The Redundant Redundancy of Mark Johnson’s Comments on Teacher Pay

Yesterday, it was reported by Kelly Hinchcliffe on that the NC State Superintendent had hired another in-house loyalist with the extra money given to him by the General Assembly.

As stated in “NC superintendent hires new senior policy adviser:”

North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson has hired a new senior policy adviser for his office. This marks the third position he has created and hired from a $700,000 fund of taxpayer money, which lawmakers granted him to add staff to his office (

It should not be lost that this new person is someone who is linked to charter schools which seem to be favored by Johnson.

Erika Berry will begin the job on Feb. 5 and make $80,000 a year, according to the superintendent’s office. She previously worked as director of external affairs for RePublic Schools in Jackson, Miss., education policy adviser for the lieutenant governor of Mississippi, executive director of the Mississippi Charter Schools Association, advocacy coordinator with the Mississippi Coalition for Public Charter Schools and as a middle school math teacher in Charlotte.

You can find out more about RePublic Schools here:

Ironically, RePublic Schools do not get very high ratings from former employees according to an anonymous review site called which offers insights to potential places of work from former employees. Whether one is to believe those types sites is up to the individual, but there is a running theme for RePublic Schools in their profile for Glassdoor –

But it is what Hinchcliffe reports later in her story that makes one who has been following the “Mark Johnson – 35K salary for teacher” episode even more interesting.

The superintendent previously hired a community outreach coordinator at $72,346 a year and an administrative assistant at $38,867 a year with the $700,000 appropriation.

Remember last week when Johnson said that the base state starting salary of $35,000 for North Carolina teachers was “good money” and “a lot of money” for people in their mid-20s? (

johnson salary

The salary that the new administrative assistant for Mark Johnson will be receiving is almost four thousand dollars higher than what he considers to be a good starting salary for teachers.

And do not think that administrative assistants are not vital. They are. There many at my school who literally serve as the glue that keeps the school together. Any school could use more to help with the daily running of schools, especially those that are overcrowded.

However, it could be argued that most every teacher is his/her own administrative assistant. If you don’t believe that, then go park yourself inside of a large public school. And most every teacher serves as a community outreach coordinator as well, especially coaches and service club advisers.

When public schools are constantly having to show the positives in a state where both the state superintendent and General Assembly accentuate the negatives and do not fully fund public schools to be able to fully function, it’s fairly easy to see how public school teachers not only have to become very good at administrating all facets of school functionality but also have to interact with the public on a rather frequent basis.

Oh, and there’s still that teaching thing still to be done.

Funny how if you add the salaries of a beginning teacher, Johnson’s outreach coordinator and administrative assistant together you get roughly $145,000 a year.

Just a little more than what Johnson makes at 127, 561. But he gets all of that extra help, including that $700,000 trust fund.

Yet Johnson says that teaching is the most important profession.

“Teaching is the most important job. It’s one of the most difficult. Without teachers, no one else has a profession.” – Mark Johnson (

AND THEN JUST TODAY,  Johnson releases this video to all educators which touts his advocacy for higher teacher pay days after he said $35,000 was good enough (


That’s redundancy at its best.

There are those who may say that teaching really isn’t that complicated or nuanced and therefore is not even worthy of the pay it receives now. In fact, some may say that teachers are nothing more than paper-pushing babysitters.

Here is a tweet from 2016 that got some pre-election attention in NC.


So, what if we didn’t look at teachers as educators or community outreach people or administrative assistants, but just as babysitters? Would 35K be too much?


As far as baby-sitting goes, one would just need to keep the kids occupied, fed, clothed, and let them play without destroying personal property.

So, welcome to It was the first babysitter calculator website that came in a simple Google search. It seems to be a reliable source.

  • For zip code, an Asheville code was used as the person who authored the tweet lived there.
  • For number of children – 4+.
  • For experience, I entered 10+ because I have around 18 years of teaching experience.
  • And hours? I put in 60 a week. Why? That’s how much time I usually put into all the facets of my job.babysit1

The result is $18.00 dollars an hour.


But there is more math involved!

At $18.00 an hour for four kids, it would need to be higher because I usually deal with 22-30 kids at a time. Actually, in the past few years my class sizes have averaged over 28 students per class. That’s seven times the amount of kids I have would receive $18.00 an hour for babysitting. Maybe if I just multiplied $18 by 7, then I get an adjusted per hour rate of $126.00 an hour.

You know, I will give a markdown. Call it the “unaccountability discount” as many seem to think teachers are unaccountable. Half off! That makes the hourly rate $63.00.

Now, I work on average about 10 hours a school day. Multiplying the new rate ($63.00) by 10 hours and I get a rate of $630 a day.

My contract stipulates that I teach kids 180 days a year. So my new daily rate ($630) multiplied by the number of contracted days, my “yearly” haul to babysit would be $113,400 for the school year.

Now you may say, “Hey, you don’t spend all of your ten hours a day directly with students.” And that may be true, but with coaching, sponsoring, duties, and preparing to have things for your students to do while I babysit them, I can pretty much say that I am still actively engaging with the kids.

And this new rate that you seem to propose doesn’t even include weekends and other days that I spend at “daycare” to prepare to take care of kids.

“So, what’s the market rate for an unaccountable degree-holding babysitter?”

The answer is $113,400.

Almost 80,000 more than what Mark Johnson says is a good salary.

And I do not get $700,000 to hire people to do my job for me. In fact, I have to administrate my own community outreach to help get enough just to use in the classroom for teaching.