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Salary Gap: Milpitas Unified Administrators vs. Teachers

See how much teachers make locally versus principals and superintendents.

Every year, the Mercury News compiles a list of public salaries.

The most recent data is a collection of the salaries of public employees from 2011. 

The pages and pages of information reveal a fact that is not surprising, but is important and worth discussing. In Milpitas, the superintendent earned $100,000 more than the highest-paid teacher in the entire Milpitas Unified School District.

In 2011, Karl Black made a base salary of $207,104 with a total employment cost of $288,726 including benefits. Mark Schoeller, an English teacher at Russell Middle School, earned $107,123 with a total employment cost of $130,778.

Over 100 teachers in the district earned salaries in the $80,000-$90,000 range in 2011 — a staggeringly high number for the job, which in other parts of the state pays far less.

However, there are also plenty of teachers earning considerably less than that — down in the $50,000-$60,000 range, and some even lower (including part-time teachers). Bus drivers, secretaries and maintenance workers are often paid in the $40,000 realm.

Remember, this is your tax money that pays these salaries, and your right to know and discuss. 

Check out the chart below with a sample of some of the salaries and then tell us: Should administrators make that much more than teachers? Do these salaries seem fair to you? Sound off in the comments!

Title Employee Salary Superintendent Karl Black $207,104 High School Principal Kenneth Schlaff $137,518 Middle School English Teacher Mark Schoeller $107,123 Second Grade Teacher Eileen Keating $96,015 Physical Education Teacher James Burns $83,442 Kindergarten Teacher Susan Von Tersch $73,695 High School English Teacher Danile McQuigg $56,228 Child Development Teacher Ellia Juta $45,965 Bus Driver Lori Butler $36,884
Satish Bansal February 27, 2013 at 03:39 AM
Samantha, you just too harsh, even your logic is correct. These high paid teachers with Principle approval ,even teaching 15 years old Math in their classes, when board bought 2 or 3 new editions of the book ( what a waste of millions of dollors). Students when reach middle and high school has a hard time to follow the teachers.
RegionResident February 27, 2013 at 04:26 AM
Samantha - NONE of your posts contain one shred of truth or fact. Wise-up! Why mouth-off against a work force that has not seen merit or cost of living raise in 5-6 years and still agrees to educate our children with their bachelors & masters degrees (minimum 6 years past high school) generally starting at 7:30 AM until 4 PM with less than 1/2 hour lunch... then still take 1-3 hours of work home. BTW, Sam, check out the constant & continuous state & federally mandated changes in curriculum every year. There is no “routine”! If you think it's watered down, it's only because some parents don't support and complain about the hard work it takes for their students to match the top educated countries of the world. Your flagrant lack of accuracy leads one to believe that you also know nothing about industry professional & executive salaries & benefit packages… nor do you bother to state at what salary a 30-40-year-experienced exec (or teacher) started 25-40 years ago. FYI-Most professionals (teachers included) are on salary curves with experience & education contributing to graduated salaries. Sooo…Sam…what happened? Did a "lazy" teacher dare flunk your precious child for not participating with fact-based answers or did your child not make the cut with the cheerleading squad or sports team? BTW...this is silicon valley country, one of the most expensive areas in the country. If you want to "pay" cheaper salaries, move to Idaho or Kansas or Alabama or .....
Rohit Sharma February 27, 2013 at 04:28 AM
Samantha - I did not support measure E or measure B because MUSD board did not offer any compelling case for $95M they imposed in local taxes. I just hope measure E oversight committee is NOT keeping the mouth shut over inappropriateness of funds. I do support seniors and volunteer my time in community service. Please let me know, if I could be of any service to you. The sad thing is that In Milpitas, 5,658 residents participated (22.86 percent) of 24,750 total registered voters during measure E vote. According to San Jose Mercury News, by Shannon Barry, n 06/06/2012, supporters of measure E were 1. Superintendent Cary Matsuoka 2. Board of Education Vice President Marsha Grilli 3. Her granddaughter Meghan Winston (5 year old currently in Curtner Elementary) 4. Trustee Danny Lau ref: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:V4qP-v7ym-QJ:www.mercurynews.com/milpitas/ci_20798408/milpitas-measure-e-passes-64-percent-support+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us
Vivek P. February 27, 2013 at 07:47 PM
Hi Samantha, While your argument does have validity, in the public school system, often the teachers buy supplies for the children, throughout the year and also other additional reading and book materials which the school often does not have a budget for. I do not grudge the teachers a higher salary since some of them really support their families and work very hard on upgrading their own skills and the curriculum. Vivek.
Robert Jung February 27, 2013 at 11:06 PM
This is the problem with this data/article. Without basis and a complete picture, such as how long the teachers have worked, as well as the fact of using averages, it is impossible to draw any worthwhile conclusions. For example, the fact that the Cupertino Superintendent makes $256,354 ($345,193, TCOE) in 2011 isn't used in your comparison. I also have no idea what you're talking about in regard to the Educational board and the Milpitas community educational fund. If you mean the endowment that I run, it has absolutely no relation/connection to either measure, nor does the Board of Education have anything to do with it. But, at the end of the day, I'm only interested in improving the school district, thereby improving our community. API is only one measure of school effectiveness. A strong API is a result of teachers, students, parents and the community working together to provide the best possible educational experience to its students. So, if you're interested in improving the schools, then get involved with your school and figure how to help.

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