You compare: teacher compensation in 15 Bay Area districts

UPDATE: Ed-Data has since come out with its 2008-09 salary figures; I’ve added them to this updated spreadsheet


If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably no stranger to the Ed-Data Web site, a rich source of information about schools.

Some of you have already used the site to show how Oakland’s teacher compensation falls short, but here is a spreadsheet I compiled that compares low, high and average salaries in Oakland Unified and 14 nearby districts, based on 2007-08 data (the most recent available), as well as teacher experience in each district.

The first sheet lists the districts alphabetically, and the second one sorts them in descending order by average salary. I’ll bet you’ll never guess where Oakland falls!

You should note (in Column E) that some districts add their health benefit contributions to the base salary amount — maybe to make their salary schedules look more competitive. Not surprisingly, those districts rise to the top of the salary comparison chart.

Want some current information for Oakland teacher compensation? Here it is, as of October 2009, from OUSD:

AVERAGE BASE SALARY: $53,794 (about $364 less than the average 2007-08 base salary)



Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • del

    First of all, I would love more money. Everybody at my site would. In fact, I can think of a few of us that would be better teachers if we didn’t have to spend parts of our days calling creditors & insurance folks just so we can navigate our days (and yes, there are many non teachers in the same boat). BUT, you can only add so much to 55% before it gets larger than 100%. So what do you cut? Providing FAPE for our oakland students + 55% on teacher salaries + electricity + food services = more than 100%. So now what? Yes, its unfair that teachers don’t get their 55%, but would it be more fair to cut any other equally valid (and equally unfunded) mandate? So unless someone can come up with sources for the revenue, we need to stop talking about the 55%, it makes it appear that we value our wants above the student needs— it makes the negative stereotypes of OEA appear valid.

  • Gordon Danning

    Re: the 87.5% of California HS grads who are not eligible for the UC system: that should NOT be read as indictment of schools. The state master plan for higher education, adopted in 1960, calls for UC to provide education to the top 12.5% of HS grads; hence, only the top 12.5% are eligble; the other 87.5% are, by definition, not eligible, and would not be eligible even if our k-12 education were the best on the planet.

  • Nextset

    Union Supporter; I enjoyed the last post. But:

    The Piedmont Students are not the same as the OUSD students. Frankly, they are superior students. OUSD could not replicate conditions in Piedmont schools with all the money in the world. They could, and don’t want to, replicate the conditions for a small school of elite students selected from throughout OUSD service areas. That’s not going to happen because OUSD would rather have no school that is academically superior if it would be an ethnically segregated elitist school. Not the way I’d run OUSD. But it is clearly not what they are in business for. SF has Lowell High, OUSD refuses to follow suit.

    Piedmont is not as much about the money and the teacher deployment as it is about the people who go to school there. Same thing with the other high performing schools.

    Or as we used to say, garbage in, garbage out.

    Can we transform poor prospects to champions academically? Well if that were to happen there would be a lot of drama and pain in the process with rejects flying down the concrete stairs. No way is OUSD going to do it. It’s not what they are in business for, OUSD wants peace and quiet and for people to be happy and content or at least not being noisy. Pacification is the party line. Just give everybody passing grades and tell them they’re wonderful. It’s what they want and they will believe you.

    Can you imagine OUSD’s High Schools telling their students who are at the bottom 25% of the state rankings that they are academic failures who should never go to any college and had better get into a trade school fast or else plan on being a hotel maid and ditch digger for life (the truth)? And how many OUSD high school students exactly would that be?

    As far as US and the top 12.5%, that’s the statewide ranking. Some schools have few or no students who are top 12.5% statewide cutoff. Some schools have more than, say, 50% of their kids at that level. Same with the bottom 12.5%. Some people are more equal than others.

    I do wish the public schools would do more “discharge planning” for it’s students, drop outs and graduates alike. Go over whatever is known about students who leave with the profiles and performance stats of the particular student and tell them the truth of what is known about the fate of such students to date and what the range of occupations or work paths for a particular profile. Many of these kids don’t have a strong family network to explain the facts of life and go over options. The school can do more in this area without a huge outlay.

    I’m getting off the thread of teacher compensation. My point is that in a depression, if that’s what this is turning into, we can use a little less teaching and a little more social services for the left side of the bell curve. Small amounts of training and coaching make a huge difference in the quality of life for the left side of the curve. The Piedmont kids and those like them are going to survive regardless of the extra touch of the public school. The dull students can sink ro swim depending on small amounts of help.

  • Cranky Teacher

    Del: You seem to know a lot about the numbers. Can you point us to where you are getting your info, or tease out the data a little more transparently?

    I don’t doubt that getting to 55% would be hard, yet I’m not convinced that it is impossible just because you say so.

    I’m particularly interested in your claim that SpEd monies are extra high and that is a dealbreaker — yet isn’t by far the biggest expense of SpEd that you have high teacher-student ratios? Wouldn’t then SpEd expenditures drive us higher, toward 55%? As far as I see at my school SpEd funds don’t go to equipment, they go to an army of teachers, aides and specialists. Perhaps the specialists don’t count?

    I don’t believe that our utilities, admin, security and tech budgets should be any higher percentagewise than other urban districts from LA to Long Beach, S.F. to San Jose. Anybody know if they are meeting the 55% number?

  • J.P.

    Let’s be honest. If we took a high achieving Piedmont school and a low achieving Oakland school and switched the student bodies, leaving everything else the same -the buildings and teaching staff the same, the test scores would travel with the kids. There would be an change but not as big as you would hope. Over time, we would be right back to normal. Those Piedmont kids would still be scoring high.

    I don’t think that achievement is tied to the teaching staff quality although Oakland has more than its fair share of less experienced teachers. The high turnover rate for principals and teachers means too much time spent learning their jobs. OUSD also has some terrific teachers that do amazing work despite the work environment.

    With declining enrollment and less money, paying teachers more would mean not having money left for much else. Teachers need safe, clean well-maintained schools, counselors for troubled students, librarians,special ed assistants, nurses, etc.

    I would like someone to look at the budgets for equipment and supplies in Oakland. If it is not nailed down in the district, anything of value is stolen. Computer equipment is particularly vulnerable.

  • J.R.

    I was watching The Fremont school board meeting,and they have been spending $3 million dollars per year to bus 500 special needs kids(this has been going on for decades)well thats a rather large chunk of change(considering that their budget deficit is $20 million for two years). WOW

  • Just another oakland teacher

    J.P., what you say is largely true. Home/peer/neighborhood environment matters so much … that’s why some of these charter schools are trying to force the kids to stay on campus until dinner time — they want more time to try to overcome the raging low expectations for struggling demographic groups … however, by natural selection the parents that use those schools means they are not the most “needy” of such well-intentioned brainwashing.

    I think of my block in Oakland — most of the men are unemployed and “hustling,” the women tend to work menial low-wage jobs and/or stay drunk/high. How can you be 12 and see beyond that? The parents are modeling a life where only escapism has any value, and they have to be very different to reach beyond that — and they will be rejecting the experience/skills/culture of the people they love the most.

    People like to talk about free will, but it seems a lot more constrained in reality than most of us would hope….

  • Keith

    Where can i get more current information and detail on teacher salaries in San Francisco? I am surprised it is so comparatively low. How does it compare to overall salaries in SF? Thanks