The Proof Is in the Paycheck

***I have edited this post to reflect my June paycheck.  The pay stub I posted originally was technically my August pay.  The stub was posted to my online employee file on June 25th, even though the deposit will not occur until August.  My June check is $42.19 less than my August check will be.

I’m going to take a big leap and do something unconventional. Some may consider this a major faux pas, but if it helps shed some light on the issue of teacher pay in this state, then I’m willing to let a few people scold me for not properly following rules of etiquette pertaining to money.

I just completed my 9th year of teaching, all in Oklahoma. I have a master’s degree in my subject area (music). And this was my latest paycheck:

File Jul 17, 11 19 43 PM
I work in a district that pays monthly, so this was my take-home pay for June. All of my checks this year looked similar, give or take a few dollars here and there for covering a class on my  planning period, or attending a few paid district PD days. Some districts allow employees to  choose whether to have their salary divided across the calendar year or the school year. Most  elect to receive roughly the same amount each month for budgeting purposes, and  because…let’s face it…many of us are still working in the summer. I myself spent the entire  month of June producing a musical with my students. During July, I will be cleaning out  multiple storage rooms in my building, and writing curriculum for two new electives I’m  teaching this coming school year. Many teachers I know are participating in professional  development or AP training, attending team meetings, participating in vertical or horizontal  curriculum meetings, or a host of other things that can’t get done while we are teaching August through May. But the difference between the real job and the contract is a post for another  day.

On the left side of my pay stub, you will see my compensation broken down into a few different categories. On the right hand side are all the deductions. State and federal taxes, social security, teacher retirement (which is not ever put in my check, but paid by my employer  directly to TRS), my health insurance premiums (which is over $900 so I can insure two of my  children in addition to myself), and a few small deductions for additional insurance (vision and  life).

My base salary (gross) for my years of experience and level of education is 2,775.12/month*.

This is before taxes.

My flexible benefit allowance, an untaxed amount that I can spend on health insurance, is $526.88. It’s the same amount for all teachers, and the exact cost of the high-option health insurance. Teachers can elect to take a slightly less expensive plan offered through the state  and use the balance towards other benefits like dental, vision, or coverage of spouse or  children. The risk, of course, is the out-of-pocket is much greater in the case of a major medical incident. With the FBA, it’s use-it-or-lose-it. Teachers CANNOT use this balance to shop around
for cheaper individual or universal insurance policies, such as the plans offered through the ACA marketplace. If a teacher elects NOT to enroll in insurance through the state, he/she DOES NOT receive the full FBA added to his/her paycheck. The amount a teacher can receive en lieu of  state insurance is $69.71. So if a teacher is insured through his/her spouse, or wants to pursue  less expensive options on the marketplace, the most he/she can be compensated is about $70.

You also see a line in my compensation called “HSVCMS”. This means “high school vocal music”, and it’s referring to my “extra duty stipend”. This is the amount of money I am paid additionally by the district to run a high school vocal music program. Coaches also receive  stipends, as do activities sponsors like yearbook, STUCO, NHS, class sponsors, and so on.  Sponsors work LOTS of night and/or weekend hours outside of their contracts, and this is a  district’s way of trying to compensate some of them. The amount of the stipend varies greatly  not just from activity to activity but from district to district. Regardless, this is $300 MORE I  receive each month than a teacher without an extra duty assignment.

In addition, my base salary is $1321.53 more each year for holding a master’s degree. You read that right. My extra degree is worth less than my extra duty. But still, that’s a little over $100/month I get that somebody with only a bachelor’s degree doesn’t.

So, if I were teaching English with a bachelor’s degree and entering my 10th year as a teacher, this year I would be bringing home less than $2000 each month.

You can surely understand why so many teachers in this state are confused when they hear our adversaries claim that teachers in Oklahoma make an average of $44,000/year. While that may
be true when you include benefits, and even teacher retirement, it is far from the whole truth.

Just for comparison, I checked out the compensation for Plano ISD, less than 3 hours south of us. I couldn’t determine my compensation based on years of experience, but teachers with a  master’s degree and ZERO years of experience receive a gross base salary of $53,000  ($4,416.66/monthly). The district contribution to health insurance is $259. Yes, it is less than Oklahoma’s flexible benefit allowance. But the insurance premiums are much less expensive in Texas, so I would pay almost the same amount out of pocket to insure myself and my children as I am now in Oklahoma. In Texas, it would cost $356  in addition to the district contribution to insure both myself and my children (I currently pay  more than $400 additionally to insure my children). My extra duty stipend for 11th/12th grade  music would be $4,950 (412.50/monthly).

Here’s a breakdown of the numbers for all you math folks. Since the insurance situation is comparable in both states,
I’ll just use the pre-tax salary amounts:

Base Salary:

OK:  $36,056/yr or $3004.66/mo

TX:  $53,000/yr or $4,416.66/mo

Extra Duty

OK:  $3,659/yr or $304.92/mo

TX:  $4,950/yr or $412.50/mo

TOTAL COMPENSATION
(BEFORE TAXES):

OK:  $39,715/yr or $3,309.58/mo

TX:  $57,950/yr or $4829.16/mo

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

* Because my current district pays employees on a September-August contract, I had to elect a 13-month pay plan this year in order to avoid going without a paycheck last august. If you want to know what my check would look like on a 12 month contract, add about $225 to it. Still not that impressive, eh?

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40 thoughts on “The Proof Is in the Paycheck

  1. I live and teach in Lawton, OK. I have 23 years experience and am certified in both early childhood and elementary education. I do not have my ‘asters degree, but am National Board Certified. Believe it or not, my pay is not that much different than yours. It’s such a sad time in education. I love my students and really do love teaching, but I don’t think I can continue to do it much longer. Last year there were times I had up to 32 first graders. 32!!! Teaching students the one most important thing which will ( in most cases determine their future success in school and life) -READING- to 32 students is just almost impossible. I pray some how, some way someone will open their eyes and finally mm make a difference. Thank you for your hard work and enjoy the few days we truly get off this summer.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I too have a masters and entering my tenth year in education at a premier high school in Tulsa. I interviewed for a teaching position in Fayettville Arkansas. It would have been a $15,000 increase if I would have accepted. It’s not just Texas that pays significantly more than OK, it’s every state.

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  3. Plano is actually not a great example of average Texas teacher pay. They are way above state base. Most first year teachers in Texas make in the low 30’s. Many districts, (like mine) don’t pay extra for a Master’s degree. But for sure, teacher pay doesn’t go far enough, you are underpaid, and your insurance is more than mine. This is a good example to those that think teachers “have it made”.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mesquite (TX) ISD pays 50k to start.
      Dallas ISD pays 50k to start.
      Rockwall ISD pays 50k stop start.
      Georgetown ISD pays 48k to start
      Cooper ISD pays 33k to start
      Paris ISD pays 33k to start
      McKinney pays 50k to start
      Austin pays 43k to start
      Red Oak pays 44k to start
      May bank pay 43k to start
      Forney pays 47k
      Ennis pays 47k

      I just looked up a few around me and in areas I know pretty well. These are all with 0 years experience. It’s a shame that teaching is the one profession where your experience doesn’t pay you anything. Every one of these starting salaries is within 3k of a 10 year teaching veteran’s salary. It just doesn’t make sense.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Plano might not be a great example compared to, say, Daingerfield or Lumpass, but, given the rapid growth of communities in the DFW metroplex, it ain’t that hard for an Oklahoma educator to find a good paying job and still be relatively close to family back home.

    Plus, no state income tax, no sales taxes on most groceries or prescriptions, and a good economy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Just so we are clear Plano ISD pays way above the average in Texas. That is mainly based on location and size of the school district and the fact that the cost of living is significantly different in an urban area.

    Most school districts in Texas earn below that. That is not to say that teachers in Oklahoma are not vastly underpaid, they are, I’m just not sure Plano ISD was an apples to apples comparison.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I also looked at Denton recently. Comparable. I checked out Ft Worth recently as well. The point is that the opportunity is there and teachers in OK can cross any border in any direction and make more money. Our legislators refuse to connect teacher pay to our teacher shortage. When we’re bleeding teachers to literally every neighboring state, they can’t deny the correlation forever.

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  6. Wow, grossing $3600+ a month with 3 weeks off for Spring break, Fall break, and Winter break with 2.5 months in the Summer. You have it rough. Try working social work where you’re even further underpaid and get the average 2 weeks vacation days annually.

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    1. I agree that social workers are also grossly underpaid. We know several as we have adopted through DHS. My post was pertaining to teacher pay as compared to neighboring states where we are bleeding teachers every year. And if you think that is a fair representation of the work teachers do, then you are grossly underestimating the amount of time the job actually takes. We work well beyond our contract days and hours. The contract gives the stipulations you mentioned. The actual job is another story, as I am sure you know.
      We do not have “summer break”. We have two months of unpaid leave when we are expected to attend workshops, AP training, team meetings, curriculum planning, continued education and more.
      The “gross salary” includes the flexible benefit allowance which is immediately deducted from the check, along with additional money for dental, vision, spouse, and/or children’s benefits. In what other profession is this included in somebody’s salary numbers? Those are typically called “fringe benefits”. The salary, is typically the amount of money you actually get to take home.
      You do an important job. And one that is closely tied to mine. People are our business. Let’s not pit our professions against each other.

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      1. Not to mention the amount of money we spend out of our own pockets each and every year just so our students can do their work.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. But…. if we keep losing teachers you will be even more underpaid for the amount of uneducated and socially uneducated children you will have.

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      1. ….and I have decided I’m a contract worker and therefore will leave the premises AS SOON as the contract day is over. No more overtime work from me. I can make more money(money period) teaching at home or at a second job. We need to stop giving more than we need to. They get what they pay for and that’s it. If they care about the kids, they will cough up the money….some day. This is what we should do as a unified group of teachers. Arrive on the clock and exit on the clock. See how that goes over….no more clubs, sports, etc. after school…for those who are unpaid for it.

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  7. The DFW metroplex alone has almost as many jobs to fill as the state of Oklahoma. And those jobs all pay better than Oklahoma. To the person doing social work, I’m sure they’d give you emergency certification to work in OK since they need teachers so bad. Then you could have that easier job you’ve always wanted.

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  8. I cannot understand why we, as parents and grandparent, allow this degree of indifference to our children’s education. Happy, excellent teachers in the best environments possible is our greatest hope. But, if the target is tax funded vouchers for privately owned ( religious ) schools and the destruction of public education, which Oklahoma legislators seem determined to accomplish, then we are on our way. With private prisons, guns everywhere, and insurance as our only way to battle ill health, leaving here may be the best recourse.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Wow! I wish as a Texas teacher I received that salary! With a Master’s degree and 28 years of experience I make less every year. I do not normally get the raises other teacher with less experience gets. Also, the insurance premiums increase so much each year being able to afford to teach is less each year. A teacher salary one salary household is very difficult.

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  10. I’m a 2nd year teacher (bachelors degree) in Oklahoma for one of the largest districts in the state. I make a little over $1800 per month. I have my husband on my medical/dental/vision because his employer does not offer decent options (and we’d pay more through his employer for just him). I pay nearly $500 a month for my husband to be covered. It’s tough making it on this. My husband has no college degree and is an electrician apprentice, with roughly 2 years until he becomes a fully licensed electrician. He makes anywhere from $500 – $600 more a month that I do. Out of curiosity one day, I sat down and did the some math. I figured up all my monthly expenses as if I wasn’t married. If I was single and living where I do (our rent is quite low compared to others), I couldn’t make it on just my income. I’d likely have to move back in with my parents, or have roommates, or share an apartment with my brother. It’s kind of scary when you realized you can’t make it on your own. If it wasn’t for your spouse, you couldn’t take care of yourself. I am on a 12 month pay period. We don’t get any other option in our district. So that’s nice. I haven’t been able to do any side jobs this summer. I have literally been playing catch up on all the things that got thrown to the way side during the school year & preparing for the upcoming school year. I love my job though & have worked hard to get where I am. It’s just frustrating & sad that I can’t support myself without the income of my husband.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I moved to Texas in 1999 for my first teaching job due to Oklahoma’s pay. I’d love to come back “home”, but I can’t afford it! I’ve been Region IV Teacher of the Year, District Teacher of the Year, Instructor of the Year, National Writing Project co-director, Kellogg certified, emotional intelligence certified, and on and on…so think about the talent that is lost each year from Oklahoma’s 5 year college teacher ed program due to pay issues. When I applied to teach in Oklahoma, two districts also gave me state aid (welfare) applications–this made up my mind for me because my family and I could not live (and pay back my student loans) on teacher wages. Also, I’m not sure why districts don’t band together to lower insurance costs, or better yet why don’t teachers qualify for state benefits and insurance? I have a Master’s Degree with doctoral work, and in any other field we would be paid what we are worth. It’s time for politicians to step up to the plate and do the right thing by teachers, and especially Oklahoma teachers!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I agree that teachers here get a rotten deal and don’t mean to distract from the problem, but I will say you probably shouldn’t compare to Plano. I read another article about Texas pay recently that points out the cost of living, especially in areas like Plano, is higher than in areas like Mid-Del. So, comparatively speaking Texas says they pay a LOT more than Oklahoma but in reality when you compare cost of living it’s barely more… but let’s be honest more is more.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ve never seen a public school teacher’s salary anywhere that paid what I believe they deserve. On the other hand, some states pay mid-level administrators who don’t even teach at twice the base rate of a classroom teacher. I don’t understand it. Grocery baggers with high school diplomas often make as much as teachers. It’s a national disgrace, but I don’t know how to make voters value the work teachers do properly. I’m lucky to live in a county seat-tourist destination town that supports local schools at a high rate, but the county next door keeps voting down any increase in subsidy even for facilities with condemned roofs, broken furniture and modular class trailers intended to be temporary, but in use for decades.

    It’s no surprise to me so many new teachers quit within five years. It requires a level of dedication and personal sacrifice equaling that of military service to do the job, yet no one thanks them for it in public, or buys their breakfast at the diner. You would be shocked at how much K-12 teachers are revered in other developed countries by comparison.

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  14. I’m sorry but I cannot see why we make a big deal of this. I work as a draftsman for 3 years and I only made 400 more a month. My wife has been a phlebotomist for 6 years and makes 800 less a month. She has to come in contact with blood, urine, feces, and other fluids along with sick people every day without the holidays associated with school calendar. We live in Oklahoma. We are a poor state. Things are getting better everyday but this is the current situation.

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    1. Travis, I can’t speak for the pay in your professions. The work you do matters, and you would have to advise those around you about how to advocate for your profession. I must respectfully disagree that things are getting better. State funding to schools is still 25% lower than it was ten years ago, and teachers haven’t had a raise in 10 years. This has been a problem for Oklahoma for decades, and the last decade has seen it turn for the worse.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would like to point out that state funding to public schools is absolutely not 25% lower than it was ten years ago. From FY-2007-FY-2016, Common Education appropriations have INCREASED by 3.84%. That public information can be requested with the state board if you’d like to look into it further. Now this past year there was a deficit that cost Oklahoma a major financial loss, but let’s quote the correct numbers please. Other public agencies (Human Services, Mental Health and now Higher Ed) are the ones who have taken a 25% cut. I also know that the Oklahoma Teacher’s Retirement was funded at around 33% approximately 10 years ago and once the house and senate was turned over to republicans it has been raised to 66% funding. If they can get that to 100% it is quite possible that retired teachers could even get a raise. There’s a huge deficit across the state, so I am actually tired of hearing teachers cry that their the ones getting the short end of the stick. Now I actually do believe that teacher’s and public ed should be receiving more money, just as all our state services should and this can only take place if Oklahoma introduces new legislature that can bring more state income or continue to cut tax breaks, etc. I’ll be pushing my state representative and senator for this to happen! I must say though I’m very jealous of the insurance availability to teachers as state employees and I wish it were more appreciated. As a small business owner I make around the same as you, a few months quite less as I do have a seasonal job (difficult to budget my life) and it would cost me almost double what you spend to insure my whole family. I can only afford to insure my kids at this time which is a shame and completely ridiculous. Something else I will be fighting for this next session! My point is, I chose that career therefore I reap what I’ve sown, and I do so joyfully because it is my passion and calling. I wish some (certainly not all) would look at the big picture. Oklahoma has never been high in teacher pay and if that’s what someone got into that profession for, well it’s the wrong reason and they need to be booted out right away. I was raised in a family of educators and highly respect their continued hard work and passion for the children’s lives they touch on a regular basis. But let’s stop the comparison game, self-pity party and get to work on what we CAN do to make a change in our state!

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      2. Hi, Fed Up Okie.
        First of all, I was approximating when I said ten years. In 2008, state appropriations were much higher to common Ed. Around 2.05billion (the rest went higher Ed). Last year, they were around 1.87billion before the mid-year cuts. In addition, we’ve seen an influx of nearly 50,000 students in that time.
        http://okpolicy.org/wp-content/gallery/education/enrollment-formula-funding.jpg?997616
        Not to mention, they capped a dedicated revenue stream to education (motor vehicle) that was actually growing and that is hurting lots of districts. It’s projected to cost mine an additional 2million in funding. You can read about that here:
        https://okeducationtruths.wordpress.com/tag/motor-vehicle-registrations/
        Here’s an article that talks about the issue on a national level and ranks Oklahoma alongside other states: http://www.cbpp.org/research/state-budget-and-tax/most-states-have-cut-school-funding-and-some-continue-cutting

        That is specifically K-12 funding and does not include higher Ed.
        Let me also make it perfectly clear that I in no way believe teachers are the only ones getting the “short end of the stick”. I also advocate for services for our most poor and vulnerable citizens, and I take into account those issues with my vote. We have worked closely with DHS through foster and adoption, and my sister works on behalf of at-risk children through social work. I am very aware of many of the ways our revenue shortage is hurting most people here.
        You and I agree that we need a responsible tax system and I also believe we need to explore options to diversify our economy so we are no longer a “boom and bust” economy. I have stated many times…we have a REVENUE problem as much or more so than a BUDGET problem.
        This just happens to be a blog about teaching and education.

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      3. My advice to teachers is to simply report to work as early as you like, but at the end of the day– go home when your contract time ends. Stop doing the ‘extra’ work for the school that you are not paid to do. ( and if they say they are compensating you, don’t just take their pennies) Refuse the extra duties. If they want more commitment from teachers but are not willing to pay for it, go home and relax. If you can’t get your work done at school, they aren’t giving you enough time to do it. That is their problem. Teach your heart out while you are there — always do your best! If students don’t pay attention or do their work, or misbehave and waste their time, that is THEIR problem and their parents’ problem. Teachers are not miracle workers and should not kill themselves trying to be. You get what you pay for. Quit whining and just leave the building. Go on to your second job or teach at home and supplement your income. Enjoy your family. You have to take care of yourselves. Quit giving so much of your emotions, life and health to the ungrateful public. You did not take a vow of poverty or commit to kill yourself teaching our children. ~~ Appreciative citizen and fellow teacher in Bartlesville ~~

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  15. I am a teacher myself… But your Math is not right.. How many days do you work yearly.. Or How many months do you you truly work? Then do the Math and tell us here how much money you are making a month…

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    1. Hi, Elvin. Could you be more specific concerning how you believe my math is incorrect? The point was to show that teachers can make more money doing the same job outside of Oklahoma. I work well beyond my contract hours. Saturdays, nights, summers. I recently directed a musical for my students after school had ended for the year. It was at least 200 hours of work outside my contract just for that one project. But as I stated in this post, the contract belies the actual job and expectations and that is a whole other issue.
      But if I worked ONLY my contracted days (182 in my district), my base salary would come out to $198.22/day or 26.43/hour.
      In TX, their school year is 5 days longer. I’ll even add in a couple extra PD days for good measure, so let’s say the contract is as many as 190 days each year. In TX, my base salary would come out to $278.95/day or $34.87/hour (based an 8 hour day, a half hour longer than my OK contract day…for good measure).
      It’s no wonder we can’t keep teachers here. We have to be competitive if we want the best and brightest. As it is, class sizes are rising and entire programs and subject areas are enduring cuts because not only can we not afford to pay those positions, we can’t even find teachers to fill them when the money is there.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Our son was an Oklahoma teacher. He had two degrees —one in mathematics and the other in secondary education. He too made an ungodly low salary. He did do some better by using his teaching certificate to teach four nights a week at a vo-tech in OKC. He made it three years. He has now moved to New England and does not have to work a second job at night. He is out of the profession and is in a tech specialty field. He is doing very well now. As an Oklahoma tax payer, it rankles me to to see our teachers not compensated as a true professional. But, what is the answer to this? Our state legislature ought to hide their heads in shame!!

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  17. You are incredibly inaccurate on the deductions from Texas and what your pay would be. I moved home after teaching in Texas back to Oklahoma due to their not being much of a difference because of cost of living. For reference, I worked at a 4a school as a math teacher with stipends, my husband worked at Allen(largest school in Texas) with coaching duties. We live better now in OKC than we did in the DFW area. I encourage you to dive a little deeper into your research. Your point is valid, but fails to make an impact when your research does not represent the truth.

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    1. Hi, Megan. Thank you for your comment. I used the Plano ISD website, the human resources pages specifically, to determine the salary and benefits of a PISD teacher. In my final comparison, I used gross salaries only. So while I did not calculate deductions from the TX salary, I also did not include deductions from the OK salary (my take home pay after taxes and deductions is more like 27K). I did a little research and the cost of living is estimated to be about 20% higher in Plano than in Norman (where I live). The property taxes are likely higher, however, TX does not have state income tax and does not charge sales tax on groceries, prescriptions, and some other things where Oklahoma does. Because my salary would increase by more than 20%, it still seems fair to say teachers in Plano are making more money than teachers in Oklahoma.
      What about my numbers strikes you as untruthful? These are the numbers given by Plano and my district for compensation. I chose Plano at random because I happen to have a friend there who teaches 1st grade, and whose husband is a middle school counselor. They live very comfortably on their salaries, even with one child in daycare, and do not have extra duties or second jobs.

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      1. You are using advertised compensation. Once you get the paycheck, the bills, at the end of the month we were worse off (not to mention dealing with urban DFW life). Property taxes are outrageous in Collin county. When we lived there, they were the highest county in Texas, that’s the DFW area. My direct deposit not having state income tax taken out, was less than yours. I worked at Princeton, only carried insurance on myself but paid so much more to live. Deductions I am referring to are those that come from insurance. Not tax.

        Not to mention, the school environment is not the same.

        I encourage you to test your ideas and move to DFW. I too, being from Oklahoma, thought I would make the move south to make more money. I lasted 4 years.

        If Oklahoma is so bad, go try your hand in DFW. Maybe try Dallas ISD to be specific. There’s a reason (i’m leaving it unspoken) as to why those districts get paid more.

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      2. Hi, Megan. I’m not surprised your pay checks were lower than mine. Princeton ISD pays twice a month. I looked it up. My school district pays only once a month. The check I posted in this blog is my pay for the entire month.
        I am familiar with DFW, having several friends and colleagues who have lived or currently live there. Plano, Grapevine, Allen, McKinney. My brother lived there for 10 years, and my husband graduated from high school there in Flowermound, and his mom retired from teaching here just a few years ago.
        I used “advertised compensation” in both states to compare salaries. I did not compare my net pay in OK to gross pay in TX. I used base compensation before taxes in both places, having spoken with several DFW residents and learning what costs more there and what expenses they don’t have that we do.
        My starting salary in Princeton would be $50,500, and in Allen over $54,000. That’s BEFORE adding any stipends. I also looked at insurance. I would pay LESS out of pocket to insure myself and my children there (I pay OVER $400 in addition to my FBA here in OK).

        I’m glad you’re in OK. We need good teachers. But your numbers and mine aren’t jiving.

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      3. Hi, Megan. I have posted every comment made on my blog, save for your last one.
        I got a little behind yesterday because I was working and dealing with multiple family medical issues. I was the first to discover yesterday that flooding has completely destroyed our stage floor and now my students, as well as band, drama, and other organizations at both my high school and our feeder middle school will have no place to perform for an indefinite amount of time. I spent the morning meeting with administrators, maintenance, and our director of operations hashing out the problem. It is very, very bad.
        So you can imagine how my day went.

        I did not post your last comment because it was condescending and insulted my integrity. You imply I am a liar, when all I have done is post an image of my actual paycheck, and compare my salary to that of another district in another state with numbers published on their own websites.
        You continuously undermined and dismissed my explanations as well as my testimonials from close connections who have lived it, all the while asking me to accept YOUR experience as the whole and only truth.
        This is where I would direct you to look into a WordPress account and feel free to publish your thoughts and experiences. But I’ll do you one better.
        Write a post. Include your pay stubs from both places, your circumstances, and an explanation of deductions and I will post it here as a guest blog. Be prepared to answer questions. I’m sure my readers will have many. My email is mindydenn@yahoo.com.

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      4. So posting the fact that my previous post was To redirect your comment that I didn’t add my two pay checks together is not an important FACT? Great blog! Or that proves you wrong? Eek. Credibility lost! Well done proving the point of why you are where you are. 👍🏼

        I, unlike you, teach to teach. I chose my job because I LOVE IT! Regardless of pay. Shame on you for not being the same!

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  18. I’m a teacher here in Houston and I think the larger districts can offer more competitive pay. But our state legislators are chipping away at the public education system here as well. Overall, it is a true shame that teachers are not paid their worth nor for their experience. I’m in year 16 and I’m maybe making $7000 more a year than a new teacher Day 1. And I get so God awful tired of the argument that we have summers off. Seriously? I work the first 10 summers I taught and for a few years I also did some adjunct work teaching classes in the evenings. The work we do every day is so not commensurate with the pay we get. Might look into moving to the outskirted districts of Houston. Not HISD well maybe, but KISD and CFISD having pretty decent starting pay.

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  19. You get what you pay for. I am determined to only be on school grounds during my contract hours. I can make more money teaching at home after school to supplement my income or take a second job. If the state or district doesn’t pay a worth salary, they will only get a contract laborer. I suggest all teachers GO home and work only during the hours you have to be there, Maybe then people would start realizing that we aren’t gonna be their slaves.

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  20. I taught for 31 years in Mid-Del with a Bachelors degree. My retirement check is $1900.00 a month, roughly. My one word of advice to each of you who are in teaching for the long haul–start an annuity!!! You’ll probably say you can’t afford it. The money is taken before taxes! I did it and am so thankful! I never missed what I didn’t have. Luckily for me I have a husband to support me. Start an annuity today!!

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  21. I am a retired (36 years)OK educator living in Texas. We retired and moved here in June 2012 to be closer to our children. We have my OK teacher retirement, my husband’s state retirement, my social security and his part-time job and it takes every penny. My SIL retired in 2015 at the age of 64 from a small rural district in west Texas with 36 yrs. I don’t know her retirement income other than it’s less than mine. But earlier this year when she turned 65 she was not allowed to draw social security. Most schools in Texas don’t pay in to social security, so teachers are out of luck. Her husband of 45 years was on social security and when he died in April his social security stopped. Teachers here are not allowed to draw on spouse’s social security because she did not pay into the system…..no matter that he did. And of course she started getting billed the $104 for Medicare. All this to say that at 65, she is looking for a job. My daughter also teaches, a 10 year veteran of the Georgetown district which looks like a well run school district. This “summer ” off I know that she has worked minimum of 12 full days at school. Plus she is working on some special certification on-line and she will work most of the two weeks before school starts. She teaches for the ” love of teaching ” and usually is at the school 7:30 – 5:30 every day, except those that she has to be at her second job by 4:00.
    ALL this to say….the grass isn’t necessarily greener in Texas.

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