PetersAs many people know, the teachers union in Peters Township is currently on strike and will remain so until November 27.   One of the major points of contention is salaries, with the union asking for $2500 annual raises and the district asking for $500 annual raises  expect for the highest step, where the annual raise would be $200.  This is certainly a large gap and it made me wonder how the salaries of the teachers of Peters Township compared with those in other districts, especially when taking family and per capita income into account.

The linked article above gives the (presumably full-time) salary range in Peters as $45,900 to $104,864, with 62% below $63,000 and an overall average of $71,540.  It is difficult to find a source for this data online despite the fact that the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Pennsylvania School Performance Profile had included such data (from 2013-14) earlier in the year.  Fortunately, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review had compiled the data and made it available on its website, which made it possible to view salaries for Peters and any other school district in Pennsylvania.

I then took the cornucopia of data estimates made available by the US Census Bureau through the 2013 ACS Survey to compile population and income data for every school district in Allegheny County plus Peters Township.  I took the Per Capita income data and recomputed it not as per capita, but per adult.  In other words, I took the total estimated income and divided it by the population aged 18 and over, thereby producing a rough per capita income for the population that is most likely to have one.  The results when comparing this with the average teacher salary (as of the 13-14 school year) are interesting.  Below are the 13 school districts in Allegheny County or the 37th Senate District that have a average family income greater than $100,000.  Note that four of the 13 school districts are wholly or partially within the 37th Senate district.

School District Population Students Pop 0-17 Family Mean Per Capita Per Adult Mean Teacher Salary Adult/Teach Diff
Pine-Richland 22,949 5,819 6,420 $166,291 $50,430 $70,018 $60,167 ($9,851)
Upper St. Clair 19,272 4,438 5,108 $156,623 $51,112 $69,544 $66,559 ($2,985)
Peters 21,417 5,509 6,119 $148,275 $46,247 $64,745 $69,070 $4,325
Quaker Valley 13,747 2,728 3,097 $162,468 $53,289 $68,785 $74,393 $5,609
Avonworth 10,478 2,004 2,512 $132,117 $43,426 $57,120 $65,911 $8,791
South Fayette 14,677 3,010 3,620 $118,780 $39,175 $52,001 $61,177 $9,176
Fox Chapel Area 28,829 5,707 6,676 $157,403 $50,978 $66,341 $77,432 $11,091
Mt Lebanon 33,072 6,762 7,948 $139,373 $45,876 $60,389 $71,511 $11,122
North Allegheny 50,687 10,696 12,174 $148,534 $47,570 $62,607 $74,183 $11,576
Hampton 18,386 3,925 4,381 $130,015 $42,236 $55,448 $68,210 $12,762
West Jefferson Hills 19,913 3,515 4,134 $103,227 $35,733 $45,094 $63,665 $18,571
West Allegheny 20,450 3,867 4,696 $104,669 $36,339 $47,171 $66,842 $19,671
Moon Area 27,243 4,477 5,311 $103,563 $34,601 $42,979 $63,621 $20,642

Other things to note: As shown here, the “per-Adult” income is lower than the average teacher salary for every district save two, Pine-Richland and Upper St. Clair, and Peters is right behind them with the lowest positive differential.  What this tells me is that, relative to other school districts with comparable income levels, the teachers in Peters are comparatively underpaid.  This can be partially explained by the fact that Peters Township has a high per-adult income level, but Fox Chapel Area and North Allegheny have a comparable income level but also have a much higher average teacher salaries.

  • The average teacher salary is always higher than the median teacher salary as a low number of highly-paid teachers skew that statistic upward.  This can be seen in the 62% figure for Peters above, i.e. a majority of teachers make less than the average salary.  This would indicate that most teachers have an even greater differential than shown in the chart.
  • Both the census data and the salary data are a couple years old, which is why the Peters-specific information is somewhat higher than shown in the chart.  However, the census and salary information are from the same year and it is safe to assume that the 2015 values are similarly comparable to each other.
  • You can view the full list of school districts wholly within Allegheny County or the 37th Senate district.
  • I’m glad I’m not a teacher in the Pine-Richland school district.

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