Survey: teachers pay loses ground
By by Connie Nowlin
A survey conducted by the American Federation of Teachers ranked Alabama teachers' average pay 39th in the nation. It slipped from the 30th spot two years ago.
The state did a little better in beginning teachers' salaries, coming in at 22.
The average pay for a teacher in Alabama is $37,206, compared to the national average of $44,367.
Starting pay for teachers in Alabama averages $29,938, according to the AFT report.
The situation is only slightly different in Escambia County.
A starting teacher, that is, one with a bachelor's degree and two or less years experience, is paid $29,538, according to the salary schedule adopted in June by the county board of education.
The average pay, that for a teacher with a bachelor's degree and between nine and 11 years' experience, is $34,368.
Teachers with the most experience, 21 or more years in service and a bachelor's degree, may earn $36,715.
But an Alabama Teacher's Association survey shows salaries slightly higher than the national report.
There are other things that may change the rate of pay for teachers in the county.
For example, supplements may be paid to the athletic directors at high schools, to band directors and coaches. But no employee may get the supplemental pay without a supplemental contract on file.
Adjustments will automatically occur annually for JROTC instructors if the salary fails to meet minimum pay required by the armed forces. No supplements are added to the base pay for JROTC instructors for other activities like color guard or honor guard sponsor, as they are considered part of the instructor's position.
Cheerleading sponsors may be paid up to $700 at high schools, $475 at middle schools.
Principals and directors may have a supplement if the enrollment of the school at which they are employed is more than 500 students.
The pay rate is higher for teachers and administrators that have earned a master's degree or a doctorate.
The superintendent earns $89,105 and is also allowed use of a vehicle.