CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. – Way back in 2005, the New York Times published a story titled “The Rise of the Six-Figure Teacher.”
It addressed the growing number of public school teachers in New York State that were earning six-figure salaries. As the article noted, the increasing salaries were becoming a strain for many public school budgets, particularly in districts with lower tax bases.
“Many of the top-paid teachers are in wealthy districts with high-performing schools, like Manhasset. But many are also in districts with little wealth and struggling schools, like Central Islip,” the news report said.
All these years later, it’s clear that the six-figure trend is a permanent feature of the Central payroll, particularly with benefits added in.
In 2015-16, 534 Central Islip teachers earned a combined $64,753,825 in base salary, for an eye-opening average of $121,261 per teacher.
They also received a combined $12,897,342 in benefits, for an average of $24,152 per teacher, and the school district made $8,566,330 in retirement contributions on their behalf, for an average of $16,041 per teacher.
That brought the average compensation for Central Islip teachers to at least $161,454 — $40,193 more than the average base salary.
What do the parents and taxpayers of the district get for that sort of financial investment?
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Niche.com recently gave the Central Islip district a grade of C- in academics. One middle school in the district was identified by the state of New York as “struggling.”
Great pay for mediocre outcomes. It’s a story all too common in American public schools.