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Additional detail on Park City Teacher salaries from an expert

We received an email from current Park City Biology teacher and former Park City Education Association Co-President, Ed Mulick. He wanted to provide additional clarity on teacher salaries. His email did a great job educating us on Park City teacher and salary benefits. If you are interested in the topic, we would recommend reading Mr Mulick’s email below:

The figures in Utah Right to Know can be misleading but they are correct.

Below is the link to the salary schedule determining the amounts Park City teachers receive in their paychecks. Check it out. For better or worse, it is a compromise between a more traditional teacher schedule and an incentive based contract.

http://www.pcschools.us/index.php?page=204&showfile=thefile&rowid=335&noattach=1

In addition to the base salary shown in the salary schedule, school districts are required to pay additional costs to fund teacher retirements (22.19%), a 401 K (1.5%), and FICA (7.65%). The district also provides a shared-cost health insurance package to full-time employees.

According to a benefit study done by ArthurJ. Gallagher @ Co., commissioned by PCSD in 2015, the average Park City teacher had 10 years of experience, held a Master’s degree, one endorsement, and received a base salary of $60,955. This average Park City teacher salary of $60,955, when compared to other teacher salaries, was the highest in Utah. The second highest average teacher salary was in Salt Lake City District at $57,364.

Due to Park City’s ski industry and higher income and property values, some socioeconomic factors are unique to the Park City School District. For this reason the Gallagher study also compared Park City to six out of state districts including Bend, OR, Sun Valley, ID, Truckee, CA, Breckenridge, CO, Aspen, CO, and Jackson, WY. When compared to these other out of state districts, the average Park City teacher salary came in fourth. The highest average teacher salary of these six districts was in Truckee, CA at $70,506, the second was Jackson, WY at $67,075, and third was Hailey, ID at $63,231.

One reason Park City School schools have a culture of excellence is because the best and brightest teachers were originally attracted to this district because of competitive salaries.

PCSD students regularly score higher than the state average and the national average on SAT and ACT test scores, a large percentage of our student body takes advantage of AP classes (over 1000 AP tests were taken by students last year), our pass rate is higher than the national average (81% in PC versus 54% nationwide) and our graduates get into the best colleges in the nation. Park City schools also offer unprecedented opportunity and support for English language learners, special education students, artists, musicians and athletes.

These numbers are especially impressive when you consider we are a 3A school district.

These results are not by accident. Our district’s teacher training lasts three years in which a teacher is constantly evaluated to see if they meet the standard of Park City School District. Even after our preliminary three-year period, the expectations remain high for ALL teachers. The majority of PCSD teachers are constantly seeking to refine their skills.

In addition, Park City Schools are filled with other professionals, such as nurses, counselors, librarians, social workers, and paraprofessionals who all positively impact the learning of the whole child. The vast majority of teachers in this district are hardworking, putting in many hours of overtime. The same is true of our administrators. We take pride in our work because we care about our students.

Thanks,

Ed Mulick

Park City Teacher

* It should also be noted those teachers making top salaries were receiving a $5,000 state funded stipend for teaching math or math-based classes like chemistry or physics, and/or were teaching additional classes, and/or were receiving USTAR money for teaching summer school, after-school tutoring sessions, or after-school science labs.

Comments

7 Comments

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Anonymous

Thanks for your reporting. It certainly contributes to a more complete perspective on this and other issues. I appreciate your contribution!

Avatar
Anonymous

Wow, a taxpayer funded pension and a taxpayer 401(k) contribution. I’ve never heard of that before.

PCSD is definitely a good school district. Good, not great. They tout themselves way too much. AP pass rates don’t necessarily translate into real world success. I know many graduates who passed AP math and science who found the university curriculum to be too demanding.

As far as getting into the best colleges, what does that even mean? What are the best colleges? How many graduates went there? How did they get in? Did their parents have connections and influence? Did a good student have the right diversity qualities? Did Harvard accept them because they found a sucker to study Social Habits of Dogs?

PCSD plays headline data with everything. Full day KG students score better on tests at the end of KG than those who went half day. Ok, but what are the differences by 3rd grade or 5th grade? None. One district in WY had an 80% decline in traffic accidents after changing start times. OK, but what were the reasons for the decline? They don’t say. Why only one data point? There are over 21,000 school districts.

Taxpayers vote no on the school bond. The district is going ahead anyway. Taxpayers were against the reading program changes, the district went ahead anyway. It shows who the district really cares about.

It’s a good school. But it feels like the ship is taking on water.

Avatar
Walt

“Taxpayer funded” (ie, any government job at local/state/federal level) pensions and 401ks are very, very common, anon. Just FYI.

I generally agree with the rest of your rant, but you need to be proposing solutions or ideas. We all know the bond didn’t pass – so what do you want to do about the crappy Treasure building, traffic near Ecker, moving 9th graders to the high school (or not), making sure there’s room to safely play various sports year round, etc?

-Walt

Avatar
Anonymous

401(k) contributions are news to me.

Solutions: Undo full day KG. Don’t realign grades. Leave the crappy building alone (it’s students have gone on to pass AP tests and get accepted to the best schools). Leave the sports as is. ROI on public school spending has been close to zero for decades.

A new building is going to cure our academic problems. Sports isn’t either. Full day KG won’t either. There is a fundamental flaw within our schools and the products they produce are getting worse.

Some quotes from Professor Patrick Deneen (Princeton, Georgetown, and now Notre Dame) who recently wrote an essay titled “How a Generation Lost Its Common Culture.”

“They are exceedingly nice, pleasant, trustworthy, mostly honest, well – intentioned, and utterly decent. But their brains are largely empty, devoid of any substantial knowledge that might be the fruits of an education in an inheritance and gift of a previous generation. They are the culmination of western civilization, a civilization that has forgotten nearly everything about itself, and as a result, has achieved near-perfect indifference to its own culture.”

“What our educational system aims to produce is cultural amnesia, a wholesale lack of curiosity, history-less free agents, and educational goals composed of content-free processes and unexamined buzz-words like ‘critical thinking,’ ‘diversity,’ ‘ways of knowing,’ ‘social justice,’ and ‘cultural competence.”

Sounds like he is talking about Ember Conley.

Avatar
Walt

Get off my lawn!

Kids these days are just fine. I interact with them all the time. I spent the better park of a decade teaching older millennial college kids at a totally normal state university. Great kids, smart, hard working, etc. I know my boomer parents said the same stuff about gen-X me, and their parents said the same about them (free love, rock and roll, bra-burning!) I imagine when I get old enough I’ll get angry at those darn kids in their self-driving cars blasting zip orchestra music, or whatever.

Just letting things fall apart is in vogue these days, though, rather than trying to make improvements or maintain what we have. Buildings to have to be replaced eventually. In general parents want (and loads of science shows sports are great for academics) more facilities for their kids to play sports. And population growth in the basin goes on, while the state keeps us at 50th in the US in education funding.

So I don’t see sitting on our hands as a great idea, personally. But that’s just me.

Avatar
Walt

Oh, and FWIW, anon, 401k (or 401a, or other variants) plans (and pensions) are basically de rigeur for white collar jobs in the United States, including for public employees like teachers. For better or worse, that is an expected benefit of being an employee in almost any salaried position anywhere in the US. It would be difficult to recruit good teachers without offering retirement benefits.

Avatar
Walt

For example, right down the road at the U:

“401(a) Defined Contribution Retirement Plan

Eligible University Faculty and Staff are automatically enrolled in the 401(a) Defined Contribution Retirement Plan.

The University contributes an amount equal to 14.2% of your salary to a retirement account in your name
You are immediately vested
Two investment providers are available:
Fidelity Investments
TIAA
You may direct your University contributions to either or both of the investment providers using the Investment Provider Change Form
You may choose how your funds are invested and change your investment options at any time through the Investment Providers’ websites or customer service departments
For information on investing and specific rules of the University’s retirement plans, see the Retirement Information Guide”


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