6 Figure Salaries for Some Teachers


(Sunday, December 16, 2007 11:22 AM EST)

If you think it won't be long until Arlington Public Schools starts paying some of its teachers six figures a year, think again. It's already happening.

A total of 21 county teachers will pull down more than $100,000 this school year, according to figures provided to the Sun Gazette. That's despite the fact that the top highest salary on the Arlington Public Schools pay scale for teachers is $99,117.

The six-figure teachers earn more than that because they teach additional classes or sponsor clubs or sports, school spokesman Frank Bellavia said.

“They all have advanced degrees and have been with [the school system] at least 30 years,” Bellavia said. They earn approximately $500 every day they are in the classroom.

Arlington's maximum teacher pay is nearly $9,000 per year higher than that in neighboring Fairfax County, according to the annual survey conducted by the Washington Area Boards of Education (WABE). The maximum in Fairfax is $90,289, although there, too, teachers can earn more by teaching more or sponsoring clubs or sports.

In addition to having the highest maximum salary for teachers of school systems in the Washington suburbs, the county also has the highest average salary, which represents a combination of pay and longevity. The average teacher salary in the Fairfax system is $71,148.

Teacher salaries of $100,000 or more are not uncommon in some urbanized, heavily-unionized parts of the country, notably the Northeast and Midwest. But they are exceptionally rare in Southern states.

Statewide in Virginia, the average teacher salary is $43,823, according to the most recent figures reported by the Virginia Education Association.

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