Political Buzz

Talking WA politics.

NOTICE: Political Buzz has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Political Buzz.
Visit the new section.

How much do teachers make in Tacoma? How does it compare?

Post by John Henrikson / The News Tribune on Sep. 1, 2011 at 9:30 am with 5 Comments »
September 1, 2011 9:30 am


That was the average total pay for a Tacoma teacher last year, according to state numbers. Among the state’s largest districts, that ranks Tacoma teachers fifth. Whether those teachers get a pay raise is among the issues as the Tacoma Education Association and the district continue to bargain and head off a strike.

Here is how districts compared for the 2010-11 school year, according to preliminary school district personnel summary reports from the state school superintendent’s office.

DistrictBase SalaryTotal Salary
North Thurston$54,118$62,303
Statewide average$52,956$61,396
Evergreen (Clark)$52,173$59,749
Federal Way$50,103$59,175
Lake Washington$50,768$58,963

For a database showing other districts and other positions, click here.

For a database showing how much individual teachers made, click here.

For the raw data from OSPI, click here.

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. TruthMonster says:

    J. Brandfas, Bachelors, 26 years experience, 65k total pay

    There’s your 65k average teacher.

    Tacoma just seems to have a lot of experienced teachers. Looking at the chart, it’s taken 26 years for her to work up from less than 40k (today’s dollars) to where she’s at.

    That’s a hilarious $.50 an hour raise each year.

    It sounds like the teachers are fine with 50 cent raises every year just as long as they’re consistent. Let’s not begrudge them that, eh?

    That’s without taking into consideration the 3% inflation average over the last 25 years. Brandfas may actually have less buying power than she had when she began teaching.

    How about an article about how much District personnel make that includes all of the severance packages and money that have been thrown at recent superintendent failures?

  2. Give me a break says:

    When you only work 9 months out of the year. I’m thinking they’re doin’ just fine. Especially with the benefits. But at least they work. College professors have it even better. At least teachers actually work during the 9 months they’re on.
    Tipple the sallaries / benefits for professors and they’re 9 month work year consists of passing on the grading, and if it’s a simple enough subject, passing on the lecture to a “Teacher’s aide”.
    What a joke. Average wage of private worker is what?… $47,000 (maybe $57,000 when benefits included) AND we have to work 12 months out of the year.
    Tired of hearing about how poor teachers are. Appreciate what they do because I wouldn’t want to do it but to complain about not making enough?
    Give me a break!

  3. “Tacoma just seems to have a lot of experienced teachers. Looking at the chart, it’s taken 26 years for her to work up from less than 40k (today’s dollars) to where she’s at. ”

    I don’t know where you are seeing her wages for 26 years ago.

    But her inflation adjusted starting wage is 40k, then she has done very, very well for herself. That’s a 55% increase in pay for teaching.

  4. moonbeam says:

    Frankly, I think it is about time that someone brings public attention to these numbers. With a 65K average salary, are Tacoma teachers serious when they think they deserve a raise or that they are experiencing some great economic hardship?

  5. TruthMonster says:

    Hello Pawl,
    Looking at the chart, you can see what 1st year teachers get paid, which is less than 40k. If 40k to 65k is a 55% increase, it’s over 26 years. If a 2.2% raise each year is too much, what is the right amount?

    If I started out at McDonalds in 1985 for 8 dollars an hour and 26 years later I make 13 dollars an hour, I’m not jumping for joy. Teachers don’t have the option of moving up to the till from the fries. It’s a union job, and pay is based on longevity and certifications.

    Thanks Pawl

    The Tacoma District has the largest money reserve in the state…the teachers asking for a raise is a bargaining position, just like the districts initial position including cutting 4 days with no pay. They’ll end up somewhere in the middle.

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0