New Jersey public school teachers are underpaid, not overpaid
Report • By Jeffrey H. Keefe • February 15, 2017
Summary: Public school teachers earn 16.8 percent less in weekly wages and 12.5 percent less in weekly total compensation (wages and benefits) than other full-time workers in New Jersey. An analysis of hourly compensation shows that teachers earn 13.7 percent less in wages and 9.4 percent less in total compensation.
This report describes the results of research into New Jersey public school teacher compensation. This research was initiated in response to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s attacks on New Jersey teachers’ unions and his allegations that New Jersey public school teachers are overpaid. In our analysis, we seek to answer three questions about teacher compensation in New Jersey:
Are New Jersey public school teachers overcompensated?
How do public school teachers compare with other New Jersey employees in terms of pay equity across gender, racial, and ethnic categories?
Does participation in unions increase public school teacher compensation?
Basically all you need to know about methods is what they are not comparing public school teacher compensation to (from pages 4 and 5):
When looking at the question of teacher pay, it might seem logical to compare public school teachers with private school teachers with similar levels of education, experience, and hours of work. However, this comparison is inadequate to the task. Private school teaching differs significantly from public school teaching; too many critical aspects of public school teaching lack private school analogues. Public schools accept all students, while private schools are often highly selective and may exclude or remove poor-performing, special needs, or disruptive students. Class sizes tend to be larger in public schools, and the work day and work year is longer.