I knew folks would make hay out of the whole brigadier general bit. I was stretching to make a point. I added in the "starting pay" bit because I did just take the first column
...so you looked at the first column, saw that the wage for teachers (and not the starting wage) was 30k less and then claimed that they had starting wages that were only slightly less?
No. I said (quite clearly) that the median wage for public school teachers was slightly less than the starting pay of senior engineers, middle managers, and brigadier generals. Which is more or less correct. Actually, it's about equal to the starting pay for the first two groups, and a 10-15k less than the BG starting pay (I honestly didn't see that the chart started at 2 years, so whatever).
The point was to show that teacher pay is more comparable to those professions than to that of a cocktail waitress. Surely you agree that this is true?
The reality is that public school teachers are paid very well even before considering their benefits and pension. When you add those in, they are paid ridiculously well.
They are paid well, not ridiculously well.
When you add in the benefits and pension? Yes, they are. I don't think you comprehend just how ridiculously good those pensions are. To put this in perspective, I put 20% of my income into investments. I've also been very very lucky and they've done very well (up until recently, but that'll correct). When I retire I will still be lucky to match the retirement income that a public school teacher will make just for having worked there. Pensions for teachers with 20+ years in are pegged at 98% of the income they were making when they retired (and they actually go up from there IIRC). This is based on STIRs here in California. Other states may vary of course.
The point is that a teacher doesn't have to put nearly as much into their retirement as other professions do to earn what amounts to a gold plated retirement. And they also don't pay nearly as much for their benefits compared to other professions. It's pretty unfair to even start a discussion about teacher pay without including those factors.
Which, considering the importance of the job and the amount of schooling required (which will grant them a degree that is only useful for one, specific job), is appropriate. Yes, they get pensions, but they get them by paying for them their whole careers. And their benefits are no different than any other gov't job, and plenty of private sector employees have equal ones. And if we ever manage to work out health care, teachers won't have any additional benefits.
Except that since private sector employees are paid out of the profits of their employers, their benefits packages are calculated into the equation. Yes, they don't count when we compare pay scales, but they are factored in when considering the value someone's labor provides compared to what you can afford to pay them. Teachers, since they are paid by the government, don't really have this consideration. Another way to look at it is that the board of directors for a corporation absolutely looks at total cost of compensation (including benefits and matching 401k programs) when making labor decisions (hiring, firing, pay scales, etc). So it's kinda stupid for the public not to also be aware of the cost of those things when paying for public employees (like teachers). Businesses calculate the value of the labor compared to the total cost, and we should do the same for those paid by the taxpayer.
It's just strange to me that so many people willingly choose to be deceptive about this. I know a **** of a lot of teachers. I'm aware of how much they earn. It's not the pittance that most people think.