Salaries/Salary Scale at Charter Schools

Discussion in 'General Education' started by TammyTeacher, Dec 15, 2007.

  1. TammyTeacher

    TammyTeacher Rookie

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    Dec 15, 2007

    Does anyone know anything about salaries/salary scales at Charter Schools.
    I've researched them and discovered much information but cannot find salary information anywhere for NYC Charter Schools (middle and high schools).

    :help:
     
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  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Dec 15, 2007

    I think that each charter school tries to stay in line with their district's pay scale.
     
  4. TammyTeacher

    TammyTeacher Rookie

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    Dec 15, 2007

    Well, I know that the days are longer as well as the school year.
    I've heard in Massachusetts, it's about $10,000 more than district pay scale.

    And I've heard in NY it's more as well.

    I just can't find anything online.
     
  5. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Dec 15, 2007

    You won't, either.

    In some areas of the country, charter schools pay less than the going public school salary. In other parts of the country, charter schools pay quite a bit more.

    They often negotiate their salaries based on what specific subjects you are qualified to teach, and how hard it is to find teachers in those areas (ie science and math teachers at many charter schools make far more than the language arts teachers.)

    Make sure your negotiation skills are good!!! or you'll be making less than other new hires!!!

    Also, beware of claims that "our pay exceeds the public schools" IF they aren't willing to give you a specific salary range. They are often comparing the "contracted year" rather than a fair hourly rate comparison.

    For example, in Public School A, teachers make $35,000. The charter school says, "we pay more..we pay $40,000." However, the Public School is only open 7.2 hours per day. The charter school is open 10 hours per day. The Public School is only open for 140 teaching days. The charter school is open for far more days.

    Just something to be aware of.

    Also remember that you have very little job security at Charter Schools. They don't necessarily have to give you a reason to let you go -- they can just do it.

    There are many pros and cons to both, of course. I'd just be careful about the salary issue.

    While they often will only say "the salary is negotiable," I would ask them directly "What is the average salary for a new hire in the area of...(language arts, elementary ed, etc.)

    If they won't give you a direct answer, I'd be very leery.

    :2cents:
     
  6. TammyTeacher

    TammyTeacher Rookie

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    Dec 15, 2007

    Thanks upsadaisy and RainStorm,

    I've read something called an "at will" clause in regards to termination of teachers which is a down side of charter school teaching.

    I imagine the salaries amongst teachers also vary based on certification or no certification, number of years of teaching experience and the usual.

    I spoke with an administrator of a charter school in another state who told me that her school pays teachers about $10,000 more than regular public school pay scale.

    I spoke with a recruiter here but when I asked about salaries, she told me that's the "legal department" and that salaries are negotiable.

    If I make the switch, I am going to ask the "going rate" before negotiating.
     
  7. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Dec 15, 2007

    Don't rely on someone from the school to give you "the going rate" for other teachers. Remember, their goal is to get the "most" teacher for the "least" amount -- just as in any business. They will be as vague as possible, and leave you in the position of having to "guess" what a fair salary is. They will tell you "that is the legal department," or "our pay is competative" or "our pay is based on experience, and experience varies."

    The way to word it is "what was the average starting salary for a first year teacher last school year?" Don't be surprised if they hedge on this, too.

    Since most educators are not terrible used to the business world, they tend to not have a lot of skill in negotiating salaries.

    Charter schools receive state and federal monies. You can use the Freedom of Information Act to get the actual "averages." If you are serious about switching to charter schools, start now. You need this information long before you go in for the interview. (Get someone else to do it for you, so the request won't be in your name...)

    At the very least, go to the local library, or large bookstore, and read a book on salary negotiation. It will help.

    You might also contact your local public union rep. They may "unofficially" know what each charter school is paying. They unions in NY are battling to get "in" with the NYC charter schools. There has been a lot of press about charter school teachers suddenly being fired when they join the union. Union reps know all kinds of things!!!!

    Good luck!
     
  8. TammyTeacher

    TammyTeacher Rookie

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    Dec 15, 2007

    Thanks for the helpful info.

    *s*
     
  9. yarnwoman

    yarnwoman Cohort

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    Dec 15, 2007

    I think it depends on the school. The one that just hired me is comparitive with the local school district.
     
  10. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Dec 16, 2007

    You have to remember that while you may "make" $10,000 more, you work a longer year, and you have MANY more hours per week. The charter school teacher in NYC works on average 2.8 hours longer PER DAY.

    So after that lovely 10 hour workday, you still have all the grading, lesson planning, etc., that public school teachers have. Oh, and don't forget the cell phone requirement. Many NYC charter schools require that the teacher carry a school cell phone and be available at all times for parent or student questions.

    A friend of mine worked at a charter school. The school day for teachers was 10 hours long. She generally stayed another hour planning. She said she generally took 3-5 phone calls PER NIGHT regarding homework. She had to work every other Saturday. There were also many "mandatory" programs and assemblies in the evening. That didn't even include the grading and planning time.

    She said only young, unmarried teachers could handle more than a year or two of it. It burned her out so fast. She couldn't get out of the charter school fast enough.

    She also sat down and figured it out one time -- counting only the required/assigned hours she worked (not any of the grading, planning, or answering cell phone questions) she made so much less per hour than public school teachers.

    As she put it, "I want my life back!"

    She went back to public school, and is much happier.
     
  11. TammyTeacher

    TammyTeacher Rookie

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    Dec 16, 2007


    Do you mean that she didn't get prep periods?

    That's odd even for charter schools.

    And yes, I've heard the cell phone thing can be a bit much.

    I don't really mind the long hours, I put in ten hours a day now in public school, sometimes longer, staying to do work with no extra pay.

    I'm involved in afterschool activities some days but I know that Charter schools don't have per session pay for afterschool activities.

    Really I do the afterschool activities more or my students than the pay because I can do college courses for more money per hour.

    I'm looking at beginning Charter Schools with not many students and few teachers.

    I know start-up phase can be very hectic with lots of work to do even with not many students, but I do like getting in the beginning phases and don't plan on teaching much or for too long as I'm looking at more of a leadership position for which I've been advised I may be asked to teach a course maybe two initially.

    It really depends on the salary too. It has to exceed the total of my public school teaching salary plus what I'm earning teaching a couple of evening college courses.

    In that case, I'd be working less for more.
     
  12. MissBee06

    MissBee06 Rookie

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    Dec 16, 2007

    I can speak from experience here since I work at a charter school. I love it here. Yes, there are sownsides but I really enjoy my school. As far as pay goes it could definitely be more. Our salary is average for the area. It is about $2000 less per year than the ISD in our town. Not bad at all compared to some of the pay just one or two districts over. The bad part is that there are no steps in our school. So for as long as I work here I won't get paid any more unless there is a state mandated raise. But in the summer we get a bonus check from a grant that we recieve based upon test scores and teacher involvement. Our school day begins at 8:30 and ends at 4:00. I usually add another hour to hour and a half on top of that. I have a 45 minute lunch and 45 minute prep time and I have an aid every day for half a day. No school down here can offer that. You would only have an aid if you were in special ed. I do not carry a school cell phone. They would laugh if I mentioned it. There are things about my school that I would change, but overall I like it. I have a lot of freedom here. The school will help pay tuition for ANY of its emplyees that wish to get a masters degree and for the aids those who wish to finish their bachelors. Again, only school around here that will do that. So before you throw out working in charter school talk with the principals and staff. Observe some classrooms and teachers. Check it out, you may like it.:2cents:
     
  13. TammyTeacher

    TammyTeacher Rookie

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    Dec 17, 2007

    Hi Ms. Bee,

    Thanks for responding.

    Yes, you have a long day.

    I'm used to those.

    Here all charter school teachers get laptops and cell phones.

    I will be going into a few schools to observe classes and to teach a class.

    Here also, candidates are asked to do demo lessons.

    What is the ISD in your town?

    In NY we have the NYC public school system.

    We have charter schools.

    Then we have the Long Island (LI) school system, outside of the boroughs of NYC, where residents of the towns pay higher taxes for nicer schools and salaries vary. They range from a little higher to much higher (than NYC public schools. Those are union-free school districts.

    Is ISD like our LI schools?
     
  14. Mister Teacher

    Mister Teacher Companion

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    Dec 26, 2007

    Regardless of what any school is paying now, I still support a "pay-for-play" contract, like some athletes have gone to. I wrote about it a few months back.
    Check it out here, and see if you don't agree with my suggestions...

    A Modest Proposal
     
  15. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Dec 26, 2007

    Maybe some are, but not all. I'm at a charter school and I make pretty much the same as the teachers in the regular public schools in our district. The difference is I work 192 days compared to their 185 and I'm required to be at school about an hour longer a day. Most public schools in this area run from about 8:30-2:30 and our school day is 8:15-3:30.
     

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