Teachers’ salaries down, administrators’ up

BLYTHEWOOD—Administrators are making more and teachers are making less in the Richland Two School District.

In 2017-18, the average teacher salaries dropped from $52,092 to $51,802, while average administrator salaries rose from $95,003 to $96,193, the South Carolina Department of Education Report Card data shows.

A similar trend occurred in Fairfield County School District.

In 2017-2018, average administrator salaries were $85,575, up from $84,833 the year before, according to report card data.

Average Fairfield County School District teacher salaries, however, declined from last year, falling from $49,504 to $49,288.

At the Dec. 18 Fairfield County School District meeting, Dr. J.R. Green, superintendent of Fairfield County schools, said in the past year he’s forgone receiving a pay raise.

However, when board member Paula Hartman asked Green to state his salary, Green said he didn’t know the figure. The Voice has filed a Freedom of Information Act request for that information.

In Fairfield County, the inverse relationship between administrator and teacher pay comes as district leaders continue pressing for the creation of a Teacher Village, a proposed subdivision catering to educators.

Affordable housing, they say, is key to recruiting and retaining teachers.

“People who live in a home are going to stay longer than in an apartment,” said Dr. Sue Rex, chairwoman of the Fairfield education foundation, which is working with the district on the Teacher Village project.

Fairfield County lags behind Richland Two in most teacher retention categories.

Richland Two reported 86 percent of teachers returning from the previous year, compared to 82.6 percent in Fairfield. Richland Two (86.6 percent) also leads Fairfield (81.3 percent) in teachers returning – three year average, according to report card data.

Finally, only 63.2 percent of Fairfield teachers are on a continuing contract, compared to 75 percent in Richland Two.

At the Fairfield County School District’s October meeting, the board voted to appropriate $1 million from its $3.5 million surplus for salaries.

However, the money won’t be budgeted until 2018-2019 and it includes all district employees, not just teachers. The remaining $2.5 million was earmarked to fund facility needs.