Prop Zero
The Starting Point for Commentary and Coverage of California Politics

Report: Do California's Retired Teachers Make More Than Teachers in 28 States?

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    MIAMI - APRIL 12: Teachers and their supporters gather to protest the passing of the bill named SB 6 by the Florida legislator on April 12, 2010 in Miami, Florida. The Bill that is opposed by many teachers, is sitting on Florida Governor Charlie Crist's desk, for passage or a veto, it would link teacher pay increases primarily to student performance on tests and there is a fear that it would eliminate long-term job security for new teachers. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

    (UPDATED: 11:19 a.m.) The Education Intelligence Agency, a web site devoted to scrutiny and criticism of teachers' unions, reports that retired teachers in California make more than working teachers in 28 states.

    Mike Antonucci, who runs the site,, based this finding on a new report from CalSTRS, the pension fund for California teachers. He notes:

    "First note that the average annual salary in 2010 for active working educators enrolled in the system was $64,156. The next table states that the average retirement benefit paid out in 2010 was $4,256 per month. That’s $51,072 annually. In other words, the average retired teacher in California made more than the average working teacher in 28 states, according to the salary rankings published by NEA."

    UPDATE: An alert reader and colleague points out that the figure Antonucci cites  -- $51,072 -- is not for all retired teachers, but those who retired in the previous school year (2009-2010). The average benefit for all current retirees is $37,619. Those retiring in 2010 are on average 62 years old and had 27 years of experience. Teachers also are not in Social Security, so their pensions must replace more of their pay than others.