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Top 100 Teacher Salaries For 2009 Average $160,000

The Champion 19 February 2010 10 Comments

Music Teacher Pulls Down $189,434.

Number of $100,000 School Salaries Up 10% To 12,438 In 2009.

As Illinois citizens struggle with the severe economic downturn plaguing the state, Illinois public school employees enjoy another record year of salaries, fringe benefits and pensions. See “Top 100 Teachers Salaries.”

Apparently there is no tax money for the barren shelves at food pantries or the lack of beds at homeless shelters or to extend unemployment benefits but there is enough tax money to pay:

  • An Instrumental Music teacher $189,434 for a 9 month work year.
  • A Phys-ed teacher over $1,000/day to watch freshmen do push ups.
  • A second-grade teacher $17,000/month to teach coloring between the lines.
  • A Drivers-ed teacher $130/hr to teach teenagers how to parallel park.
  • Five teachers more than $20,000/mo.
  • 4,706 Teachers more than the average family MD ($11,779/mo).

And all of that is for a 36-week work-year.

These Top 100 Salaries Do Not Include Massive Amounts of Fringe Benefits.

Add about $48,000 each for state pension contribution (30% of salary) and at least $15,000/yr health insurance benefits. Then include 15 days sick leave payable at retirement if not used, 2 personal days/yr and up to $300,000 payment to the Teachers Retirement System by the local school district if they decide to take early retirement (see “Anatomy of a Teachers Contract” here).

And what is the value of a guaranteed $100,000 job (called “Tenure”) for as long as you want it?

If we add all these benefits to salaries in order to determine “total compensation” then the Total Compensation for every one of “Top 100 Teacher Salaries” (see here) exceeds $200,000/year. We could stock a lot of food pantries with that kind of cash.

Rather than pay $200/hr for teachers why not hire full-time consultants?

What was your favorite subject in school? Here’s a short list by subject I found interesting. Notice when we add in the cost of fringe benefits (not including tenure) to come up with a “Total Compensation” amount we have some teachers making $200/hr.

Teacher Compensation By Subject Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2009
The Following Are All Paid For By The Taxpayer For The Benefit of the Teacher:
Subject Number w/salaries   > $100k High Salary Pension 29.99% See NOTE 1 OPEB 11.25% See NOTE 2 Fringes – Insur. See NOTE 3 Total Compensation Rate per Work-Day See NOTE 4 Cost/hr 8 hour Work-Day
Music 231 189,433 56,811 21,311 6,500 274,055 1,612 202
Speech 92 189,247 56,755 21,290 6,500 273,792 1,611 201
Phys Ed 591 184,028 55,190 20,703 6,500 266,421 1,567 196
Librarians 111 179,467 53,822 20,190 6,500 259,979 1,529 191
Drive Ed 132 167,351 50,189 18,827 6,500 242,867 1,429 179
Consumer Econ 29 166,443 49,916 18,725 6,500 241,584 1,421 178
Dance 16 164,490 49,331 18,505 6,500 238,826 1,405 176
Drama 24 163,239 48,955 18,364 6,500 237,059 1,394 174
Auto Repair 24 162,119 48,619 18,238 6,500 235,477 1,385 173
English 430 161,796 48,523 18,202 6,500 235,021 1,382 173
Clothing/Apparel 7 153,973 46,177 17,322 6,500 223,971 1,317 165
Art 145 146,890 44,052 16,525 6,500 213,967 1,259 157
French 40 142,813 42,830 16,066 6,500 208,209 1,225 153
Latin 8 138,378 41,500 15,568 6,500 201,945 1,188 148
Foodservice 15 126,176 37,840 14,195 6,500 184,711 1,087 136
Average Comp For $100K Salary 100,000 29,990 11,250 6,500 147,740 869 109
Salaries from ISBE, Teacher Service Records year Ending 6/30/09
NOTE 1: From CGFA (Commission on Gov’t Forecasting & Accountability) Actuarial Evaluation 9/30/09
NOTE 2: OPEB (Other Post Employment Benefits) per GASB 43, 45
NOTE 2: Includes Amortization of $24B Unfunded OPEB Liability (Retiree Healthcare)
NOTE 2: Using Chi School District Actuarial – State Calculation Nonexistent
NOTE 3: Life, Health, and Disability Insurance Paid At the Local District level, estimated  from ISBE.
NOTE 4: Work-Days Calc: 182 Day Contract less 2 personal days, 10 sick leave days = 170 work days

Why do taxpayers have to pay these outrageous salaries and benefits?

Since the purpose of taxes is to “provide for the common good”, please explain to me what common good is “provided for” by making public employees millionaires. I would suggest that school districts that can afford to pay compensation of this magnitude should be paying for their own pensions rather than throwing it on the backs of all the state taxpayers. Doing that would save the state $1.6 billion a year. We cannot control teacher pensions unless we control teachers’ salaries.

It’s time to end robbing the poor taxpayer and giving it to rich public employees.

Bill Zettler is the owner of a computer-consulting firm in Illinois and a contributor to ChampionNews.net. Click here to read more by Mr. Zettler.


  • Mike F said:

    This is going to set he populists on fire. For generations, the typical response to failing schools was “Fund our underfunded district!” and “Teachers should be paid more than plummers!”

    I believe starting salaries at CPS are in the neighborhood of $35,000 which is actually pretty meager. I wonder how long it takes to get six figures at CPS.

  • Curious said:

    If the pay is so great and the work is so easy, why doesn’t the author or anyone else go into the profession ?

  • Interested said:

    If the author thinks the job is so easy why didn’t he get a teaching certificate? Not that bright? Not willing to work 12-16 hr. days? Oh, I get it, the author could be a lawyer and charge clients $300 hr. and only puts in 20 minutes an hour of work to get that fee and gets paid whether or not he loses the case. Or, how about a factory worker who gets paid double time? Or, how about the radiologist who gets 1 million a year for looking at pictures? Oh yeah, I get it, let’s pay the teachers minimum wage and then wonder why Little Johnny can’t add, spell or know where New York is? Give me a break. Don’t talk about winning schools if you are not willing to pay winning salaries. You get out of something exactly what you put into it. Tell me, author, where did your kids go to school?

  • John Powers said:

    Why should teachers get paid more than architects…more than electrical engineers…more than many other professions? Retire at age 52? Work 9 months a year?

    If you don’t like you lawyer, you can hire another one. If you don’t like your teacher, how do you make a change? You still have to pay, whether you use the school or not.

    Perhaps some people do not want to be in this job because it is run like a racket rather than a profession.


  • Ferris said:

    It’s time to start flushing out the overpaid teachers. First step dump the unions. Teachers should be paid on performance not a union scale. So when little Johnny can’t read I’m not paying top dollar. Every teacher I know thinks they are over worked and underpaid. Maybe the newbie’s are underpaid but NO teacher is worth 100K. The CPS is a mess and yet we keep feeding the system. What’s wrong with this picture? The rest of us in corporate America bust our rear ends YEAR round hoping to have a job next week. If we don’t perform we are tossed out on the street why should it be different for any other public employee? I just want to gag every time I hear teacher talk how bad it is…life sucks, get over it. I know the students are little animals try dealing with management in the real world. It’s almost to the point I want to set aside my work ethic and hop on the gravy train. It’s time the public takes a little interest in what are getting for the money.

  • Paul McGrath said:

    Great idea! Let’s go back to the time when the school system was just another City Hall department run by the real Mayor Daley and his cronies. Everything’ll be just fine then. Teachers and principals were just patronage employees. In addition to protecting and bargaining for the teachers, the unions provide a countervailing force to the politicians. Let’s stop dumping on the teachers. The Republicans are just trying to destroy the public school system.

  • John Powers said:


    Both Mayor Daley’s are Democrats. Rev. Meeks is a Democrat. The school reform movement is being led by Democrats; it is also being opposed by Democrats.

    The proposition that the Republicans control much of anything in Illinois is absurd.


  • bill jones said:

    I am a mathematician and a physicist with a master’s in mathematical physics.

    I cannot duplicate these calculations.

    They are not right.

    Do not believe them, please.

  • bill jones said:

    If by chance pay was this high, I would quit working at my tenure university position and go that high school and earn bank.

    These figures are lies.

    I cannot duplicate their results.

  • Dwayne said:

    I used to be suggested this website through my cousin.
    I’m not positive whether this publish is written via him as nobody else understand such particular about my problem. You’re wonderful!

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