Transparent California Release of 2014 K-12 Data, Greater LA Area

Data: No correlation between teacher compensation and performance

Chaffey Joint and Anaheim Union High’s teachers lead state with average compensation over $115,000

TUSTIN — K-12 employee compensation data released today by Transparent California shows there is no meaningful correlation between teacher compensation and student performance; when the compensation of all district employees is compared to performance, there is a negative correlation.

A geographically-diverse survey of 75 of the largest school districts statewide – accounting for nearly half of total statewide enrollment – found average teacher compensation that ranged from $81,000 to $120,000, with no correlation to district performance:

The Academic Performance Index (API) ranges from a low of 200 to a high of 1000, with 800 being the targeted goal for all schools. The comparison relies on 2013 scores, the most recent data available.

The average full-time teacher compensation was $94,796 and the average API score was 795. Compensation is defined as wages plus the employer-cost of health and retirement benefits.

The average total employee cost per enrolled student was $6,946 and was negatively correlated against the district’s API scores.

Over 740,000 employee compensation records from 555 K-12 school districts – representing nearly 80 percent of total enrollment statewide – was obtained by and published on TransparentCalifornia.com, a public service website that provides accurate, comprehensive and easily searchable information on the compensation of public employees in California.

Statewide, the Chaffey Joint Union High School’s average compensation package for full-time teachers topped the list at $119,942, while receiving only a 777 API score in 2013. San Ramon Valley Unified earned a 923 API score in 2013, the highest of all schools surveyed, with average teacher compensation and total employee cost per student both below average at $88,638 and $6,763, respectively.

The top 3 highest earners statewide were:

  1. John Deasy, Emeritus Superintendent of Schools at Los Angeles Unified received $485,634 in compensation.
  2. John Collins, Superintendent at Poway Unified received $478,008 in compensation.
  3. Michael Hanson, Superintendent at Fresno Unified received $460,890 in compensation.

Greater LA Area

The greater Los Angeles area includes schools in the counties of: Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside.

The average greater Los Angeles area K-12 employee received a compensation package worth $88,581 with over 56,000 employees making more than $100,000.

Chaffey Joint and Anaheim Union High both received below-target API scores of 777 in 2013, despite leading the state in average teacher compensation of $119,942 and $115,437, respectively.

The average compensation for full-time teachers at 10 of the largest school districts in the greater Los Angeles area is displayed below:

To view the entire dataset in a searchable and downloadable format, visit TransparentCalifornia.com.

“The lack of meaningful correlation between average teacher compensation and school performance, as measured by the district’s 2013 API score, is stunning” said Mark Bucher, president of the California Policy Center. “It does show, however, that simply increasing funding is not an effective way to improve performance.”

Bucher added that, “The doubling of employer contributions towards CalSTRS in the coming years will pose a significant challenge to schools already paying nearly $95,000 a year on average teacher compensation. The data also suggests that this increase in employee compensation is unlikely to improve educational outcomes.”

To schedule an interview with California Policy Center president Mark Bucher, please contact Robert Fellner at 559-462-0122 or Robert@TransparentCalifornia.com.

 Transparent California is California’s largest and most comprehensive database of public sector compensation and is a project of two nonpartisan, free-market think tanks, the California Policy Center and Nevada Policy Research Institute. Learn more at TransparentCalifornia.com.