Park City to pay new teachers $50,700 a year plus benefits

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  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    June 5, 2017 7:10 a.m.

    To "Sunsang2005 Lindon" so what you are saying is that all paying teachers more does is retain teachers. Students will not do any better, test scores will not go up, teachers will not care any more. We won't get better teachers, just the same teachers will remain.

    So, tell us again why this is a good thing.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    June 2, 2017 9:46 a.m.

    WPU increases can be ate up by insurance costs and so forth. Most teachers never get the WPU the state gives. In regards to health insurance costs, during negotiations much of the WPU could or other local funds could be used to keep premiums and coverage the same though medical inflation is greater. For the last decade and maybe a few years beyond Provo district teachers have not got raises that were in line with the stated WPU. In fact, as I said earlier, many years the raises Provo school district teachers got were 1% or less or none at all. For two years steps were frozen altogether. It is important for the public to realize two things:

    1) The WPU does not reflect what actual raise teachers will get in salary. Salary is determined by a variety of factors including both state and local funding While Park City and other districts are getting big raises, other districts are not.

    2) The WPU again is not just tied to salary, it is money given to districts which then decide how to allocate these funds. And as I said previously, sometimes preserving benefits or not having them get much worse, is where this funding goes.

    I hope this answers your questions Orem Parent.

  • Sunsang2005 Lindon, Utah Syracuse, UT
    June 2, 2017 8:17 a.m.

    Red shirt, you are not paying attention. I never said the teacher pay affected the parents or students. It will help with the problem of retaining the good teachers who could leave the profession for "greener" pastures. I also explicitly stated that the responsibilities of the parents and students are vital to success. Teachers could never properly replace parents, and I never said they could. A great teacher can motivate a struggling student who wants to learn despite poor support from parents, but it should not be necessary. The thing is we agree that teachers cannot do this alone. You are just bent on having an argument without understanding that we are saying the same things. Parents need to take ownership over their child's education, teachers beg for this, but don't always get it. The only thing teacher raises do is allow them to support their own families and their aspirations for more and more hands-on activities for their classroom. I started out teaching for less than 1500/month take home with a baby on the way, and even spent a short time virtually homeless during my first two years. I love teaching. Does that mean I should have to do it for as little as possible?

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    June 2, 2017 3:35 a.m.

    Howard, how can Provo only get a 2% raise when the state gave a 4.2% raise to the WPU?

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    June 1, 2017 8:44 p.m.

    It is important that NOT all districts are getting this windfall. For example, Provo School District teachers got a 2% raise and went nearly a decade without any sizable raises, some years no raises and in two years steps were frozen. While Park City teachers will make 50K, teachers in some districts like Provo will still be in the 30-35K range.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    June 1, 2017 3:50 p.m.

    To "Sunsang2005 Lindon" you didn't answer the question that I asked you.

    How does paying a teacher improve parent involvement in their child's education?

    Since studies show that the greatest influence in a child's education is their parents, why are we looking to replace parents with teachers?

  • itswhatithink West Jordan, UT
    June 1, 2017 2:45 p.m.

    I have asked this question before - where is all the money coming from to increase salaries. Just a couple of months ago education was screaming that the increase by the legislature would not even cover new incoming students.

    What cuts are being made in every district so they can increase pay for every teacher - and I am sure administrator and every other classified employee in the district?

  • Sunsang2005 Lindon, Utah Syracuse, UT
    June 1, 2017 2:28 p.m.

    Red shirt,
    I never said the increase in teacher pay would change anything academically. I actually acknowledged that the parents and the students, themselves hold a great deal of the responsibility for education. If a child has low or no desire for learning, there is only so much a parent and teacher can do. If a parent and their child have low or no motivation, how in the world is that the teacher's responsibility? I did say that being chintzy with them is not wise.

  • Sunsang2005 Lindon, Utah Syracuse, UT
    June 1, 2017 12:18 p.m.

    @Naval Vet
    In answer to your question. Look at Brave Sir Robin's comment as well as kfbob. They both are suggesting that the scores should immediately go up. I realize it's probably in jest, but my point remains valid. Expecting scores or whatever you want to look at, to rise based solely on teacher efforts is ludicrous. Accountability also lies with the parents and students themselves. And short-changing a teacher on his or her salary is not wise as good teachers will eventually leave for the obvious greener pastures.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    June 1, 2017 12:03 p.m.

    To "kfbob" how are things going to be any different in a year? Will the teachers still have the same curriculum to teach? Does paying a teacher more automatically make them care more? Will the bad teachers be fired and replaced by better teachers?

    What is going to change?

    To "There You Go Again" why wouldn't you want a public school to be more aligned with a private school? You do know that private schools out perform public schools in nearly every test. Why are you against improving education?

    To "Sunsang2005 Lindon" but study after study has shown that the biggest influence on how well a child does in school is parental involvement. How does paying a teacher more improve parent involvement?

  • LivinLarge Bountiful, UT
    June 1, 2017 11:47 a.m.

    As evidenced by places like California, Illinois, New York, etc...when teacher's salaries go up the quality of education goes down. The biggest change the locals will feel will be their property and local taxes going up dramatically.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    June 1, 2017 11:23 a.m.

    Sunsang2005 Lindon, Utah:

    Who here exactly is suggesting that raising educator salaries will "alone...make-up for the responsibilities of all other areas of a child's life"? It seems to me that what's being debated here is "how much" does raising a teacher's salary benefit the student?

    Personally, I think that raising teachers' salaries will result in more people choosing to pursue that occupation, which would thereby increase the pool of applicants from which to choose, which would thereby raise the standards for education. And THAT would be where the students begin to reflect improvement. Utahns can't do much to enforce educational standards "in the home", but they CAN do something about enforcing educations standards in your "public schools".

  • Sunsang2005 Lindon, Utah Syracuse, UT
    June 1, 2017 10:58 a.m.

    The salary being raised, does not directly correlate to higher student achievement. Why? and why is it foolish to assume that it does? Because the teacher is only one part of a child's education background. Socioeconomic status, parent involvement, and student attitude and desire all play parts of the equation as well. Any one of my current or former elementary students can tell you that an equation that is completely solvable can only have one variable. Several on this board are saying in essence, "x+y+a+b+50,000=student achievement. Um, you fail. Without considering all of the variables it is just bad math to expect the teacher alone to make-up for the responsibilities of all other areas of a child's life. We might be able to overcome one or two of these areas that we have no control over, but all of them? Nice to see you expect superhuman abilities from the teachers. Get real!

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 1, 2017 10:26 a.m.

    no question teachers should start at 50k but also they should ALL be required to have a Masters degree as well. We need to get what we pay for. Some of my kids teachers in High School probably should have gotten a pay cut instead.

  • ERB Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 1, 2017 10:01 a.m.

    I'm glad this bidding war is for teachers and not just for NBA players. Hopefully it'll keep good teachers teaching, but at the same time money doesn't fix all the problems.

  • Western Rover Herriman, UT
    June 1, 2017 9:57 a.m.

    I'd be happy to pay good teachers a white collar salary, even higher than $50k starting, if teachers would submit to white collar practices like at-will employment and not paying all teachers based solely on seniority and degrees earned, but on how much in demand their subject is and how good the individual teacher is.

    As long as teachers insist on blue collar practices like lockstep raises, due process for firing, and first-in-last-out layoffs, they shouldn't be surprised at being paid a blue collar wage.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    June 1, 2017 9:17 a.m.

    So we should expect student test scores to go up proportionally, right?

  • There You Go Again St George, UT
    June 1, 2017 9:02 a.m.

    Paying new teachers...

    The die was cast years ago when the re-Publicans decided to make public education a whipping boy in their political platform.

    After years of demonizing Public School Teachers, the chickens continue to come home to roost.

    One need look no further than the PAY to PLAY Department of Education Secretary De Vos.

    Armed with nothing more than a personal agenda and backed by roughly $200,000,000,00 in re-Publican political patronage courtesy of her family's political largesse, De Vos continues to bumble her way along the road to the complete wholesale privatization of the entire American Public School System.

    That being said...

    Congratulations to the PC School District for offering the starting salary indicated in the piece.

    The onus is now on the District and School Administrators as well as the Classroom Teachers to prove... via student performance... that they have earned this salary.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    June 1, 2017 8:33 a.m.


    "With this increase we should see tangible results in the classrooms this next school year."

    Not so. The "tangible results" shouldn't be expected until several years down the line. Next year's staff of educators really won't be much different from last year's, so merely "raising a teacher's salary" won't impact "how students learn". What raising their salaries will do, will attract more high school graduates to consider majoring in "Education" when in college, since $50K ain't a bad starting wage. This will thereby start to attract smarter people into the profession, which will result in a larger and more qualified pool of teacher applicants -- 4 to 5 yrs down the line. In the short term, it could serve to attract a larger pool of applicants from out-of-state.

    And in the end, all the teachers who are in Park City right now, will still be the "same teachers" they were last year. The "tangible results" you're seeking is more likely going to come from the NEXT generation of educators. You gotta look at this move from a "long-term" perspective. Don't be so short-sighted.

  • Johnny Triumph Lahaina, HI
    June 1, 2017 8:17 a.m.

    @Warren - the correct amount should be variable and be based on competitive market salaries for similarly trained people. Math and Sciences should be much higher than $50k. Computer specialties should be even higher than that. English and Journalism should be lower than $50k. Yes it'll create all sorts of politics in the workplace but if we really want it to be fair then we'll operate in market economics rather than school vs private.

    I held an Elem Ed teaching license in Utah 20 years ago...if I were to leave my current position I'd lose 2/3 of my salary, even to go to $50k. Not to mention my benefits package. I'd love to teach but I'd be incredibly foolish to leave money on the table. Now if they could offer a competitive package I'd certainly consider it.

  • MC Squared Plano, TX
    June 1, 2017 8:10 a.m.

    So a wage of $50,700 for basically a 10 month schedule would be the equivalent to $61,000 annualized. Adding benefits most likely increases that closer to $70,000 per year. According to Labor Department data, that puts them equivalent to the average Business and Financial Operations management and 41% higher than the average C&B in the US. Seems about right to me and generous in that it is 37% higher than the average state employee in Utah.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    June 1, 2017 7:31 a.m.

    Kudos to Park City for taking leadership on a crucial issue the Legislature and other school districts have no ability - or willingness - to adequately respond.

    (It's also notable that many people in Park City are higher earning transplants from other states - the sort of people you'd expect to buy into the "parent choice" movement to de-emphasize public schools and let them atrophy. Instead, Park City is re-investing in *public* schools. That says something.)

    Having a decent salary to look forward will attract more education majors in college. Who knows - maybe it won't be an automatic shoo-in if you want to study education?

  • kfbob SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    June 1, 2017 7:00 a.m.

    2 months? I think most teacher get closer to 3 months. With this increase we should see tangible results in the classrooms this next school year.

  • Warren ,
    June 1, 2017 6:46 a.m.

    TX BYU fan--I have asked several times- what should that amount be? Many people say that teachers are underpaid but no one will ever venture to say what the proper amount should be. Obviously, if you know they are underpaid, you must know what is the proper amount that they should receive. What would that amount be?

  • birder Salt Lake City, UT
    June 1, 2017 12:09 a.m.

    Jackson, WY pays its teachers $50,000 plus, but teachers can't afford to live there. I think the same is true for Park City. How many teachers commute from Coalville or Heber?

    At any rate, this pay increase makes Jordan, who was tooting its horn over its "great pay increase," look really stingy. Just sayin'.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    May 31, 2017 11:09 p.m.

    It's a start. If only every school district had adequate funding to pay teachers like that.

  • Rockarolla West Jordan, UT
    May 31, 2017 10:06 p.m.

    Nice Job Park City. Our teachers deserve much more than they are getting.

  • scrappy do DRAPER, UT
    May 31, 2017 9:20 p.m.

    Finally teachers getting their fair share

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    May 31, 2017 9:20 p.m.

    $50k is almost the median Utah household income. In many homes that requires two incomes to achieve. In a lot of Utah homes, the median household income does not include benefits. In most homes, achieving Statewide medium income takes a decade or more of work experience.

    So $50k plus full benefits is a very good starting compensation even if someone commutes from a low-housing-cost area of SL or Tooele counties to work in PC.

    A married couple both starting out as teachers in PC would have a combined household income of $100k plus full benefits. That is a very comfortable income, especially for a couple both fresh out of college. Doubly so for a job with 2 full months off in the summer and 3 weeks off combined between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    This should end all complaining about teacher pay in PC. All of it.

    But if there is a single suggestion in the next few years that PC teachers are not paid enough, we will know that no amount will ever be enough for the union.

    Is a comfy income sufficient? Or will it now be about comparisons to other professions?

  • TX BYU Fan Heber City, UT
    May 31, 2017 8:53 p.m.

    Kudos to Park City for moving in the right direction to pay teachers what they are worth. Other school districts in Utah need to play catch up. Teachers are grossly underpaid in Utah.

  • ca8 Ogden, UT
    May 31, 2017 8:30 p.m.

    This sounds great for them, but how good is it when you take cost of living into account? Just wondering.