Are public school teachers overpaid? Underpaid? Should pay be based on test scores? Should parents provide more money to struggling school districts? These are universal questions when it comes to public education.
Statewide, the average teacher salary declined slightly during the 2011-12 academic year to $68,531, the Bakersfield Californian reported.
A new online comparison tool lets the public compare average teacher salaries by school district, revealing that Santa Cruz teacher salaries lag behind the average teacher pay in California.
Overall, Santa Cruz County educators are below the state average.
But the California Teachers Association doesn't put much stock in the comparison tool. Teacher salary scales are configured with formulas that take into account years of experience and education level, but many young and early-career teachers have been laid off due to budget cuts in recent years.
In the Soquel Union Elementary School District, a proposed parcel tax could fund new teachers and exisiting programs. It would cost $90 per property owner per year for eight years. It will be on a special ballot in May.Teacher Salaries 2011-12
School District Average Pay Student Enrollment Live Oak Elementary SD
$59,058 2,061 Pajaro Valley USD
$56,296 19,923 San Lorenzo Valley USD
$61,920 4,264 Santa Cruz City Schools
Scotts Valley USD $57,051 2,506 Soquel Union Elementary School District
1,892 Source: Ed-Data
California public school teachers make 16.1 percent less than other college graduates, according to the California Teachers Association. The disparity increases for those with master's degrees.
How much do you think teachers should be paid in Santa Cruz County? Tell us in the comment section below.