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TEACHERS AND TEACHERS' WAGES.
Month, with the Increase and Decrease of the Same; also the Numbers of Teachers who have attended Normal
10,324 $126 58 Increase, $17 70 $14 79 Decrease, $1 14
3,504 Increase, 161
2,819 Increase, 130
Comments on Table XXI. — The number of public schools reported was 258 more than the preceding year; the number of teachers required for the public schools, 281 more ; and the number of different teachers employed, 199 more. The ratio of the number of men employed to the number of women for each year of the last ten is as follows:
For the first five years the women gained on the men, for the next three years the ratio was constant, and for the last two the men gained on the women.
By comparing the number of different teachers employed with the number of positions to be filled, it is possible to ascertain whether the trend is away from or towards greater permanency of tenure. The following table shows the ratio between the number of different teachers and the number of positions, for each of the last ten years :
It appears that the ratio was very nearly constant for the first seven years.
Since that time the ratio indicates an in
creased permanency of tenure.
of tenure. The ratio in 1881, when data were first gathered to determine it, was 1.18 to 1. The Boston ratio for 1899 was 1.02 to 1, which indicates a high degree of permanency. In 1898, for 59 towns that paid salaries of less than $30 a month to women, the ratio was 1.41 to 1. Where high wages are paid, changes in the teaching force are infrequent; where low wages are paid, changes abound.
Decrease in Salaries. — The table shows a decrease in the monthly wages of men of $1.27; in the monthly wages of women, 3 cents. These reductions are so slight that they do not forbid the inference that salaries for the past year have remained practically stationary. A year ago there was reported a decrease of $7.30 for men and 76 cents for women. For the salaries of men and women in the high schools, as compared with those of men and women in the elementary schools, reference should be made to pages 145–147 of the sixty-second report. It was there shown that the men in the high schools averaged $144.16 per month, and the women $72.11; while in the schools below the men averaged $150.09, and the women $49.61. Relatively more men than women hold positions as principals; more women than men, positions as assistants. This is a partial explanation of the difference in their pay. It also makes a difference that the humbler and more poorly paid positions go to women more freely than to men. Moreover, the salaries of women grade lower, in general, than those of men, when there is hardly difference enough in work and responsibility to justify it. Still, it is frequently, if not generally, true that when women are appointed to positions that have usually been held by men and carry with them well-recognized salaries established for men, they take these salaries with the positions. And the same may be said of men who are appointed to positions usually held by women and carrying salaries established for women. If they take the positions, they also take the salaries that go with them. While the salaries in these cases are originally determined somewhat by the general recognition of the positions as primarily men's positions or women's positions, they remain constant, or substantially so, thereafter, not falling for women nor rising for men.
Proportion of Normal School Pupils in the Teaching Force. The proportion of professionally trained persons entering the ranks of teachers is steadily growing, as the following statement clearly shows:
Of the 59.7 per cent. who have not attended normal schools, a few have probably been appointed without reference to their preparation or fitness for their work; some have had a little preliminary training in local schools for the purpose; some began to teach before normal school preparation had attracted the attention of school committees as an important prerequisite; some are college graduates. A considerable proportion of this percentage of 59.7 is made up of the older teachers of the State, many of whom hold high positions, which they fill with ability and honor. It would be rash to assume, therefore, that a line between those who are professionally trained and those who are not separates a desirable class from a non-desirable one. The true way to put it is that, of new candidates for teaching positions, there is a strong presumption that those specially trained for the work will make better teachers than those not so trained; and a still stronger presumption that any candidate, promising or not, will make a better teacher for his training than he would make without it.
Certain Expenditures for State Reimbursement of Teachers' Salaries. – Chapter 408, Acts of 1896, provides as follows:
With the approval of the state board of education there may be paid from the income of the school fund, to any town having a valuation of less than two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, a sum not exceeding two dollars per week for the actual time of service of each teacher, approved by the school committee of said town after special examination as to exceptional ability, employed in the public schools of said town, which sum shall be added to the salary of such teacher : provided, that the amount paid by the town toward the salary of such teacher shall not be less than the average salary paid by said town to teachers in the same grade of school for the three years next preceding, and that by said addition no teacher shall receive more than ten dollars per week.
This act was approved May 16, 1896, and became operative June 16, 1896.
An amendment changing two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to three hundred and fifty thousand became operative on the date of its approval, June 10, 1897.
The towns entitled for the school year of 1899 and 1900 to the benefits of the law, as amended, are the following:
Barnstable County. - Eastham, Mashpee, Truro.
Berkshire County. - Alford, Clarksburg, Florida, Hancock, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Ashford, Otis, Peru, Richmond, Sandisfield, Savoy, Tyringham, Washington, Windsor.
Dukes County. — Chilmark, Gay Head, Gosnold.
Franklin County. - Charlemont, Hawley, Heath, Leverett, Leyden, Monroe, New Salem, Rowe, Shutesbury, Warwick, Wendell. Hampelen County. - Holland, Montgomery, Tolland, Wales.
. Hampshire County. — Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Greenwich, Middlefield, Pelham, Plainfield, Prescott, Westhampton, Worthington.
Middlesex County. — Boxborough, Carlisle, Dunstable.
The foregoing list is determined by the valuations of the towns for May 1, 1899, as returned to the Secretary of the Commonwealth.