Pay for new teachers tops state

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Even if South Carolina teacher salaries are frozen next school year, first-year Aiken County teachers can still count on their pay remaining tops in the state.

Aiken County school salaries ranked No. 1 in the state for first- through third-year teachers at any degree level, according to state Education Department figures. The county has ranked No. 1 since 2002.

In 2008, Aiken County first-year teachers with a bachelor's degree earned $35,729, with $6,703 coming from a local supplement. The county's overall average teacher pay of $46,833 ranks 20th statewide.

Aiken County Human Resources Director Joyce Stanley said the local supplement will help in recruiting graduates and new teachers for the coming school year.

The district usually recruits from South Carolina and Georgia, but Mrs. Stanley said that in recent years an online database search has helped woo teachers from the Midwest, particularly Michigan and Ohio.

For the past seven years, the district has also offered signing bonuses of $1,000 for teachers in math, science and special education.

The budget crunch could put those bonuses and cost-of-living raises in jeopardy.

State Superintendent Jim Rex said Tuesday during House budget sessions that freezing teacher salaries is one of the few ways the agency could cut costs in the next fiscal year unless districts are given more spending flexibility.

Aiken County Superintendent Beth Everitt said Monday that she couldn't comment on the future of teacher salaries but that the county's final budget would depend on what the Legislature decides this year.

The Aiken County school board can't eliminate or reduce the salary supplement of $6,703, Comptroller Tray Traxler said.

In recent years, even with statewide cost-of-living raises, South Carolina has dropped nationally in average teacher pay.

The state ranked 33rd in 2006, down from 28th in 2004, according to the American Federation of Teachers. Georgia ranked 17th in 2006, down from 15th in 2004.

The average Georgia salary is $49,836. Columbia County offers first-year teachers with a bachelor's degree $36,824. Richmond County did not respond to requests for teacher salary information.

Mrs. Stanley said that although Georgia tends to offer more money, staying close on average pay and offering a quality work environment help keep new educators on the South Carolina side of the state line.

"Either way things go this year, though, we'll face a difficult budget year, and the ultimate goal is to fill positions where educational needs are met," Mrs. Stanley said.

Reach Julia Sellers at (706) 823-3424 or julia.sellers@augustachronicle.com.

NATIONAL RANKING

28th: South Carolina's national ranking for average teacher pay in 2004


33rd: South Carolina's national ranking for average teacher pay in 2006

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iletuknow
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iletuknow 01/08/09 - 03:53 am
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Incredible salaries! What do

Incredible salaries! What do they find to do with all that money?

crackertroy
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crackertroy 01/08/09 - 07:36 am
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Hahaha "Richmond County did
Unpublished

Hahaha "Richmond County did not respond to requests for teacher salary information". Hahahahahahahaha That says it all right there! hahahahaaha

db16
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db16 01/08/09 - 07:54 am
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Seriously...I hope you are

Seriously...I hope you are being sarcastic. Educators and Law Enforcement are the most underpaid, underappreciated and demanding jobs that exist in this country. Perhaps you should enter a classroom and do what these folks are doing for 8 hours a day and see the 'real behind the scenes' stuff that goes on! I promise you, educators are not in it for the money...they are there for the love! Don't speak on what you don't know...

REP
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REP 01/08/09 - 08:28 am
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Apparently they aren't in it

Apparently they aren't in it for the money just the inflatable mattress in the "security" shack. Is that what you mean by "the real behind the scenes"?

Little Lamb
49245
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Little Lamb 01/08/09 - 08:29 am
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Sorry DB, I disagree.

Sorry DB, I disagree. $36,000 right out of college is not "underpaid." Many college graduates not in the teaching profession make much less.

db16
95
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db16 01/08/09 - 08:34 am
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REP...that was pretty funny.

REP...that was pretty funny. But again, just goes to show how one bad apple can ruin the basket. That is not the case nor what I meant.
Lamb, check your stats. Perhaps you should look at the payscales and increments each year a teacher is in the profession. Gradual increase in pay...no incentives...no bonuses...etc. Also, educators are often times trying to further their own education...all out of their own pocket because they are not reimbursed by their 'systems' like many companies would do for their employees. $36,000 is VERY underpaid in this area...take a look at the cost of living! That salary would qaulify a teacher to purchase a house in the $80,000 to $90,000 range. You have any idea where they could find one of those? Exactly.

ZenoElia
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ZenoElia 01/08/09 - 09:15 am
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Permit my momentary chime in

Permit my momentary chime in here. While I agree that 36k out of college is a good starting salary, it is also a demanding position and true buying homes at that income would be hard to do. But hey, I'd be happy to teach for that amount right out of college. RCBOE refusal to comment is 'nuff said'. There are plenty of Business grads who begin their careers as managers at about 25k. I have to say that with all the problems teachers have to deal with, they ought to make more than the admin folks in Education. Maybe I should go back and get certified.....NAH!

db16
95
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db16 01/08/09 - 09:24 am
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Zeno...you make a strong

Zeno...you make a strong point. However, I would also like to let you know that RCBOE is just slightly higher than CCBOE in salary. It is also public domain...anyone can find out how much a teacher is making...just do a little research. Business grads starting at 25k? I find that very hard to believe. If the base salary was that small, I would imagine they have unbelievable incentive and bonus potential, great benefits and retirement packages with stock options. 25k equates to about $480 per week/ Gross. That my friend is $12.00/hour. I ain't buying that with a college degree? Not to knock it...but I would check your numbers again...typical salaries with college degrees/trade schools/tech schools would give around $15.00 to $22.00 hour to start. That is the purpose for going to school...search for lucrative salaries and packages.

Captain Awesome
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Captain Awesome 01/08/09 - 09:27 am
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$36,000 out of college can be

$36,000 out of college can be pretty good, but remember these students are coming out with huge loans and have to provide their own transportation (car payments and car insurance) and their own accommodations (teachers don't live with their parents until they get married anymore).

Also, the higher salaries can attract people who are skilled and could do other things. Although it's not usually the case, we all know somebody who couldn't cut it in a tougher major and fell back on teaching. That's not necessarily bad, but we want high quality teachers, not slackers and partiers. How do you do that? Give teachers RESPECT and a livable salary and get rid of the underperformers. They can find another way to make a living.

ZenoElia
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ZenoElia 01/08/09 - 09:29 am
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db, if that's the case why is

db, if that's the case why is it so hard to land a job here that really pays? I've met many who are grads who manage C-stores and small retail outlets at the mall. I've got enough college to do just about anything...but then again, there is the office politic that I try to avoid...maybe it's just me. Perhaps that's why I just work for p-nuts...Anybody know what the weather is like in the caymans? I may just move there permanently. I'm so sick of this God-forsaken town and its' miserable population. But I ramble. Ya'll have a great day...oh yeah, gators are gonna lose....GO SOONERS!

db16
95
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db16 01/08/09 - 09:41 am
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Zeno...I understand your

Zeno...I understand your point as for landing high paying/quality jobs. Understand it from the business angle...why pay someone more money if they aren't demanding it or why pay more when you have someone else willing to do the same thing for less. Take a look at why there is such a high Hispanic work force? It is criminal what these folks are being paid...but these workers are willing to work for 'p-nuts' (as you say) and most Americans wouldn't work for that when they can sit at home and collect more in a check each month (a check that your p-nuts and my cashews are providing them!)
Have a wonderful day and hang in there...and BTW...you should be expecting your NEW VEHICLE from GM within the next 6 months...I figure with their bail out...we should all be getting free stuff here shortly!
LOL

karmakills123
8
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karmakills123 01/08/09 - 11:25 am
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These teachers earn every

These teachers earn every penny of that money...46,000.00 is not a lot of money. GO GATORS !!!!!

Little Lamb
49245
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Little Lamb 01/08/09 - 11:28 am
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DB is living in a dream

DB is living in a dream world. First I said that there are many college graduates making less than teacher entry level pay, then Zeno provided first hand information of college business graduates making $25,000. But DB denies it.

BarstoolDreamer
19
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BarstoolDreamer 01/08/09 - 11:37 am
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36k and three monts off...not

36k and three monts off...not to bad. And to the people that whine anout the pay and the demands, If they only had some way to know what the job paid and the demands BEFORE they took the job...lol

db16
95
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db16 01/08/09 - 12:45 pm
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Lamb? I live in the real

Lamb? I live in the real world...would you like to join?
I agreed that there are many graduates that make less than teacher entry pay...however, those folks (LIKE TEACHERS) have selected their chosen career. I was simply saying that Teachers do it for the LOVE...not the money. And...all things considered...in the long run...the money is not substantial. That is why you don't necessarily see TEACHERS in FORBES!!!! And...if you have enough intellect and intelligence, You would read and re-read my post to ZENO about why there are college graduates making that money...I didn't deny it...but I was providing the business view...WHY PAY SOMEONE MORE THAN WHAT THEY ARE ASKING...? Perhaps you twisted the words or interpreted my comments wrong? $25,000 per year is what they are 'agreeing' to work for...just like the teacher is agreeing to work for $36,000 year...and BARSTOOLDREAMER, i would imagine you fell off of your stool one too many times...3 months off? YOU, like most, are an idiot for making a comment like that...evidently you don't know any teachers because you are glued to your stool? 190 Day Contracts they work are more hours than most folks who work year round!

Little Lamb
49245
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Little Lamb 01/08/09 - 02:07 pm
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DB, you say you didn't deny

DB, you say you didn't deny Zeno's claims, but here are direct quotes from your 9:42 post: "Business grads starting at 25k? I find that very hard to believe. . . . 25k equates to about $480 per week. . . . $12.00/hour. I ain't buying that with a college degree?" Facts are stubborn things.

db16
95
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db16 01/08/09 - 02:14 pm
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notice how you only took part

notice how you only took part of the quote!?
Put quotes around the whole thing...I referred to $25,000 as the base salary with incentives afterwards...
my 'i ain't buying that with a college degree' was a double referenced quote with the following pun intended: I wouldn't believe in $25,000 a year by itself and I wouldn't 'buy' a job with a college degree that was only paying me an annual salary of $25,000.
Those, my dear, are the facts. I am sorry you only read as you see fit. Look at the big picture...not just the details!

BarstoolDreamer
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BarstoolDreamer 01/08/09 - 02:25 pm
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db16...you my friend must be

db16...you my friend must be the idiot. I know plenty of teachers that to this day will tell you they love their jobs BECAUSE of the summers off. Why do you think most teachers are apposed to year round schools? And if you think they work harder than other professions you must not know to many people that have jobs other than teaching...such anger

db16
95
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db16 01/08/09 - 02:34 pm
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then your teacher friends are

then your teacher friends are in it for the wrong reasons. And...I am sure that they are probably not dedicated as most are. Do you know what year round school is??? I don't think you do...
Let me give you a lesson. Year round school is 9 weeks on and 3 weeks off. then you repeat the cycle. There are an extra 4 weeks in the summer that are 'summer vacation.' Either way...the teachers work a contract of 180 Days with kids and 10 additional without...So, please refrain from your stupidity if you can help it! I am telling you that your idea of educators is totally off the mark and that you should try doing it sometime.
And...I am well rounded with experience. I was stating that TEACHERS work as hard, if not harder, in their 180 contract days with kids as folks who work 'year round.' Please hold on to your barstool...

db16
95
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db16 01/08/09 - 02:38 pm
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BTW stool...year round school

BTW stool...year round school interferes with many things...
Holidays, extra curricular activities (bands, athletics, drama, etc.)
It would impact daycares, tourism, recreation sports leagues, etc. BIG PICTURE...BIG PICTURE. Step outside of your little world and come visit us who are in reality. Narrowmindedness is awful.

BarstoolDreamer
19
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BarstoolDreamer 01/08/09 - 02:56 pm
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db16...I appreciate the fact

db16...I appreciate the fact that you have insight into why anyone I know got into teaching and thank you for your "lesson". both of my children attended year round school throughout elementary school. The middle and High school were suppost to convert to year round and follow the students up. I know exactly how many days the children were in school and it is wonderful system...breaks are not as long and everyone stays in a school frame of mind... the TEACHERS at the middle and high school complained that they did not sign up for a year round schedule. oh yea and "BY THE WAY" it interferes with nothing but a schedule that traditional year teachers are used to...

BarstoolDreamer
19
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BarstoolDreamer 01/08/09 - 03:04 pm
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Narrowmindedness is

Narrowmindedness is awlful...and I have a feeling your reality consist of halls, pale green walls, a chalkboard and constant whining and complaining...grow up

db16
95
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db16 01/08/09 - 03:52 pm
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Thank you for that laugh

Thank you for that laugh Stool. Your prediction and reasoning is way off of the mark; but i do thank you for the smiles. I have to go hit the little white ball with a client right now. Have a blessed evening.

BarstoolDreamer
19
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BarstoolDreamer 01/08/09 - 05:07 pm
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you are quite amusing

you are quite amusing yourself....now you hang in there little man

apex24
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apex24 01/08/09 - 09:30 pm
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Look what we're getting for

Look what we're getting for the money. Ranked 48th in the country in education.

kidcounselor
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kidcounselor 01/09/09 - 12:16 am
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Why are teachers and people

Why are teachers and people complaining about the salary... everything I read from teachers say it is about the desire to teach, not about the money... Of course I have learned when people say it is NOT about the money - It IS about the money.

Most teachers work 210 days a year; most other people work 250 days a year. Average salary for GA teachers - just under $50k... which is equivalent to over $59.5k a year... not too shabby and they still have a couple of months to make another 6 thousand or so during the summer!

kidcounselor
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kidcounselor 01/09/09 - 12:25 am
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I actually thought about

I actually thought about teaching once... I have a Masters Degree in Instructional Systems Design and 26 hours towards my PhD; I have taught college Psychology and I have been a college registrar. I have written computer code for the ground terminal links for military data systems; I have taught Satellite Communications and I have an AS degree in Computer Science that I got just for jollies. I have worked on everything from IBM mainframes down. But I was told that I would have to have art or music appreciation and a class on audio-visual equipment since I did not have those in my undergrad program.... I have been using computer based audio-visual equipment for over 25 years and I have no intentions of teaching art or music! And GA wonders why it has a hard time recruiting quality people!

kidcounselor
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kidcounselor 01/09/09 - 12:28 am
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Year round school is 9 weeks

Year round school is 9 weeks on and 3 weeks off. then you repeat the cycle....
That would be the American teachers union definition.... In countries that have year round like Japan, it is really year round... and in many areas 5 1/2 days a week....
The American definition uses NEW MATH.

The current school year systems goes back to the time of farmers and needing the male children around for planting and harvesting... I think we could change that, if for no other reason than we now have TRACTORS!

SandyK2005
1
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SandyK2005 01/09/09 - 04:25 am
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"That is the purpose for

"That is the purpose for going to school...search for lucrative salaries and packages." ---- There you have it. No longer about actually WORKING, or producing QUALITY, just go looking where the money is and coast to retirement -- right? The USA deserves it's superpower status stripped, because it's citizens are willing to give it away, anyway. Rome sure learned the hard way, what all those bread and circuses did.

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