Letters to the Editor

Carlson letter: Teacher pay

Recent demonstrations by teachers in several states caused me to wonder — how well do we pay our teachers and how does that compare with other public service careers?

Using readily available data, I compared what a college graduate would earn after 14 years if he or she had chosen a career path as a military/naval officer rather than a public school teacher. A similar degree is required for either path.

Assuming that a teacher has earned a master’s degree and the officer has completed similar career level courses and after 14 years has the rank of Major/Lt. Commander, the pay difference is impressive.

Choosing the military path results in a base pay of $91,776 and housing and food allowances of $21,884 for an annual pay of $113,620, not including incentive pay or tax benefits.

According to the Lewiston School District, a teacher with a master’s degree and 14 years is paid $60,765.

As a retired Marine with combat experience, in no way do I feel our military is overpaid. Our troops earn every dollar they are paid.

It is well past time for society to pay our teachers appropriately for their important job educating our young people.

Keith E. Carlson, Lewiston