Teaching Profession

Embarrassment—or Full Disclosure?

By Jessica L. Tonn — March 06, 2007 1 min read

Few workers would want to have their salary information posted online. But some teachers in West Virginia say it might not be that bad.

“It couldn’t really hurt us, if people see how much we make,” said Jennifer Wood, a spokeswoman for the 7,000-member AFT-West Virginia, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, which is lobbying the state legislature to raise teacher pay.

Local newspapers have printed teachers’ names and salaries in the past, and talk of posting that information online has surfaced since State Auditor Glen B. Gainer III last month began listing the names and salaries of 65,000 state employees. The auditor’s Web site had more than a million hits within the first few days that the information was posted, according to Justin Southern, a spokesman for Mr. Gainer’s office.

But the list did not include teachers because they are considered county, rather than state, employees.

While Ms. Wood acknowledged that some teachers might feel uncomfortable if their salary information eventually is posted, she said that “a lot of teachers don’t have a problem with it because you can get [the information] already.”

Compared with state employees’ salaries, teachers’ salaries can be calculated easily, according to David Haney, the executive director of the West Virginia Education Association, a 17,000-member affiliate of the National Education Association. The public can determine a teacher’s pay by looking at county salary schedules, which are based on educational attainment and years worked, he said.

And while some teachers may be reluctant to see their salaries posted, it might not hurt their cause.

West Virginia ranks 36th in the nation for average teacher pay and 40th for beginning-teacher salaries, according to the Education Counts database, produced by the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center.

Union officials argue that a pay increase would slow the flow of teachers leaving for higher-paying jobs in the private sector or leaving the state to teach elsewhere.

For example, teachers in the state’s eastern panhandle can drive across the border and make up to $20,000 more per year teaching in northern Virginia than in West Virginia, according to both Mr. Haney and Ms. Wood.

“We’re talking about a 15-minute commute,” she said.

A version of this article appeared in the March 07, 2007 edition of Education Week


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Classroom Technology Webinar
Educator-Driven EdTech Design: Help Shape the Future of Classroom Technology
Join us for a collaborative workshop where you will get a live demo of GoGuardian Teacher, including seamless new integrations with Google Classroom, and participate in an interactive design exercise building a feature based on
Content provided by GoGuardian
School & District Management Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: What Did We Learn About Schooling Models This Year?
After a year of living with the pandemic, what schooling models might we turn to as we look ahead to improve the student learning experience? Could year-round schooling be one of them? What about online
School & District Management Webinar What's Ahead for Hybrid Learning: Putting Best Practices in Motion
It’s safe to say hybrid learning—a mix of in-person and remote instruction that evolved quickly during the pandemic—is probably here to stay in K-12 education to some extent. That is the case even though increasing

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession Nearly 9 in 10 Teachers Willing to Work in Schools Once Vaccinated, Survey Finds
Nearly half of educators who belong to the National Education Association have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
4 min read
Nurse Sara Muela, left, administers the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to educator Rebecca Titus at a vaccination site setup for teachers and school staff at the Berks County Intermediate Unit in Reading, Pa., on March 15, 2021.
Nurse Sara Muela, left, administers the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to educator Rebecca Titus at a vaccination site set up for teachers and school staff in Reading, Pa., on March 15.
Matt Rourke/AP
Teaching Profession Q&A Nation's Top Teachers Discuss the Post-Pandemic Future of the Profession
Despite the difficulties this school year brought, the four finalists for the National Teacher of the Year award say they're hopeful.
11 min read
National Teacher of the Year Finalists (clockwise from top left): Alejandro Diasgranados, Juliana Urtubey, John Arthur, Maureen Stover
National Teacher of the Year Finalists (clockwise from top left): Alejandro Diasgranados, Juliana Urtubey, John Arthur, Maureen Stover
Courtesy of CCSSO
Teaching Profession Teachers Are Stressed Out, and It's Causing Some to Quit
Stress, more so than low pay, is the main reason public school teachers quit. And COVID-19 has increased the pressure.
7 min read
Image of exit doors.
Teaching Profession Opinion Should Teachers Be Prioritized for the COVID-19 Vaccine?
Not all states are moving teachers to the front of the vaccination line. Researchers discuss the implications for in-person learning.
6 min read
Teacher Lizbeth Osuna from Cooper Elementary receives the Moderna vaccine at a CPS vaccination site at Roberto Clemente High School in Chicago, Ill., Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021.
Chicago public school teacher Lizbeth Osuna receives the COVID-19 vaccine at a school vaccination site last week.
Anthony Vazquez/Chicago Sun-Times via AP