When it comes to government school teachers, do you feel you're getting your money's worth? Let's start with a little non-Common Core mathematics.

These salary figures come courtesy of the U.S. Labor Department, by way of MassLive.

The average New Bedford teachers salary is about $77,287 per year. Full retirement occurs after 30 years of test monitoring and age 55. The pay package is at 80-percent of the highest salary or currently $61,829 per year.

Using the present average life expectancy for women, which is 78-plus years, we can anticipate a 23-year retirement. Thus, our New Bedford teacher retiree will collect (not including the cost of living or any other adjustments) a total of $1,422,080. Not bad, you say. Now, divide that $1,422,080 by the 30 years the test monitor worked. This comes out to an additional salary expense of $47,402, per year. So, the average tab for the New Bedford taxpayer is really $124,689, per year, for each teacher.

All of the above before we introduce healthcare, vacation, sick or administrative pay. Nor do our figures include any partial payouts for Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech which had a higher average teacher salary of $90,408 in 2016.

I like teachers. They work hard at their craft. Most adult parents also are hard workers. Government teachers openly admit they are forced to follow curriculum standards and teach to the tests. In other words, pay attention and follow our rules. Many people can do that, especially at that pay grade. The bottom line. New Bedford taxpayers pay more for teacher retirement than the median pay per adult in the city. At some particular point, one must ask, why am I paying more for them than me? Am I getting my money's worth?

Editor’s Note:   Brian Thomas is the host of Brian’s Beat on 1420 WBSM New Bedford.  He can be heard weekdays from 10am-Noon and Saturdays from 6am-9am.  The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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