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Study on Jewish Education Stresses Inadequacy of Teachers’ Salaries

A study of the prevailing practices in 12 metropolitan Jewish communities in the United States, underscores the gap between Jewish school salaries and those in general education. The study, made public here today, was prepared by the American Association for Jewish Education, the parent body of Bureaus of Jewish Education in 43 communities.

The 12 communities studied were Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New Haven, New York and Rochester, Detailed breakdowns are given of the salary provisions in these communities, supplying important data on the working conditions and professional circumstances under which they apply.

The range of maximum salary for a qualified teacher in 1962, was $6,800 to $8,650 in the municipal public schools, as compared to $6, 000 to $7,000 in the Jewish schools. The highest maximum wage for a qualified teacher in Jewish schools was about equal to the lowest maximum salary in the public school. In New York City, the difference between maximum salaries of qualified Jewish school teachers and their public school counterparts, was $2, 650 in 1962 and $3,150 in 1963.

The majority of Jewish schools fall into the lower stratum of starting salaries for teachers. The densely populated Jewish communities of New York, Cleveland, Miami and Boston, pay starting salaries of between $3, 200 and $3, 750. The range of beginning salaries for a qualified teacher in 1962 was $4,400 to $5,100 in municipal public schools, as against $3, 200 to $5, 000 in Jewish schools throughout the country.

‘MORE REALISTIC’ SALARY SCHEDULES URGED; GUIDELINES OFFERED

Full-time employment in a Jewish school normally means 20 hours of teaching and extracurricular activities in afternoon schools or 25 hours in all-day Jewish schools. A licensed Hebrew teacher generally has had a bi-cultural and bi-lingual training which in aggregate credits and hours of study exceeds requirements for a general bachelor’s degree.

The salary standing of advanced academic and professional degrees differed markedly in the two types of school systems, the report said. In the public schools, the minimum salary incentive for a master’s degree, ranged from $200,00 to $480,00 as compared to $200.00 to $300. 00 in local Jewish schools. The gap was wider on the maximum salary level with a range of $300. 00 to $670. 00 in municipal schools, as against $200. 00 to $300.00 in the latter.

The report calls upon communities “to develop more realistic salary schedules” and offers guidelines to assist Jewish school boards in arriving at such schedules. In presenting this report, Mr. Isaac Toubin, executive director of the Association, said: “The generally unfavorable comparison of the established scales in the 12 top-paying Jewish communities with wage schedules in public education should be cause for concern. If salaries in Jewish schools do not compete even with the relatively low wage standards in general education, what hope is there of drawing able and talented young people to Jewish teaching.

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