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How Much Do You Think Park City Substitute Teachers Are Paid?

I was listening to KPCW this morning and a Park City Municipal representative was talking about a group they are putting together to provide feedback on how to best use public property near Lower Park Avenue. KPCW’s Leslie Thatcher asked about how much participants are being paid. The answer, for 3 days work, was $1500. That would be $500 a day. Not bad work, if you can get.

That reminded me of an email I received a few weeks back from a substitute teacher. I had been writing about teacher contracts and this teacher chimed in to ask if I knew how much substitutes got paid. I know that Park City’s teachers are the highest paid in the state (on average), so I assumed they must be doing OK. What I found was shocking. You make more as an entry level worker at Five Guys Burgers than you do as a substitute teacher. What does a Park City substitute get per day? $85. That’s $10.62 an hour.

Let’s contrast that with one of the highest paid Park City teachers who annual compensation is $125,000 per year (per the Transparent website). There are approximately 180 school days in the year. That works out to about $85 per hour. So, is the most well paid teacher worth 8 times what a substitute is? From a citizen perspective, I would think that a substitute teacher has a pretty tough job. They have to come into an environment that is unknown, teach someone else’s material, and keep things under control. Do some substitutes view it as glorified babysitting? I’m sure some do, especially when they are being paid like it.

The argument could be made that a regular teacher has a long-term impact on each of their students, so they should be paid more. That makes sense. You could also argue that I shouldn’t base an estimate on the highest paid teachers. Well, if we take a starting teacher at $40,000 per year, they are still paid almost $30 an hour (3 time the substitute). You could also argue that perhaps the educational requirements of a substitute aren’t as rigorous as a full-time teacher. That’s true too, per Utah State law.

I’m sure there are countless other arguments that could be made.

Still, as I come back to it, $10 an hour just seems low in comparison to full-time teacher salaries. I’ve heard School Superintendent Dr Ember Conley talk about shortages of substitute teacher. Now I see that that’s not so surprising.



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