April 26, 2012
About 60 percent of all school spending statewide goes to teacher salaries and benefits. This amounted to nearly $6 billion in 2009-10.
Aside from hiring additional teachers (see “Classroom size” panel), districts pay for some of each teacher’s salary, because the state doesn’t pay for the time teachers work outside of school hours.
A national study compared teacher salaries to those paid in 16 other careers that require similar levels of education and work loads. In most states, teachers made less than the other occupations. In Washington, they made about the same.
Non-teaching administrators’ salaries are heavily subsidized from levies, because the state gives districts the same amount of money for a janitor position as it does for a top manager. Without boosting the manager salaries out of local funds, districts would be unable to attract highly skilled employees.
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