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20 Districts with the Highest-Paid Teachers in New Jersey

A few days after looking at the 20 school districts with the lowest-paid teachers, we bring you the districts that pay their teachers the highest average salaries in New Jersey.

Earlier this week we took a look at the 20 school districts with the lowest-paid teachers. Today we turn that list upside down and bring you the districts that pay their teachers the highest average salaries in New Jersey.

Northern Valley Regional in northeastern Bergen County tops the list with an average teacher salary of more than $90,000, or double the pay of the lowest-paid district.

We limited the list to public school districts with more than 400 students.

Data is from the 2011-2012 school year.

1. Northern Valley Regional (Bergen) $90,228

2. Ocean City (Cape May) $88,434

3. Carlstadt-East Rutherford (Bergen) $87,502

4. East Rutherford (Bergen) $86,624

5. Edison (Middlesex) $84,159

6. Margate (Atlantic) $83,820

7. East Orange (Essex) $83,418

8. Closter (Bergen) $82,558

9. Wallkill Valley Regional (Sussex) $82,475

10. High Point Regional (Sussex) $82,386

11. Teaneck (Bergen) $82,116

12. West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional (Mercer) $82,059

13. Hackensack (Bergen) $81,900

14. Pascack Valley Regional (Bergen) $81,832

15. Mainland Regional (Atlantic) $81,100

16. Trenton (Mercer) $80,886

17. Millburn (Essex) $80,774

18. Pemberton (Burlington) $80,579

19. River Dell Regional (Bergen) $79,564

20. Freehold Regional (Monmouth) $79,185

wynotz November 08, 2013 at 01:42 PM
School improvements: Contractors bid on the jobs, and the board picks one to complete the job based on the original bid....10 months later, ooooh, sorry the cost went up on material, it will now be double what we quoted. Superintendents, Asst. Supers, Exec Asst Supers: All make 150,000 - 350,000 plus bonuses for passed budgets and passing test scores. Anyone that thinks teaching kids today "is easy" is uneducated to what goes on in schools. I put it to you, substitute at your local school for 1-2 weeks, then tell me it's easy. Teachers don't complain about their salaries, they complain about the conditions and standards to which they are held accountable for. How do you hold a teacher accountable for a student's performance when "said" student is raising younger siblings, or trying to figure out where they will sleep tonight. These are extreme, yes, but real never the less. If it's so easy, quit complaining and do it, teach, or stop telling teachers how to do their jobs. FALLACY: tenure makes it impossible to fire a teacher. Any action deemed inappropriate by a colleague, administrator, supervisor, or upper administration, gets a teacher fired. Period. Teachers have less rights than students. Look it up. Tenure is a myth created and perpetuated by non-union privatized businesses. "Nothing is EVER guaranteed." Don't believe me? Do some research. Teachers are "let go" for such trivial reasons like: "inappropriate language outside of the classroom, inappropriate Facebook post, past due child support, etc....."Tenured" teachers are fired just as fast as non-tenured.
proud November 08, 2013 at 01:52 PM
Jon, you would have to talk to the previous Governors and Legislators bought and paid for by the NJEA about that.
wynotz November 08, 2013 at 01:53 PM
And, these salaries....who, talk about inflated. These are salaries of people teaching for 20+ years, with Master's + 45. The average teacher makes 40-60,000....if they are lucky. Since the economic fallout, starting salaries have gone from 42,000 starting to 32,000. It also takes 25-30 years to make the top salary, depending on the district. Again, do some research. This article was designed to create an inflammatory discussion. Congratulations, it seems to have succeeded. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. I just wish they had all the facts before they draw their conclusions. *Teachers also must attend a minimum of 20 hours per year of classes, development, or education. Or, they are fired...tenured or not. period. How many other careers require "minimum of 20 hours" per year of "professional development?" Oh....and it's on the teacher's to pay for it as well....Example: When is the last time anyone checked the cost of "1" class at a county college? (worth 15 hours)
proud November 08, 2013 at 01:59 PM
Teachers Unions Gone Wild - Father Joe - YouTube ► 2:28► 2:28 www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEPLbLdfMlc Oct 28, 2010 - Uploaded by veritasvisuals www.theprojectveritas.com NJEA makes disparaging comment about Catholic School, talks ...
wynotz November 08, 2013 at 02:02 PM
@proud- if they were bought and paid for, don't you think there would be some type of "permanent" clauses that would keep the municipalities, states, and federal govt. from touching the pensions and health benefits.....And, have you forgotten about the governor's of this state?......All the way back to "Florio" governor's have been "pro" education, anti-teacher, including the current government......If anything, the NJEA shafted their members and their state....
proud November 08, 2013 at 02:50 PM
What goes around comes around, but who really gets the shaft?
Jon November 08, 2013 at 02:53 PM
The politicians win, and everyone else loses.
proud November 08, 2013 at 02:54 PM
Teachers Union Big Wig Says It's Not About Kids, It's About Power! National Education Association’s retiring top lawyer, Bob Chanin, speaking at the NEA’s annual meeting in July, 2009: “Despite what some among us would like to believe it is not because of our creative ideas. It is not because of the merit of our positions. It is not because we care about children and it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child. NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power.” “And we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of millions of dollars in dues each year, because they believe that we are the unions that can most effectively represent them, the unions that can protect their rights and advance their interests as education employees.” “This is not to say that the concern of NEA and its affiliates with closing achievement gaps, reducing dropout rates, improving teacher quality and the like are unimportant or inappropriate. To the contrary. These are the goals that guide the work we do. But they need not and must not be achieved at the expense of due process, employee rights and collective bargaining. That simply is too high a price to pay.”
proud November 08, 2013 at 02:55 PM
Here, watch the video. its even more disparraging than the text: NEA General Counsel Bob Chanin Says Farewell - YouTube ► 2:09► 2:09 www.youtube.com/watch?v=-piPkgAUo0w Jul 8, 2009 - Uploaded by TheFoundryBlog After 41 years as the nation's top education lawyer, Chanin closes his last Representative ...
Eleanor November 08, 2013 at 03:03 PM
I know a doctor from my area, a general practitioner - the kind of doctor we are going to have a shortage of real soon - who is in the middle of his career (maybe late 40s) living in a smaller NJ town, not urban, and a family member told me he earned just under "90,000 a year. This is a guy who leaves for work at 7 am, gets home around 6-7 pm, works some weekends, some holidays including all Monday holidays and no less than 49 weeks a year and this after 4 yrs college, 4 yrs medical school and 3 yrs in an intern and residency.
wynotz November 08, 2013 at 03:55 PM
@Eleanor- sounds terrible, but honestly, either "the doctor" isn't that good, or "they" work few hours. My best friend is a DDS, and he makes just over 200,000, split with two other DDSs. Now I am in my late 40s, and just to be sure I asked my Dentist friend about the 90,000. The first comment he made was, "What does he only work 20 hours a week?" With some research I found even the lowest paying General Practioner working a regular 5 day week earns well over $156,000. The average is 210,000+. As much as I like the "schooling" analogy, your earning analogy doesn't hold up....Comparing a doctor with 8 years of school and 3 years of interning, compared to a teacher that has had 16 years of schooling and 2 years of interning (dissertation, student teaching, etc...) is incomparable...sorry. I also have a friend who is a "unique" car salesman for a reputable company making 125,000 without bonuses. And, he has no degree....
Jon November 08, 2013 at 03:59 PM
@proud, I don't think it's any great secret that the teacher's union is there to protect teachers. That's pretty much what a union is for. Politicians have a history of treating teachers like dirt in the name of "education reform". Teachers unions are there to protect against that. Politicans like to frame the debate as being a black and white choice between being pro-teacher and being pro-education reform. That is utter hogwash. Like I said, nobody is at the table looking for an honest conversation about what needs to change. This is politics, not education.
proud November 08, 2013 at 04:00 PM
I would say sixteen years of schooling and a two year dissertation are a bit of a stretch.
wynotz November 08, 2013 at 04:04 PM
@proud- we know that the bigwigs in the unions are in it for one thing these days. The unfortunate result is we are discussing, forgive the analogy, the officers and not the grunts. One district with 5 superintendents costs the town over 1 million dollars, where as the same money could pay almost 17 teachers. Lowering class size and improving student achievement......Why do the superintendents need "paid" work vehicles? Why does Dell charge schools $1200 for the same computer I have at home that was $550? The offenders of the real problem have us squabbling about problems that are not nearly as relevant as the "true" problems. it's misdirection, plain and simple.
Spooner November 08, 2013 at 04:10 PM
@proud- as an aside: thought you might want to read this about the BPU being sued for a half a billion dollars having to do with promises over promoting solar development and energy credits...http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/13/11/07/bpu-gets-socked-with-half-billion-dollar-lawsuit/
wynotz November 08, 2013 at 04:15 PM
@proud- 4 years of BA/BS, 4yrs for MA, 2yrs for PHD, 2 years for Administrative Law. 1 year of Student Teaching, and 1 years for Dissertation. So true 16 is a stretch. But, even 14 years is quite a bit of education.....no? *Side note- moving from district to district is "almost the equivalent of starting over." Depending on the district, they don't have to give any prior experience monies. You may have 24 years as a teacher, switch disctricts, (tenure is lost) and they may offer 1/3 experience. So a teacher that was making $70000, could not be making $42000. And, that's if they want to be nice......
wynotz November 08, 2013 at 04:20 PM
Mark my words: The real/big plan is to privatize all sections of education. It relieves all burden of the state, municipality, and government. It lowers education cost as well as insurance cost. It has already begun. We remember the "lunch ladies, custodians, and security guards?" Well now, they work for three different companies and make half of what was given 15 years ago.....Yet, our taxes go up? Hmmm.....Oh that's right, we have to pay a company to hire and maintain these employees now. That company needs to be paid too....right?
Connie Lo November 08, 2013 at 05:36 PM
At the Resident. Yes I know what the average means and as I stated before this article leaves some important information out and sorry to burst your bubble but that average figure is incorrect too. What happen to honest journalism? Where are the fact finders for this article? I'm a history teacher and I'm all about the facts. This article simply highlights what the highest teachers are making and again that is a small percentage. Most teachers are making from 40,000 to 60,000 and that depends on whether you teach a subject that is a high need subject like math, English, and science. That is the average not 90,000 as being claimed. Do your homework and research the facts.
Connie Lo November 08, 2013 at 05:47 PM
Proud not trying to make a case for privatizing either. They will not help either because they will make their numbers look good by throwing out the kids who don't mean their standards or are behavioral problems. What do you then do with those kids? Doesn't everyone have a right to education in this country? Some of our kids have a hard time surviving their everyday lives. Shouldn't school be a place where they can be safe and learn something to help them. I've seen many of my knocked down hard kids get up and make something better of themselves because they went to school everyday and someone their believed in them. For me it's not all about the lesson plan sometimes it's about letting them know I understand and I'm here for you. Privatizing takes that away and turns into for profit and throws out the kids who need us the most.
proud November 08, 2013 at 06:32 PM
I beg to differ with you regarding privatization, but that discussion would take much more space and time than we have here@Connie Lo. As to what teachers are " making", you're not listening to what I'm saying. Go back and reading it again and twenty five times on the blackboard: total compensation plus present value of pension and health benefits equals what I am 'making'.
Blondie November 08, 2013 at 07:08 PM
I'm sure the Toms River Regional school district teachers retired with all their benefits, are definitely not starving.The superintendents are Definitely not living on Walnut street !
Joey D. November 08, 2013 at 07:23 PM
I love all the teacher haters out there. We spend double on prisons but you drop your snot nose brats off to public schools everyday and you bitch about it. Teachers are the ones who has to raise your mess. You should be grateful. You people make me sick. Stop your bitching and support the local teachers. A@@holes.
Jersey Shore Grinch November 08, 2013 at 07:33 PM
A lot of the same complainers about everything. We obviously failed you since your comments are so ignorant. Come on back to school. Maybe we can be successful the second time around and convert your moronic views to halfway sensible ones.
proud November 08, 2013 at 09:09 PM
I agree with Grinchie. A very sensible failure.
proud November 08, 2013 at 09:10 PM
proud @Joey D and the Starliters, you are 100% correct, teachers are the ones who has to raise your mess. Snot nosed brats them brats, them is.
Eleanor November 09, 2013 at 09:33 AM
@ wynetz The 16 years of schooling includes 4 years of MA? I don't know anyone who spent more than 2 years getting a masters unless they are doing it on a part time basis, only taking a few credits at a time. And most HS teachers do not have PhDs. We are basically talking about teachers who have had college and maybe a masters - 6 years tops. As for the doctor - average salaries especially for GPs are before you deduct for malpractice premiums that will range in the five figures (6 figures for some specialties), and a higher number of medicaid patients that are a losing proposition (ask any doctor - they literally lose money on medicaid) or a medicare patient that is very modestly compensated. In private practice, they have expenses that cut into that income, as well has having to provide for their own retirement. So what they earn "on paper" may look good, but that is not what they are actually reimbursed. It cannot be compared to dentists or dental surgeons who up to just recently did not have the same percentage of poor reimbursement - but even that is changing a lot lately. Really - do you think if most GPs were making around 200,000 a year there would be such a shortage of them? Why are medical residency programs in the US running about 11,000 short? Compare that with open teaching positions that can have scores or even hundred of candidates.
wynotz November 09, 2013 at 01:10 PM
@Elenor- I admitted it was a stretch, but I also mentioned it was a Master's +45 with a Phd. However, I agree that both are underpaid, overworked, and overlooked....In a perfect society, should a "running back" that committed attempted murder make millions per year when the people like, GP and Teachers, who are basically in charge of "our" future, make 40,0000-85,000 per year. Something is screwed up.
wynotz November 09, 2013 at 01:16 PM
The article was/is inflammatory to get people to read it. Those salaries are "top" salaries, after 25-30 years......It's just a rouse to keep the everyday working person from noticing that the Board of Ed. are the true culprits. They make backdoor deals, and contracts with companies...How many times has a Super, or a Board of Ed. Leader "happen" to know the companies that bid on construction or supplies? Why does the Board approve a stapler for $50 through this method when we could go to Staples and pay $8? School budgets are millions, look at your local budget. I ask anyone to follow the Board minutes for 6 months.....take a close look at what the "Board" determines we should spend money on....
wynotz November 09, 2013 at 01:23 PM
Here is a Motorcycle analogy: "It's your head, do you want to spend $50 on a DOT approved helmet, or $300 on a "Snell" approved? Snell is an independent tester that is 20 times more sturdy than the DOT approval. (which Charter and Private schools don't have to adhere to State Standards) I make this analogy because do we want "cheap" teachers, or teachers that have that extra approval? I can still remember some of my "substitutes" because they knew less than the students, but I am sure they would work for less money.....
proud November 09, 2013 at 03:36 PM
Or, do we want a union that protects child molesters?


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