In your Feb. 26 editorial, you bemoaned the fact that the Senate’s proposed budget did not include a pay hike for teachers for a fifth year. Once again, you provided only part of the information. While it is correct that teachers have not received a cost-of-living adjustment from the state for five years, that is not the only source of raises for them. They also receive pay increases from local school districts, and some increases are built into the state compensation system.
Over the past six years the average total pay of teachers statewide, including both state and local funding, has increased from $55,440 to $64,662, more than $9,000. This is an increase of more than 16 percent, or an average of more than 2.5 percent per year. In this stagnant economy, I don’t think very many other professions have received that kind of pay increase. This information is readily available; I received it from the Washington Policy Center.
While most teachers earn and deserve their pay and benefits, it seems to me they are doing pretty well compared to the rest of the taxpayers, even without a COLA from the state this year.