Every tax is a pay cut.  Every tax cut is a pay raise.
Citizens for Limited Taxation

Are Framingham Teachers Salaries Too High? Thursday, June 12, 2003
Harold J. Wolfe Metrowest Daily News
If you were to examine the 2002-2003 school year calendar for the Framingham schools as presented on their web site (http://www.framingham.k12.ma.us) you will discover that the average teacher works 157 days (and this doesn't include any vacation time or sick leave that teachers may get).  I noted the starting and ending date for the school year and subtracted all the vacation days and weekends.

I then computed my working year (12 holidays, 3 weeks vacation, 2 weeks sick leave) and discovered that I work 224 days a year (if I take all my sick leave).

According to the 2003 Framingham school budget, the average annual salary for Framingham teachers was greater than $53,000.  This doesn't include their summer job salary.  If I were a full-time teacher in Framingham, I'd be earning (224 / 157 ) * $53,000 = $75,617.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau report for the year 2000 (http://www1.miser.umass.edu/datacenter/Census2000/SF3/pdfs/0602501724925.pdf), the median HOUSEHOLD INCOME in Framingham is $54,288.  The median FULL-TIME MALE INCOME is $46,122 while the median FULL-TIME FEMALE INCOME is $35,941.  Indexed to a 2.5% inflation rate since 2000, these numbers would be $58,462, $49,668 and $38,704.

On top of these salaries, all the teachers get 90% of their health insurance paid for by the town government.

This strikes me to be pretty conclusive evidence that teachers are paid way too much given the poor performance in SAT and MCAS scores for Framingham schools.

I would generally agree with Catherine A. Boudreau, President of the Massachusetts Teachers Association that higher pay means better teachers. Unfortunately, over the past seven years, teachers pay has increased by seven percent each year while SAT scores have declined. At this point, Framingham taxpayers are getting a negative rate of return on their investments in the Framingham school system.

Once can argue that Framingham teacher salaries should be as high as surrounding towns so that we do not lose them.  I would then argue that Framingham SAT scores should match those of surrounding towns.  They don't.

I was saddened to hear Phil Dinsky talk about all the innovation going on in the middle schools as though innovation was the core function of the school system.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I always thought it was education.

You can request the 2003 school budget at the next school committee hearing and then examine one of my many web pages based on http://www.abetterframingham.org (http://www.abetterframingham.org/schools-stats.html).

Send comments to: hjw2001@gmail.com