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Teachers' Salaries Are All Over the Board

How much should a teacher make? As with all academic questions, the answer is, "It depends."

A recent news item from the Bennington Banner caught our eye, because it so perfectly encapsulated the issues around teachers' pay: "Art Teacher's Salary Sparks Board Debate," it read. Within, we found the usual debate on hiring teachers: should the Bennington, Vermont school board go for an experienced teacher, with numerous accolades and years of specialization, or pick a less senior, much cheaper teacher -- for a potential salary savings of $30,000?

In the end, Bennington went with the pricier, more experienced teacher. Good news for her, and for folks who are nervous about pricing themselves out of teaching gigs, although perhaps bad news for newbies hoping to get their feet wet.

However, Principal Sue Maguire, said she only recommends pricier candidates if their experience justifies the extra expenditure.

"I think this is the first person that isn't less than five years that I've hired," she said.

Experience isn't the only factor that determines how much a teacher will earn. Geographic location is also a factor. And we're not talking state-to-state differences, here, necessarily, or urban versus rural salaries.

A recent story the Lodi News-Sentinel, demonstrates that teachers in neighboring school districts in California might earn very different salaries, even with the same amount of experience. A teacher with ten years of experience in the Oak View School District might earn $57,878, for example, while another teacher with the same experience would earn $66,909 in nearby Galt Joint Union High School District.

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(Photo Credit: krossbow/Flickr)

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