Low pay & no retirement?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by missrebecca, Apr 25, 2015.

  1. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Apr 25, 2015

    My charter has no retirement benefits. No matching, no savings, nothing. Anyone else have a similar setup? How do you feel about it?

    I feel like my current job is not a long-term career option for this reason, as well as the fact that the pay is very low (I have a master's degree and am earning less than I would with a bachelor's degree at a public school).

    My old public school had an amazing retirement plan, and so do most schools in my area, but I'm terrified to go back to working in that environment after my last experience. I think I'd rather just leave teaching altogether. If I stay long-term, I guess I'd have to look into private retirement plans...

    Any opinions? Would you stay at a school with lower than average pay and no retirement?
     
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  3. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Apr 25, 2015

    Interesting that your charter school doesn't have a retirement plan. I wonder if anyone out there knows if this is true in general of charter schools.

    I would consider moving to a good public school district where you would enjoy teaching. You could save $$$ yourself and put up to $5500/year in a ROTH IRA that would be tax free when you retire. This of course is much more costly than if the state of Arizona was paying for your retirement.
     
  4. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Apr 25, 2015

    I think like everything else with charters, it varies by state. Every charter I've heard of in CA is part of CalSTRS - the same retirement system as public school teacher. I'm pretty sure they have to be.

    My charter does pay less than other districts in the area - BUT - it's small. We make comparable pay to tiny districts, but we make less or much less than the big districts. So I think it's more about the size than the charter vs. public thing.

    Personally, I don't think I would want to teach at a charter with no retirement plan. That's insulting. However, I see you are from AZ and I've heard that much of the way teachers are treated in that state is not great.

    Do other charters in AZ pay retirement, or is it just yours?

    I totally get wanting to stay where you are. I would never want to go to many of the public districts in my area after the great experience at my school. It's worth less pay to me. But again, I do have a retirement plan.
     
  5. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    Apr 26, 2015

    I am in your same boat. However, I'm overseas and at a private school. We get paid quite well for the cost of living in China, but if you covert our salary to USD, it's less than I was making at home.

    We don't have any sort of pension, etc. Many schools abroad offer their international teachers pensions, so I don't understand why mine doesn't.

    Honestly, I won't be at my school for but one more school year due to this reason and a few others. I'm here for experience teaching abroad and will be hopefully moving on to another country (and better school) after this adventure in China. :)

    I agree with the other posters. Weird that your charter doesn't give their teachers a retirement plan. I worked charter in CA and we were given retirement and our salary schedule was the same as the local district.

    I don't think I'd stay, but what are your thoughts? What would you like to do?
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 26, 2015

    Quite simply, no.
     
  7. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Apr 26, 2015

    I don't know how old you are, but getting a retirement plan going is very important. If you don't have enough income to start saving on your own, then you really need to get into a position where that is possible.

    I am rapidly reaching official retirement age, and now I see the importance of preparing for my years after working. It is expensive to keep up the same level of living!
     
  8. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Apr 26, 2015

    My school contributes to my STRS but there isn't a pension plan beyond that. If you want to stay where you are but want to start thinking about retirement, you have options. Go to your bank and set up a 503B account, then have your school's HR change your direct deposit so part of your salary is diverted to there. Talk with a financial advisor about your options (I used to work in finance before going back into teaching but I am far from an expert).
     
  9. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Apr 26, 2015

    This is not a bad idea. I do believe that a ROTH IRA is an even better option and here is why. A ROTH IRA is completely tax free when you take the $$$ out and a 503B is not. Let's say a person puts $6000 into retirement/year for 30 years= $180,000. Let's say the market grows in 30 years so this $$$ is $700,000. All this $$$ is tax free including the money that is earned from the stock market going up in value. With a 503b you would have to pay taxes on both the $$$ you put in and the increase in investment $$$. This means you could lose around 1/4 or even 1/3 of this money to taxes. This could be over $200,000 lost in taxes with a 503b(Depending on the tax rates when you take the $$$ out.)
     
  10. Rhesus

    Rhesus Comrade

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    Apr 26, 2015

    I would not stay. It sounds to me like this particular school's personnel philosophy is NOT to encourage staff to stay long. I would be surprised if you told me that there was anyone there who had been there for more than a few years. Burn and churn so that nobody moves up very far on the salary schedule.
     
  11. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Apr 26, 2015

    Thanks, everyone! It's good to hear an outsider's point of view.

    Not sure if other charters in AZ have retirement plans...

    We're actually an awesome school in many other ways. We have seasoned teachers who come to work here from other districts, because it's a better environment to teach in (as stated above, teaching in AZ is generally pretty bleak). There's a waiting list for kids to get enrolled. We have a 4 day week and are safer/higher performing than many of the other schools around (a lot of Title I's).

    But yeah. I just want to support myself now and in the future, and it's not going to happen here. I'm seriously thinking about looking for a nonprofit job somewhere and leaving my teaching career on hiatus for now.
     
  12. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Apr 26, 2015

    I agree. The corporate reform movement (charters, vouchers and high stakes testing) doesn't really consider teaching a valid career. The North Carolina legislature was working on a law to prohibit people from making teaching a lifetime profession. These people think the Teacher For America (2 yrs in a charter) is the right way to run education.

    I hope everyone on this board pays attention and votes.
     
  13. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    Apr 27, 2015

    That's insane....
     
  14. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    Apr 27, 2015

    I had a similar situation at a private christian school. I loved working there but it was not a long term job because of those reasons. It was a great environment. But most people that worked there were wives that had husbands that could support the family financially.
     
  15. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Apr 27, 2015

    Same! Most of my coworkers are financially stable thanks to their husband... OR they are broke. My boyfriend is currently keeping me afloat, which I feel awful about.
     
  16. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Apr 27, 2015

    Technically, my charter has no retirement plan as an automatic benefit. BUT it does have contracts with a couple of different financial groups and will do matching and whatnot. It's just a few steps more than the public district I was in. I think it may just be the nature of charter schools in my state. It's not a bad situation, and my charter school pays more than the nearby districts, but the retirement does require a little more effort on one part.

    I've heard so many people avoid teaching in private schools just because the pay is so bad.
     
  17. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Apr 27, 2015

    I work in a private Christian school in AZ and even I get a retirement plan with a pension just a little less than public schools.

    Despite taking a few thousand $$$ less in salary, I would not have switched away from public schools if the private school I went to didn't have a retirement plan.
     

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