to the negotiating table with the union to find a reasonable way to increase the pay of all our deserving teachers (sadly the rotten apples will ride the tide too) after making sure and committing that class sizes are reduced and new teachers are hired. I am not sure it's wise to hope that property tax revenue will be on the uptick always. We are almost at the end of the 10 year boom cycle and $ 3 million homes are sitting longer plus the uncertainty with the Eichler neighborhoods. May reason and logic prevail tonight!


5 people like this
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on May 24, 2016 at 6:51 pm

Over $100K per year and a three month vacation, and a great retirement package... It must be nice.

"The problem with the Weekly's article is that it gives no context. It just screams out a headline number with the obvious response from posters with salary envy."

I have three month vacation envy, not salary envy. ;-) The Weekly's headline and article did exactly what it was intended to do. CNN's TV content does the same thing, as do most other media outlets. They are businesses, not charities.


10 people like this
Posted by PAParent
a resident of Midtown
on May 24, 2016 at 7:28 pm

It's fair to expect that teachers get salaries comparable to the rest of us since their jobs are important. Many of us here pointed out how those who work in Tech get lots of days off, and higher pay etc. Well, the flip side is also that most of us in Tech also need to prove ourselves and work under a lot of pressure.

I have come across many splendid teachers in PAUSD, but with all due respect, I did not think that they were working under a lot of pressure or they were being affected if their performance was not good. Case in point, in my child's elementary school, there's a Kindergarten teacher who has an awful reputation, and she has had several parents complain, some even take their kids out of school due to her, in Kindergarten. Recently, due to under-enrollment, one K class got cut in the school. Guess what happened to this teacher? She is being moved to another grade! I know for a fact that some parents will be actually checking out private schools due to this decision!!

This is not an isolated case. Listen to the grapevine of any JLS parents and you will hear names of some teachers in the same line as "uninspiring", "uncaring"etc. I am sure other schools have their own lists as well. Overall, not all is rosy in PAUSD. There are some teachers that are bad, period, and they are getting raises.

The moral of the story is this: when pay is competitive, work conditions must be so. A $120,000 salary with fewer hours/days of work, and a generous pension is a solid pay package. No harm in getting 12% raise, but only if you've earned it through hard work.


14 people like this
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on May 24, 2016 at 8:25 pm

"There are some teachers that are bad, period, and they are getting raises."

That is because they are protected by their union. That entity is based on seniority and protects its own, regardless of merit. The good and the bad are treated equally because the union will go on strike if anyone tries to challenge them. The only way anything is going to change is if the people, especially the parents, stare down the union and bring it to heel. If they are allowed to club the people over the head with the threat of a labor action, nothing will change.

Do Palo Altans have the brass to take on this challenge? A meritocratic framework would benefit everyone except the poor performers.

BTW - I had first hand experience in grade school with one of the "bad apples". This teacher started behaving out of character, rather weird and the Wicked Witch of the West. Looking back on it, she was probably mentally ill. Under no circumstances should she have been allowed to stay in the classroom. What did the school district do? Dismiss her, as should have been done? Nope. Instead, the union protected her and she was allowed to stay. Hey unions, where were you when we needed you to do the right thing?


10 people like this
Posted by PAParent
a resident of Midtown
on May 25, 2016 at 9:19 am

That is why, Ken is the only sensible voice on this. I am not friends with Ken, in fact I have only seen him in person once, but he seems to have the ability to make an independent judgement and analysis of issues without falling for herd mentality.

Also, if you look at the actual board, you will see a number of really wealthy folks who are members, some are nurturing real political ambition and therefore unsurprisingly, want to build a "track record" of voting for policies that will get them support from interest groups in the future.

120K salary with benefits and pension is low if you live in Crescent Park or Old Palo Alto (certain residents). Sure, if you make millions each year. It's not so for all Palo Alto residents, however.


3 people like this
Posted by Maya
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 25, 2016 at 9:40 am

$100,000??? What an embarrassment. The median income in Palo Alto is four times that much. The cost of living, far surpasses $100,000 a year. I don't see how Palo Alto is going to continue to attract "the best and the brightest," or retain those already on board. We have to stop taking teachers for granted or be prepared to pay the real price.


5 people like this
Posted by PACA
a resident of Southgate
on May 25, 2016 at 9:47 am

Considering that teachers get Summers off, two weeks off for Winter, one week off in the Spring and a bunch more time off for government holidays - they are well compensated for 180 work days per year. They work two thirds of the year for a full year pay, so add one third to their base pay and it looks like a fairly good income. It takes three to five years on the job to qualify for a two week vacation, teachers get over three months off.


Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 25, 2016 at 10:55 am

@Maya, that figure is for "imputed income."
Good thing I'm not taxed on it.


5 people like this
Posted by Maya
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 25, 2016 at 11:13 am

@PACA - Summers off? Most teachers teach summer school in order to make ends meet or fulfill the continuing education requirements. Government holidays? Most teachers are in their classes prepping, correcting, planning, organizing, collaborating, cleaning, downloading, uploading, conferencing, writing, assessing, calibrating, creating, reviewing, learning, translating, grading, producing- all that is required to teach students. It doesn't happen by itself. Furthermore it is impossible to do the for mentioned while teaching. That's how days off, or non student days are spent by in large.
When was the last time you spent all day every day with a class of 22-28 children-meeting their every single need, dealing with their parents, solving the multitude of problems that walk in the door everyday, and teaching the common core, (differentiated of course to meet the needs of ALL learners)?
Try it. then we can discuss "days off."


7 people like this
Posted by BP mom
a resident of Barron Park
on May 26, 2016 at 8:44 am

Good for Palo Alto teachers.

Maybe you should write an article about the schools with the biggest need in our area, the Ravenswood City schools in East Palo Alto. Good teachers are leaving in mass to higher paying districts. Long term subs have taken the place of real teachers. Due to low salary there is an extreme lack of consistency. It is next to impossible to build quality programs with high turnover.
And then Zuckerbrrg and charter schools will take the top students(much like Tinsley program)
Palo Alto students will be fine with the teachers they have, no matter the salary. What about those with the biggest needs?


18 people like this
Posted by Commenter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 26, 2016 at 5:38 pm

@Maya,
Median HOUSEHOLD income in Palo Alto (in most households, this is two earners), is around $160,000, including billionaires in the stats.

That means two married teachers, or a teacher married to anyone else, makes far in excess of of the median income, with a free summer. This means, relative to the majority of Palo Alto households, teachers do quite well. Relative to households in other places they might commute from, they are rich.

Please do not insult our intelligence by claiming teachers hang around school in the summer doing unpaid work. People clear out. They're usually back right before school, and they're paid for that time. It's hard to even get the administrators to call you back - they're supposedly still on the job, but most are frequently gone and unavailable, especially over the summer. As for dealing with umpteen parents,etc, I'd be more sympathetic to that claim if I'd actually experienced answered emails or anything like what you described.


1 person likes this
Posted by Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on May 26, 2016 at 9:47 pm

Midtowner is a registered user.

@Commenter.

Maya isn't trying to insult your intelligence, and she's not "claiming" anything - she's stating something that is, in fact, quite accurate. Teachers spend a good portion of their summer reflecting on how the year went, how they could improve their teaching in the coming year, reading articles, blogs, etc., about best practices, looking for additional enrichment material, etc. They may not be "hanging around" school, especially if the District is renting out the facilities to one summer camp or another, but that doesn't mean they aren't working off-site to improve the quality of their students' classroom experience. From the attitude you've displayed with your comments, I'm guessing you don't have any friends who are teachers that you could talk to to confirm this. Perhaps you'll just need to be willing to consider that teachers are professionals who take their work and their growth seriously, and who are passionate about supporting their students' learning, even though so little appreciation is shown for their effort and their contribution to society. I'll repeat my assertion that if every Palo Alto parent were required to teach one week in a classroom, there would be far fewer critical posts in Palo Alto Online. Thanks, Maya, for telling it like it is.


4 people like this
Posted by Commenter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 27, 2016 at 1:13 am

@Midtowner,
Actually, I do have friends who are teachers, in this district and elsewhere, current and retired, and administrators elsewhere.

I do respect teachers. I am only pointing out that the argument that they aren't paid well is flat out wrong, and the reasoning to justify it above is navel-gazing and wrong. I can point out faulty information not supported by facts without hating teachers, can I not? Most professionals think about their work and read articles, etc etc, What they don't get is a few free months to also travel, rest, or take other work like teachers do. From the attitude you've displayed in your comments, I"m guessing it doesn't cross your mind much the sacrifices many district families are making to give you your cushy salary.

Someone above claimed the median income here was four times what teachers make, which is just flat out wrong. Given the data, most teachers do on average better than the majority of the community paying their salaries. See my post above.


4 people like this
Posted by Commenter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 27, 2016 at 1:21 am

@Midtowner,
Oh, and by the way, every one of my teacher friends, with one exception, lives in a nicer house than I do.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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