Public school funding, especially teacher pay, is an ongoing goal in Alabama with our Legislature and public school systems statewide. Alabama has long been targeted as being near the bottom in educator pay, nationally. Some research, however, reveals that this is not always accurate across the board.  

For example, the average annual salary of principals in the Talladega County School system is $90,337/year. Assistant principals earn an average of $64,000/year, while consultants take home just over $60,000/year. At the same time, the average salary for classroom teachers in Talladega County is $37,783 (17 percent below the national average). Included in this total is the average salary for English teachers of $41,000/year and science teachers at $41,000/year. Understandably, several factors enter into teacher pay: level of education, years of experience, size of system, number of students served, etc.

Teacher salaries are set at the state school board level while administrative (principal, assistant principal and consultants) is a local school board discretionary decision.

The obvious gap between teacher and administrative pay is a widening gap and continues to be a point of concern among classroom teachers not only in Talladega County, but other school systems near the bottom of earnings statewide. This disparity or inequity is voiced by multiple teachers I have spoken to. Our failure to address this issue will, no doubt, result in loss of quality teachers to other jobs and an ultimate decline in the quality of public school education in Talladega County.

I implore the Talladega County School Board to act proactively addressing this matter for the sake of our students.

Sources: Salary.com; Glassdoor, Teacher Salaries in Talladega County; Glassdoor, Administrative Salaries, Talladega County; Talladega County teachers (active and retired); Teacher Salary Info.com; The State Department of Education.

James W. Anderson