Albany, NY — The number of educators receiving six-figure salaries has increased by fifty percent in the last ten years, now representing nearly one-fifth (18.7 percent) of all public-school teachers and administrators enrolled in the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (NYSTRS) according to salary data posted today at SeeThroughNY.net, the Empire Center’s transparency website.
The public educator pay data are based on Fiscal Year 2021-22 salary information reported to NYSTRS, which covers public school teachers and administrators employed outside New York City. The union contracts that drive school employee pay levels are also posted at SeeThroughNY.net.
Of the 66,617 NYSTRS members receiving six-figure pay last year, 82 percent were employed in downstate suburban districts, including 32,432 on Long Island and 17,408 in Westchester, Orange and Rockland counties.
Statewide, the highest paid NYSTRS member was Joyce Brown, president of the Fashion Institute of Technology, with total pay of $550,191. Five of the ten highest-paid NYSTRS members work at Central Islip Union Free School District in Suffolk County, Long Island.
Average Earnings: All Employees
Average payment among all NYSTRS members statewide was $73,199. The highest-average payments were in the mid-Hudson Region ($91,454) and on Long Island ($91,172). Upstate, the highest-paying regions were Western New York ($64,048) and the Capital Region ($63,228); the lowest-paying were the North Country ($52,542) and the Mohawk Valley ($55,676).
Average Earnings: Full-Timers
The average for full-time employees, defined here as any employee paid more than the annualized lowest statewide minimum wage, during the 2021-2022 school year was $89,417. Full-time employees on Long Island and in the Mid-Hudson region earned the highest average pay at $112,262 and $105,796 respectively. Further upstate, the Capital Region was the highest paying region ($76,654); the lowest paying region was the North Country ($67,032).
Average Full-Timer Earnings By Region
|Central New York||2022||$71,339|
|Western New York||2022||$76,931|
|Central New York||2021||$68,102|
|Western New York||2021||$75,975|
|Central New York||2020||$67,642|
|Western New York||2020||$74,750|
|Central New York||2019||$66,290|
|Western New York||2019||$73,016|
|Central New York||2018||$64,598|
|Western New York||2018||$71,163|
|Central New York||2017||$63,112|
|Western New York||2017||$70,454|
Full-time NYSTRS members in 171 school districts averaged more than $100,000 in pay – the highest being Scarsdale Union Free School District ($145,785), where nearly 90 percent of educators received over $100,000.
At school districts in upstate New York—the 50 counties north of the mid-Hudson Region—nearly twelve percent of full-time NYSTRS members were paid six-figures.
The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies that can make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family.