CHARLIE KRAEBEL, The Saratogian
Statewide median teacher salaries in the region increased by more than 10 percent from 2008-09 to 2012-13, according to a report released by the conservative think-tank Empire Center for Public Policy,
Meanwhile, the report released Monday notes that while student enrollment, especially in upstate schools, have largely decreased, staff reductions haven’t kept up with the rate at which students have left. According to the study, more than 76,000 students have left New York state schools from 2008-09, while districts have cut 25,350 positions.
The findings are part of a report titled "What’s driving K-12 school costs?" and blames increased educations costs on automatic pay increases in teacher contracts and what it calls "relatively high levels of staffing" compared to student enrollment.
The study shows the median annual salary for teachers in New York state in the 2012-13 school year was $72,990. Median salaries were significantly lower in regions such as the Southern Tier, but median pay in Long Island schools topped $100,000 for the first time, and median salaries in mid-Hudson schools was $96,700.
The median salary is the number that separates the lower half of a pay scale from the higher salaries.
Most Capital Region school districts fall below the statewide median. The highest median salary for the 2012-13 was in the Albany City School District ($74,551), while the median for the South Colonie Central School District was $74,376. Those were the only Capital Region schools to come in higher than the statewide median. The lowest was the Putnam Central School District in Washington County, at $44,877.
In Saratoga County, the highest median salary was in the Burt Hill-Ballston Lake Central School District ($67,495) while the lowest median was in the Stillwater Central School District ($49,638). Other school districts include the Ballston Spa Central School District ($67,495), Corinth ($53,487), Galway ($61,239), Mechanicville City ($59,806), Saratoga Springs City ($58,933), Shenendahowa ($63,841) and South Glens Falls ($62,852). No data was available from the Schuylerville or Edinburg districts.
Aside from Albany and South Colonie, the median salaries for other Albany County school districts are as follows: Bethlehem ($66,568), Cohoes City ($59,717), Green Island Union Free ($45,279), Guilderland ($61,239), Menands Union Free ($68,028), North Colonie ($66,587), Ravean-Coeymans-Selkirk ($58,054), Voorheesville ($57,807) and Watervliet City ($51,923). No data was available for the Berne-Knox-Westerlo district.
In Rensselaer County, the highest reported median salary was in the Averill Park Central School District ($66, 721), while the lowest was in the Lansingburgh district ($48,972). Other districts included Berlin ($58,700), Brunswick ($53,477), East Greenbush ($65,545), Hoosic Valley ($51,732), Hoosic Falls ($58,199) and Rensselaer City ($59,722). No data was available from the North Greenbush Community, Schodack, Troy and Waynantskill school districts.