Monday, October 10, 2011

Are Principals Really Telling The Truth About Why Hiring A Senior Teacher Will Significantly Affect Their Budget? Probably Not.



Time and again I have heard the same complaint from principals. " I would like to hire a senior teacher but I don't have the budget to do so". The question is were they telling the truth? For the last two years I truly believed them since the "fair student funding formula" imposed on schools by the Joel Klein Administration required that school budget reflect individual teacher salaries in calculating school budgets back in 2008. However, what was little known was that there was a "hold harmless" provision that delayed the use of individual teacher salaries in school budgets. Instead, the school budgets are based upon the baseline 2008-2009 school year "average teacher salary". This baseline, with adjustments for teacher raises, is still in effect and this means that in most cases hiring a senior teacher would only make a small difference in many school budgets. Let's look at some examples.

School "A" - Large Comprehensive High School:

The "average teacher salary" is $75,000 and there are 150 teachers in the school. A $50,000 a year teacher leaves and a $100,000 a year teacher is hired. How does it affect the school's teacher budget? Under the fully implemented "fair student funding formula" the school budget would need to come up with $50,000 dollars to hire the senior teacher. However, since it is based upon the "average teacher salary" the increase is calculated as follows:

$75,000(.9933) + $100,000(.0067) = $75,167 or a $167 increase for teachers in the school's budget!

School "B" - Mid Sized Middle School:

The "average teacher salary" is $70,000 and there are 80 teachers in the school. A $50,000 a year teacher leaves and a $100,000 a year teacher is hired. How does it affect the school's teacher budget? Under the fully implemented "fair student funding formula" the school budget would need to come up with $50,000 dollars to hire the senior teacher. However, since it is based upon the "average teacher salary" the increase is calculated as follows:

$70,000(.9875) + $100,000(.0125) = $70,375 or a $375 increase for teachers in the school's budget!

School "C" - Small School:

The "average teacher salary" is $50,000 and there are 25 teachers in the school. A $50,000 a year teacher leaves and a $100,000 a year teacher is hired. How does it affect the school's teacher budget? Under the fully implemented "fair student funding formula" the school budget would need to come up with $50,000 dollars to hire the senior teacher. However, since it is based upon the "average teacher salary" the increase is calculated as follows:

$50,000(.960 ) + $100,000(040) = $52,000 or a $2,000 increase for teachers in the school's budget!

As you can see, even in the small schools the hiring of a top salaried senior teacher is not a budget breaker. Therefore, the question becomes do principals really know how their school budgets really work? Or they do know how the budget really works and use the fully implemented "fair student funding formula" as an excuse not to have knowledgeable senior teachers in their schools by falsely claiming that they can't afford to hire them? The answer is probably both, depending on the school and whether the principals understand how their budget really works.

Remember, the DOE under Joel Klein had encouraged principals not to hire ATRs and called them "bad or lazy teachers". While Joel Klein is long gone, his propaganda resonated with the principals who think the hiring an ATR is like being dealt a "bad hand". This is especially true with the "Leadership Academy Principals" who have told from the time they went into the Leadership Academy that they should hire the "newbie teacher" who they can mold rather that somebody else's reject who is set in their ways.

Next time you hear from a Principal why he can't hire a senior teacher because of the school's budget, you now know it is because the Principal is ignorant of the budget process or putting his or her own requirements above what is best for the school's children. In either case it "children last" when it comes to the students they claim they are doing the best for.

10 comments:

Pissed Off said...

I was told this by an admin friend a few years ago but never fully understood until now. Thanks.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

How did you figure out the percentage? I'm somewhat confused.

Chaz said...

The percentage is based upon the one senior teacher divided by the total amount of teachers. For example school "A"

149/150 = .993 x $75,000 = $74,500

When you add the senior teacher to the mix

1/150 = .0067 x $100,000 = $667

Add $74,500 to $667 = $75,167

Rod said...

If it's based on the average salary, then why do we hear it's fair funding? Is it line the DOE masters are passing along to us?

Anonymous said...

You can't figure out his percentage because his math is wrong.

Stick to science class.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:44

Chaz's math is correct. It is the average teacher salary and is dependent on a weighted average.

If you think Chaz is wrong then expalin what is wrong with it. Otherwise just shut up.

Anonymous said...

If 75 teachers make $50K and 75 teachers make $100K. One $50K teacher leaves and is replaced by a $100K teacher the difference in the average $333.33.

MATH IS WRONG!

Chaz said...

You make an incorrect assumption that 75 teachers make 100k and the other 75 teachers make 50k. I used a cumulative weighted average of the "average teacher salary" and I stand by my Math.

Even in the unlikely event you are correct in using the assumptions that you used. $333.33 is still not a significant increase in the school's budget.

Anonymous said...

I do not think you are fully correct with the math.

This is my understanding: You are correct that the average teacher salary only goes up minimally, however, the principal is paying the increase on ALL of the teachers salaries. In other words the Principal is paying every teacher the new, higher, average salary. So you have to multiply that (minimal) increase by the number of teachers in the school to get the total increase in money that the principal pays.