Nursery children clock up most expulsions

27th May 2005 at 01:00
UNITED STATES

* Teachers' pay is a burning topic in New York's most affluent suburbs.

Generous six-figure wage packets are causing an outcry.

Salaries have ballooned in the well-heeled commuter communities, home to Wall Street traders and Manhattan executives, leaving teachers there perhaps the best-paid in America.

Staff in upper-crust Scarborough, the highest-paying, take home $98,000 (Pounds 53,000) a year on average, with many comfortably clearing $100,000 - not an uncommon sum in nearby areas either.

Michael Wolpert, assistant schools chief of Central Islip, said the 20 per cent of teachers earning more than $100,000 are veterans with higher degrees.

The high salaries reflect expensive living costs, officials add. But critics are calling them greedy and a drain on funds. Campaigners in recent budget votes are circulating lists of salaries to back their opposition to tax hikes for school funding.

It is not a plight other US teachers will readily identify with. Average pay across America is roughly $46,000.

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