As you can see, the average salaries in the district are way up since the passage of Act 10. And the average experience of the teaching staff has also increased. It also looks like the average cost of fringe benefits have decreased. I’d like to see more data behind that to see if the decrease is due to an actual decrease in costs or just that fewer employees are taking some of the more expensive benefits.
The data does show a dip in the average salary in 2012. That was a year that saw higher teacher retirements in the wake of Act 10. The dip corresponds with a decrease in the average local tenure of the teaching staff. In other words, the departure of old, expensive teachers at the end of their careers were replaced with younger, less expensive teachers. It was not a cut in pay. It was a change in the age demographic of the staff. Since then, the average salary and average local tenure have increased together.
The assertion that West Bend’s teachers have experienced a pay cut is demonstrably false.
But again… merit pay has nothing to do with cutting pay. It has everything to do with rewarding better teachers who can achieve better results for our kids. As a taxpayer, I’m willing to pay more for better results. I am not willing to pay more for fancy buildings. Let’s reward, attract, and retain great teachers with merit pay instead of sinking more money into real estate.