Despite the prevailing belief that public school teachers are underpaid, people who go into teaching actually make more than they would in the private sector, according to a new study from Heritage's Jason Richwine and the American Enterprise Institute's Andrew Biggs.
Handy takeaway finding:
Workers who switch from non-teaching jobs to teaching jobs receive a wage increase of roughly 9 percent. Teachers who change to non-teaching jobs, on the other hand, see their wages decrease by roughly 3 percent. This is the opposite of what one would expect if teachers were underpaid.
And that's just wages. When you include benefits, the gap is wider:
Public-school teacher salaries are comparable to those paid to similarly skilled private sector workers, but that more generous fringe benefits for public-school teachers, including greater job security, make total compensation 52 percent greater than fair market levels, equivalent to more than $120 billion overcharged to taxpayers each year. [Emphasis added]