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anc
Member since Nov 2012
11239 posts

Teachers of Money Talk - or husbands of teachers like me
Here in Mississippi, there is a lot of bitching and moaning recently about teacher pay. My wife is a teacher. She's been teaching for 12 years, has a masters degree and has some certifications that took her a few weeks over the summers when she first started.


I asked three random friends what they think my wife made. The answers ranged from $34,000-$38,000.

She makes $60,000. She does work 2 more weeks than a "regular" teacher, but gets summers off, all the holidays, and has a guaranteed pension that would make the Money Talk regulars that understand its worth salivate.

But that's not the biggest benefit, and I recently found out that only 2% of Mississippi teachers take advantage of the biggest benefit.

The 457b plan.

You can take $19,000 of your salary and put it in this 457b plan. Ours is managed by Vanguard, so we have access to the entire portfolio of Vanguard funds. The money is pre-taxed, so the $19,000 for us is like $14,500 of post tax. It decreases our income so it looks like we make less for federal and income tax purposes.

Plus. There is no penalty for withdrawal. Its basically a savings account. And if you are closer to retirement, you can put $38,000 in. Its a huge benefit, and basically no one takes advantage!!!! But the teachers are threatening to strike because they wanted a $4000 raise and they got a $2300 raise instead.


TigerTatorTots
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
The Safeshore
Member since Jul 2009
74793 posts

re: Teachers of Money Talk - or husbands of teachers like me
Teachers look at their pay and don't multiply it by 1.25 when factoring in real pay since they get 1/4 of the year off unlike 99% of other workers.

I will say I do think there should be metrics for higher pay but have it performance based where only the good ones get this bonus. Incentive based bonus structure works to improve performance in most industries so I don't see why it wouldn't work in teaching.
This post was edited on 4/6 at 10:48 am


corndawg85
Mississippi St. Fan
MS
Member since Oct 2013
647 posts

re: Teachers of Money Talk - or husbands of teachers like me
I'm a MS state employee and yes the PERS program is awesome, but has some drawbacks for some folks like myself: 8 years until you are vested, and it use to be 25 years of service until you could retire, but now its 30 years. If you can put up with the government red tape for 8 years then that 15.7 match is sweet, about to go up in July to over 17%. I have been working for almost 4 years and just about to get a raise, but there are definitely times when I have to question is it worth it. I also take part in the 457b plan, but mine is not managed by Vanguard.

What is the starting pay for teachers straight out of college? These younger folks think just because they went to college that they should be paid big bucks straight out of school.


anc
Member since Nov 2012
11239 posts

re: Teachers of Money Talk - or husbands of teachers like me
quote:

What is the starting pay for teachers straight out of college? These younger folks think just because they went to college that they should be paid big bucks straight out of school.



After this round of scale adjustment the starting salary for a basic teacher at 22 years old will be roughly $36,000 + local supplement which is between $500 (poor areas of the Delta) and $4000 (Madison)

Teachers are guaranteed a step raise of $725 from the state every year, no matter how they perform. Some districts also have a local step raise based on tax revenue.

Getting a masters degree is another guaranteed raise, and it actually increases the step raise. There are other certifications that teachers can get to raise their annual salary as much as $6000. Coaches, club advisors, etc. - all get supplemental stipends. There are some teachers at my wife's school making $85k.

This post was edited on 4/6 at 11:04 am


corndawg85
Mississippi St. Fan
MS
Member since Oct 2013
647 posts

re: Teachers of Money Talk - or husbands of teachers like me
Hell that's definitely more than what I started out at and I didn't start working full time until I was 25.


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30
yellowfin
Chicago Cubs Fan
Coastal Bar
Member since May 2006
91709 posts

re: Teachers of Money Talk - or husbands of teachers like me
Teachers do a great job spreading the word that they are underpaid. Not many people take the time to look at what they make

This doesn’t even take into account the pensions and Cadillac health insurance plans


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276
TigerintheNO
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Jan 2004
31088 posts

re: Teachers of Money Talk - or husbands of teachers like me
quote:

What is the starting pay for teachers straight out of college?


the average starting salary for a teacher in New Orleans is $42K. That number is a little higher than most because some charters don't offer the state pension plan, in lieu of higher salaries.

But like everything you really have to factor is cost of living. Even when at the top of the pay scale you can make nearly 80K, its not a enough to keep teachers in Hawaii. Losing 1200 a year.

Living with 2 roomates in a dump

100s of vacant teacher positions

This post was edited on 4/6 at 2:14 pm


TheWiz
LSU Fan
Third World, LA
Member since Aug 2007
9817 posts

re: Teachers of Money Talk - or husbands of teachers like me
My wife is a physician through a state university. She is classified as faculty. She is eligible for pension, 403b, and a 457. It is very nice to have access to so many retirement vehicles. Plus we backdoor Roths.


kywildcatfanone
Kentucky Fan
Wildcat Country!
Member since Oct 2012
59464 posts

re: Teachers of Money Talk - or husbands of teachers like me
quote:

My wife is a physician through a state university.


Public universities have tremendous benefits and retirement plans.


bovine1
LSU Fan
Walnut Ridge,AR via Tallulah,LA
Member since Dec 2004
1013 posts

re: Teachers of Money Talk - or husbands of teachers like me
My wife is a teacher here in Arkansas. They finish the year last week of May and start back first of Aug. so really she works 10 months. She spent 5 hours at school today and that's pretty normal for a Saturday. Our Governor and legislature stepped in and mandated raises this spring. It looks like she is going to get $1000/year. This is her 13th year of teaching. Up to now she's had 1 raise of $600/yr. Our Admin gives bonuses of about $500-700/year so they can't build salary. We have a 403b with Vanguard which is great.


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yellowfin
Chicago Cubs Fan
Coastal Bar
Member since May 2006
91709 posts

re: Teachers of Money Talk - or husbands of teachers like me
41,500 in Lafayette for a first year teacher. Based on 10 month work year so 49,800 annually. So say both spouses are teachers and that puts household income at 99,600. That puts them in the top 20% of households in the state of Louisiana as first year teachers at 23 years old


bayoubengals88
Wisconsin Fan
LA
Member since Sep 2007
11147 posts

re: Teachers of Money Talk - or husbands of teachers like me
I teach just outside of Baton Rouge.
I coach a sport and get a little extra for teaching a Dual Enrollment course.

I grossed $51,500 last year. Started teaching in 2014. I’m not one to complain, but will always take extra money if thrown at me. I actually know what to do with it.
Can’t imagine why I’d defer $19,000 per year though


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14
whg335
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2011
411 posts

re: Teachers of Money Talk - or husbands of teachers like me
As a retired teacher/administrator I would agree the Starting pay for right out of college is not comparably bad to other professions considering the actual time/ days at work. However, many teachers do put in time after hours planning and grading. The stipend that coaches and some club leaders receive is minimal for the hours they put in and the out of pocket costs for traveling to and from games/ activities. The most negative part of the pay in my opinion is that the salary increase is minimal as u progress. Unless you get into administration u are making little more than a beginning teacher after 30 years.
This post was edited on 4/6 at 8:38 pm


jimbeam
USA Fan
University of LSU
Member since Oct 2011
53034 posts

re: Teachers of Money Talk - or husbands of teachers like me
quote:

Unless you get into administration u are making little more than a beginning teacher after 30 years.
The scope of work doesn’t change much over a career in that case. Imagine if an engineer had the same duties their entire career. I wouldn’t expect to see anything other than 2% inflation pay increases.


TigerTatorTots
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
The Safeshore
Member since Jul 2009
74793 posts

re: Teachers of Money Talk - or husbands of teachers like me
quote:

My wife is a teacher here in Arkansas. They finish the year last week of May and start back first of Aug. so really she works 10 months.

I'm guessing 1 week for Thanksgiving, 2 for Christmas, 1 for Easter/Spring break so it is really 9 months.


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180
LSUFanHouston
LSU Fan
NOLA
Member since Jul 2009
14539 posts

re: Teachers of Money Talk - or husbands of teachers like me
quote:

The scope of work doesn’t change much over a career in that case. Imagine if an engineer had the same duties their entire career. I wouldn’t expect to see anything other than 2% inflation pay increases.


Meh.

More experienced teachers should have advanced skills, so they should be teaching harder classes, honors, etc.

Also, with the exception of English and maybe math, the stuff one teaches does change throughout the career. So they are constantly having to learn new material to teach. Not to mention new ways to teach. Not to mention, hwo the states like to change standards every few years.

If we are placing the same value on a teacher with 30 years exp that we do on a rookie teacher, that may be part of the reason why so many teachers are leaving after just a few years.


LSUFanHouston
LSU Fan
NOLA
Member since Jul 2009
14539 posts

re: Teachers of Money Talk - or husbands of teachers like me
quote:

The 457b plan.


They are under-used because they aren't matched, in most cases. A lot of people will only contribute to plans to the extent there is a match.

Also, if a teacher is making 60K a year and putting 19K into a plan, that's all well and good, but that means you are living on 41K (ignoring the pre-tax/post-tax for simplicity) a year. That's about some teachers earn.

Finally, let me say this to the whole "well you only work 10/12 months so it's like you are earning more for comparison". That's fine for dick-measuring comparisons. But it does nothing for reality, because you aren't making that money. Even if we assume teachers have 40 hours a week during the summer that they could be working, they aren't going to be making that amount of salary / hourly wage.

Yes, some teachers do work various things in the summer - working at camps, summer school, etc. But they still usually aren't making their regular wage.

I really think we should look at ALL teachers being 12 month employees. Pay them and let them spend the time during the summer working on lesson planning, continuing education, offering summer tutoring to interested kids, etc. A lot of teachers would welcome that - they would gladly give up their summer vacation for additional paid prep time. That would cut down on some of the stuff they have to do after hours during the year.


philabuck
Ohio State Fan
NE Ohio
Member since Sep 2008
9830 posts

re: Teachers of Money Talk - or husbands of teachers like me
quote:

I will say I do think there should be metrics for higher pay but have it performance based where only the good ones get this bonus.


Problem is the senior teachers are going to take the college prep courses and the new teachers are going to get stuck with the dropouts.


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tduecen
New York Yankees Fan
Member since Nov 2006
140901 posts

re: Teachers of Money Talk - or husbands of teachers like me
Masters degree means very little for teachers unless you plan on leaving the classroom. I make 460 more than someone with the same amount of years and a bachelors degree. I am also certified over multiple types of education practices but none add to my pay because they did not come from a 4-year college so they don't count as my +30. What they do is give me security to not get laid off or moved from my school.


In Louisiana, I'm 6 years, with a masters degree and I only earn 43 and change. I've never had a negative review and my students have shown improvement each year so far. I also have 65 students and 22 per classroom essentially (23 in one) and I teach two subjects. I put 200 a month into my retirement and 200 into my private investment. Since my check is essentially 2500 a month after insurance, taxes, etc I have 2100 a month for my house note, car note, student loans, travel, gas, bills, etc.
This post was edited on 4/7 at 11:50 am


KG6
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2009
10835 posts

re: Teachers of Money Talk - or husbands of teachers like me
quote:

The most negative part of the pay in my opinion is that the salary increase is minimal as u progress


This is true. My dad taught and after he had retired from teaching and I was working for several years, he talked frankly about what he made teaching. I had nearly gotten raises equal to his final salary in my first 5 years working (engineering, but still). It was eye opening.

But where he made a killing was retirement. He got to retire much earlier than a typical person. He never had to set aside retirement money and will always collect a percentage of his salary plus have insurance. He retired young enough to still work landing a job with all the contacts he made through his teaching and coaching career. In his 50's hes finally made the huge salary jump while collecting retirement. So although the actual salary increases aren't huge, there are definitely things to make up for it.


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