SDEA McCorkle: Teacher Pay Raise Reducing K-12 Job Openings

Mary McCorkle, president of the South Dakota Education Association, tells WNAX that our extra half-penny sales tax for teacher pay is lowering job openings by enticing some older teachers to stick around. McCorkle also says the mentoring provided by last year’s teacher pay deal (two years of mentoring and a summer workshop provided for in 2016 Senate Bill 133, separate from the tax increase of 2016 HB 1182 and the funding formula revision of 2016 SB 131) will help keep younger teachers in the classroom longer.

The WNAX report also claims that the 2016 teacher pay bill increased our average annual teacher salary to about $48,000. I have not seen data supporting that claim. My survey of school districts last fall found our average teacher pay reaching about $46,600; Governor Dennis Daugaard said last December it was about $46,900.


6 Responses to SDEA McCorkle: Teacher Pay Raise Reducing K-12 Job Openings

  1. Not even close for my wife Cory. Bigger schools must be raising tbe average.

  2. I don’t believe bigger schools are raising the average. Remember that districts need to fit into the ‘formula’ regarding teacher to student ratios in order to see the additional funds. Some districts chose NOT to adapt their FTE to take advantage of the money, so adding in their salary increase (or lack thereof) would bring down the state average.

  3. In speaking with teachers and prospective teachers around the state, I hear 2 major issues: prospective beginning teachers tell me that entry salary are so low they cannot to accept a contract in SD and leave for other states. Therefore, districts are required to depend on more experienced teachers. Secondly, the “salary increases” are not proportional to Insurance increases which the districts will not cover and younger will not accept the contracts. Hence, more experienced teachers, whose families are “rooted” in the community” remain in district. Net salary “increase” in many districts cannot ne verified.

  4. Keeping experienced teachers is a positive outcome, but if, as Paladn is hearing, the pay increases still aren’t attracting young teachers, then this half-solution is only temporary: experienced teachers won’t hang around forever. We need to move from last in the region to competitive, the way the Democratic plan Billie Sutton sponsored in 2016 would have done. But I’m betting we burned up a generation’s worth of political will last year, and the Republican legislature won’t touch teacher pay again until we are well into crisis.

  5. A big problem is that the way the funding is split up between schools, the SD schools aren’t just vying for good teachers from other states. Now, SD schools are competing against each other; the smaller schools with limited resources lose out every time to the bigger schools that were able to increase salaries by a much larger amount. Our small school was required to increase salaries by a higher amount than the amount of new money that was received.

  6. Isn’t that the secret plot here—force small schools to close without ever explicitly telling them to close?