Teacher salaries

The story on Anne Arundel County Public Schools teacher salaries reported that the “four highest-paid teachers” each earned “above $114,000” (The Capital, Dec. 8). But in response to my own Public Information Act requests, I have found dozens of Unit 1 employees (“teachers”) who earn more than $120,000/year as well as more than 300 who earn more than $100,000/year.

Thus, it is important for The Capital to clearly disclose how it defines AACPS “teacher salaries.” Previously, it has sometimes reported “salary” based on the usual 191-day work year (the max is 260 days), and no “salary” for the other 71 paycodes (other types of pay); e.g., for coaching after school activities such as sports or band, serving as a department chair, or being nationally board certified.

One argument for such exclusions is that “salary” for the equivalent of holding a second job or otherwise doing extra work would be unfair to include. Needless to say, benefits, often more than 50% of pay for senior teachers, are also not included (using accrual accounting, benefits can reach more than 750% the year teachers reach their “pension cliff”).

But most noteworthy during fiscal 2019 was the decline from previous years of “teachers” with total pay ranging from $120,000 to slightly more than $150,000. I repeatedly asked AACPS spokesman Bob Mosier to explain this decline (AACPS compensation declining is like a man bites dog news event).

When Mosier refused to answer, I asked my elected school board member, Dana Schallheim. She initially promised to get me an answer, including the formula AACPS uses to generate “salary” from paycodes.

But after 40 days went by and I asked her for a status update, she referred me back to Mosier, whose refusal to provide an explanation was the reason I approached her in the first place.


Severna Park

For documentation, see http://k12transparency.isolon.org The original version of the letter-to-the-editor included this link for documentation purposes, but the Capital cut it as it does not allow links to external sources in its letters.

Source: Snider, J.H., Teacher Salaries, Capital, Dec. 14, 2019. (Date is for print, not online, edition.)