By Steven Rosenberg | Staff writer LA Daily News
October 1, 2008 -- With jobs like mortgage broker, investment banker, stock analyst and others that once looked solid - and profitable - suddenly looking not so good in the wake of America's looming financial difficulties, a Daily News Special Report revealed what most of us already know despite heavy doses of conventional wisdom to the contrary:
Teachers and other school employees do pretty darn well. Especially if they work for the Los Angeles Unified School District.
According to information provided to the Daily News by the LAUSD, the average salary for teachers is $63,000 - not too shabby that.
But more than 8,500 teachers pull in between $70,000 and $80,000 a year. Nearly 2,000 make salaries between $80,000 and $100,000, with a very lucky (and likely very experienced) 331 enjoying more than $100,000 in annual salary.
And then there's a benefits package that would be the envy of any worker not in the public sector. Medical, dental, pension - let's just say that anybody who puts in their time at the LAUSD won't be uncomfortable in their golden years.
Wait - there's more!
Let's say you enjoy management and administration. You know, running things? In the LAUSD, those valued employees even have their own administrators union. And it has 2,600 members. That's where the $100,000 Club really lives. According to our data, about 2,400 of these administrators top the $100,000 mark.
We're not denying that at least some of them are worth it. Maybe more than some. Or not. Who knows what's really going on at L.A. Unified? Nobody's calling the district a nationwide model of academic performance or educational innovation. Fiscal prudence? Will anybody make that case?
Even though administrators make more - often much more - than the classroom teachers they manage, it's pretty clear that the LAUSD is a great place to work if pay and benefits are important to you.
So kids, if you learn anything from your time in the classroom, remember that you could do a lot worse than toiling in the nation's second-largest school district.
Now that all this salary data is out in the open and under the light for all of us to see, it's up to Superintendent David Brewer III and his deep administrative bench to make the case for how much money is spent on salaries and how much goes for everything else.
And with a payroll like that, we can, should and will expect a whole lot less crying poor from the district itself - and a whole lot more for L.A.'s students.
●●smf's 2¢: The above doesn't make much of a case for the need for the pay raise UTLA President A.J. Duffy ($99.325.08) is threatening a strike over. But perhaps if the Daily News shares their employees list, payroll data and job descriptions we could determine if there’s any difference between news reporters, editorial writers and columnists.