Marin teacher salary hikes overshadowed by rising costs

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The average salary of Marin County teachers has risen, but not as fast as the cost of living, according to state and county data.

Public school teachers in Marin were paid an average of $89,935 in 2020-21, said Mary Jane Burke, the county’s superintendent of schools. This is a 1.79% increase from $88,352 in 2019-20.

Statewide, the average teacher salary rose to $85,856 in the 2020-21 school year, a 1.6% increase from 2019-20, according to new data from the State.

In comparison, inflation increased by around 5% from May 2020 to May 2021, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means that teachers in California have generally seen their real salaries fall.

During the same period, the value of typical homes in California rose about 15%, to $657,000, according to Zillow, a real estate data company.

Teacher salaries were highest in the Mountain View-Los Altos Union school district in Silicon Valley. District faculty salaries averaged about $145,200.

Meanwhile, the cost of living has increased. The median price of a single-detached home in Marin was $1.7 million in February, according to the most recent data from the county assessor’s office. This is an 11% year-over-year increase.

“Given the volatility of the current economy, there is no doubt that our educators are being negatively impacted,” Burke said. “It also includes increased fuel costs for school staff who make long trips due to the high cost of accommodation in Marin.”

Union leaders representing teachers at Le Marin say they are all too aware of the situation.

“Rising property prices are making it increasingly difficult to raise a family in Marin on an educator’s salary, which is why so many teachers face unsustainable daily commutes,” Morgan said. Agnew, president of the San Rafael Teachers’ Federation.

“Until we address the structural issues of lack of affordable housing and low teacher salaries relative to other professionals, it will become increasingly difficult to recruit and retain the most talented and dedicated educators” , said Agnew, a mathematician and computer scientist. science teacher at Terra Linda High School.

Mariah Fisher, president of the Novato Federation of Teachers, said her members’ situation is even worse because they are at the bottom of the pay scale in Marin.

“While the average in Marin may be $89,000, Novato is very different,” Fisher said. “I’ve been teaching for 17 years and I don’t have that salary yet.”

Jim Hogeboom, superintendent of schools for the city of San Rafael, said the district has done its best to stay competitive, even offering large one-time bonuses to some staff members during the pandemic to try to ease the financial burden.

“While the state and federal government have provided schools with needed one-time money, including COVID relief dollars, this cannot be used for ongoing pay raises,” Hogeboom said. “As a result, we used a combination of increases in our pay scale with one-time bonuses to compensate our staff.”

“Knowing that maintaining strong compensation and benefits for our valued employees is a top priority for our district, we will do everything possible to allocate resources so that our employees receive their fair share of new funds coming into the district,” Hogeboom said. . “Unfortunately, with inflation at its highest for 30 years, this may not be enough to cope with the very high cost of living in Marin. ”

The average salary of teachers depends on several factors. Salary increases with seniority, so a district with a preponderance of veteran teachers would tend to pay more on average than a district with lots of inexperienced teachers. The cost of living also plays a role, as districts in expensive communities have to pay more to attract talent.

The best balance of teacher salaries and housing is found in Tulelake, a small town in Siskiyou County. The average teacher salary there last year was $75,027 and the typical home was worth around $163,000.

The hardest place to live, by this metric, is the Ravenswood City School District in San Mateo County, where the average salary is $74,400, but the house price is around $1.67. million bucks.

According to the California Department of Education, average teacher salaries in major Marin districts for 2020-21 included:

• Marin County Office of Education, $99,097

• Larkspur-Corte Madera School District, $89,337

• Mill Valley School District, $98,910

• Novato Unified School District, $80,630

• Reed Union School District, $95,489

• Ross Valley School District: $79,017

• Ross School District, $95,638

• San Rafael Municipal Schools, Elementary District: $90,051

• San Rafael Municipal Schools, School District: $103,787

• City of Sausalito Marin School District: $85,089

• Shoreline Unified School District: $86,977

• Tamalpais Union School District: $107,908

The Sacramento Bee contributed to this report.

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