TLDRToo Long, Didn't Read: Most Webster Groves teachers with between 7 and 16 years of service have the best or second-best salary in the profiled St. Louis County school districts. Webster Groves teachers with the most experience and education make the 3rd highest salary, around $6000/year less than the best districts. If these are Webster Groves' best teachers, then they deserve to be closer to the highest salary.
I support Propositions S and W. I own two homes in the Webster Groves school district, so I will be doubly affected by this property tax increase.
ClaimThe Supporting Webster Schools website outlines the following arguments for increasing teachers' salary in the Webster Groves School District:
Today [Webster Groves teachers are] compensated with salaries at or above the St. Louis County average.
The WGSD purposeful and strategic commitment is to keep our teacher pay at or above county median.
InvestigationI've created a spreadsheet of the latest publicly available salary schedules from Webster Groves, Kirkwood, Clayton, Lindbergh, Ladue, and Normandy schools. I graphed the data according to the following rules:
- I assumed all salary step categories corresponded to years of service (even though Lindbergh and Normandy say salary step categories don't necessarily reflect years of service).
- If no salary was specified for a given year+degree+credit hour triplet, the salary for the closest year with the same degree+credit hour was assumed
- Ladue and Normandy used 2013/2014 Salaries (the latest available) while Webster Groves, Kirkwood, Clayton, and Lindbergh used 2014/2015
- When a district doesn't specify an equivalent degree+credit hour category, the highest degree+credit hour category less than the current category was used. For example, Webster Groves, Lindbergh, and Ladue have no MA+15 category, so their MA category was matched against Kirkwood, Clayton, and Normandy's MA+15 category.
FactsThis yields the following graphs:
Webster Groves pays the highest salary for
- 4 years and a BA
- [4,10] years and a BA+15 or BA+30
- [3,17] years and an MA
- [8,11], [13,17] years and an MA+15
- [7,17] years and an MA+30
- [9,19] years and an MA+50
- [7,10], [12,16] years and a PhD
AnalysisThere is far too much variance to deal with average salaries. Anyone that talks about an average salary is trying to hide the truth. There is no truth in an average teacher salary. There are 9 different pay scales just among the 6 profiled school districts, and each pay scale has a highly inconsistent growth rate.
If the best teachers are those with the most education and most years of experience, then Webster is underpaying compared to its peers. It's best teachers by this metric make around $6000 less than the highest salary.