Despite years of teachers-union-led complaints about a lack of funding for public schools in New York, a review of the salaries and benefits paid to public-school teachers and officials has revealed massive taxpayer-funded compensation packages.
The Education Action Group Foundation reported on Wednesday a review of teachers’ compensation in one New York school district—Central Islip Public Schools, a public-school district in Long Island—found the 534 teachers earned more than $64 million in salaries alone, averaging $121,261 per teacher.
“They also received a combined $12,897,342 in benefits, for an average of $24,152 per teacher, and the school district made $8,566,330 in retirement contributions on their behalf, for an average of $16,041 per teacher,” reported Steve Gunn for the Education Action Group Foundation.
The incredible compensation packages given to teachers in Central Islip isn’t an anomaly. Many public-school teachers and officials across the state are currently earning gigantic salaries, according to a review by The Blaze of a database containing more than 250,000 educators’ salaries. The database is operated by the Democrat & Chronicle, a newspaper based in Rochester, New York, and uses information made public by the New York State Teachers Retirement System. New York City schools are not included in the database.
In Nassau County, located near New York City, 49 educators’ gross pay exceeded $240,000. Ten individuals earned more than $300,000.
In Erie County, home to the still-struggling city of Buffalo, 50 educators earned at least $143,000.
In Suffolk County, which covers most of Long Island, 50 educators received salaries of at least $225,000. The highest-paid public-school employee in the county in 2015–16, Elwood Superintendent Peter Scordo, earned $385,861.
Despite these gigantic salaries and billions of dollars in funding, U.S. News & World Report ranked New York as having only the 23rd-best pre-K–12 education system. Some of the states that pay significantly less to their educators performed much better than New York, including New Hampshire, which received U.S. News’ highest rating.