Speak Out: Delaware teacher salaries

In 2019, the average teacher in Delaware earned approximately $64,910, according to data released by the state in mid-2019 that provides figures from 2015 to 2020. Over the last five years, Brandywine, in northern New Castle County, has remained among the public school districts with the top average educator salary. It was $74,550 there in 2019. Woodbridge, in western Sussex County, has remained among the districts with the lowest average salary, at $55,868, in the same year.

Other districts in Delaware fell somewhere in the middle. The average entry-level teacher with a bachelor’s degree will earn $41,000 in the state in their first year, according to Dr. Henry. Some districts, such as Indian River in southern Sussex County and Christina, with schools in the City of Wilmington, pay their entry-level teachers more — at close to $46,000.

• Starting salaries of $41,000 or more, health insurance, retirement plans…and work less than 10 months a year…not to mention days,,,not one day…but days – some up to a week off for holidays???? Yea, really….while most people make less than 10 hrs and have to wait more than a year for a week off??? – Victoria M. Olds
My degree is worth more than 41k, just like yours. Teachers are paid for 8 hours a day but work way more than that. The 1.5 hours out of 8 that they don’t have students in their room is used for grading papers, contacting parents, putting grades in the computer, documenting all incidents and parental communication, planning the lesson for the next day, setting up the classroom for the lesson, decorating the bulletin board, parent teacher conferences, meetings with the principals, IEP meetings, organizing field trips, reviewing IEP’s, 504’s, behavioral intervention plans, planning the accommodations required for all of it, translating the lesson into another language for the kids that don’t speak English, filling out paperwork on how certain kids are doing in your class and answering questions that everyone who walks in you room during that time has. Unless you’re a magician, that all takes WAY more than 1.5 hours a day. Which means that teachers either stay at work past the 8 hours or you are expected to take the work home. Of course taking it home or staying late is a choice, but if all of the aforementioned tasks are not completed by the deadline, you could lose your job. And remember, it is impossible to accomplish all that I mentioned in 1.5 hours a day. 30 of those mins is actually a lunch break, so 1 hour a day. Educator’s have 23-33 kids in each class, see 100 kids a day (300 different kids over the course of three days depending upon what you teach). They are required to teach, prevent accidents, respond properly to accidents and watch for signs of suicidal and abused children and whatever symptoms are related to certain student’s diagnoses. On top of that, teachers’ effectiveness is decided based on the scores of a test that students don’t care about and that they know doesn’t affect their grade. Teachers also have to deal with difficult parents. Teachers can’t choose when they go on vacation and the summers are filled with professional developments, professional conferences, summer school and preparing for the following school year. When they take the kids on field trips, they have to make sure the entire trip is planned, paperwork is in on time, make sure they are up to date on glucagon and epi pen training, and make sure the correct student gets the correct meds at the correct time. Teachers also pay for healthcare, union dues, supplies for classroom, professional clothing, fundraisers to support the kids etc. There is so much more!
EDUCATING our future is worth a heck of a lot of than 41k. I didn’t even mention the teachers that also oversee programs and coach sports…….
Also, all districts are different. Some salaries start at 32k. 41k is if you have a master’s degree….. – Ashley Mills

• Wow, are you misinformed. We are only paid the days we work. The stress can be crushing, we take worm home with us working maybe another 4 hours grading and planning. And yes we choose to purchase supplies and decorations for our classrooms to make them engaging and pencils so the kids have something to write with…where else would the money come from? You really shouldn’t comment on something you have no clue about. – Kate Williams

• That’s not true. You can go to Delaware online and look up state salaries of each teacher and administrators by name and see they are paid very well. – Connie Wilson

• Most get extra for coaching. – Norma Lynn Evans-Hudson

Fact is, most teachers work more than 10 months on 10 month pay. Fact is most teachers work school hours and take an additional 2+ hours of work home with them as a 45 min prep period won’t get the work completed. Another fact is most teachers are on committees that meet after school and commit to weekend work with clubs/teams. Teachers only get paid for 10 months. They can have it spread out for 12 months but still the same salary. Final fact many teachers have 25+ kids in there room. That’s about $11 bucks a student per day, (based on a $50k salary) Would you educate, clean, protect and fill voids where absent parents fail? Most of the public has no clue what Delaware teachers face today. For the record I’m not a teacher/administrator. I left the educational field 5 years ago. – Brian Swain

• I never worked 7 hours a day. I stayed 10 hours multiple times a week. Then there is all the material to grade and lessons to revise. During the summer months many teachers are taking classes to improve their teaching methods or strengthen their curriculum material. I had many former student visit and share their starting salaries and it was a lot more than I made after 40 years teaching with a master’s degree. – Walter Novak

• I’m sorry but the comment that Delaware is not competitive with neighboring states is misleading. Has anyone looked at the example of New Jersey? Teachers may get paid more, but they also pay much more in taxes. Please stop trying to compare salaries without looking at total cost of living. – Mark Garrett

• Delaware State News should post the salary if every teacher and especially every administrator in the state… let the taxpayers see what they are getting for their money! – Joe Poloff