Cost of Living

This is the new version of the Alaska Teacher Placement (ATP) forum for teachers, education majors, and school administrators to discuss working and living in the state of Alaska. Those considering an Alaskan job, or considering a new Alaskan education job ask questions, and those with information and/or opinions provide answers. Although many users are teacher or principal candidates from the Lower 48, a large number of current and former school district HR and school administrators subscribe.

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Cost of Living

Postby abstir6 » Fri May 08, 2015 2:19 pm

I'm having a tough time finding the salary ranges for different school districts. I found the Kenai Peninsula no problem, but a lot of other districts are hard to find on the websites.

Any advice on where to find the information?

I'm trying to determine the cost of living vs salary for different areas of the state while doing my research.

Also- I'll be coming to Alaska with three years of teaching experience in Florida, will that be taken into consideration on the pay scales or do I start at step one all over again?

Thank you!
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Re: Cost of Living

Postby Johncn » Fri May 08, 2015 4:57 pm

Hello,

It used to be that most school districts built their own websites, and having the salary schedule available was a priority for them. Now, however, most Alaska districts seem to buy a packaged website template and hosting service from one of the national providers. Those templates are then edited in a limited fashion by some lucky district employee who rarely really knows what should or should not be included in the organization's website.

Therefore, the best way to find the salary schedules for Alaska districts these days is to use your friend, Google.

Try entering this exact search string into Google, and you'll find many of the school district salary schedules in Alaska. Add the district name if you are interested in a certain district. Be careful with spelling. The files will usually be PDFs, but some may be in MS Word. You can also try removing the year, or adding multiple years to modify your returns.

site:neaalaska.org Alaska school district negotiated agreement 2015

As far as the cost of living, it's higher, but is largely mitigated by decent pay, good benefits, subsidized housing, a variety of changes in how you shop, what you buy, and in reduced opportunities in rural Alaska to spend money. The bottom line is that if you use Amazon Prime (free shipping), order from online sites your basic groceries and supplies, buy fresh and meat items wisely in Anchorage or the regional hub and/or go in on bulk orders, supplement with the occasional Costco or Sam's Club mail order in Anchorage....you won't notice much difference. It is a different world, however, and until you learn how to do that sort of shopping, you may get some sticker shock.

I actually know your area well, and overall, teachers make a better living up here than they do there. You will not be wealthy as a rural Alaska teacher, but you will make a decent living.

Hope this helps, and others

John
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Re: Cost of Living

Postby Bushteachers » Sun May 10, 2015 2:13 pm

abstir6 wrote:I'm having a tough time finding the salary ranges for different school districts. I found the Kenai Peninsula no problem, but a lot of other districts are hard to find on the websites.

Any advice on where to find the information?

I'm trying to determine the cost of living vs salary for different areas of the state while doing my research.

Also- I'll be coming to Alaska with three years of teaching experience in Florida, will that be taken into consideration on the pay scales or do I start at step one all over again?

Thank you!

Google your districts negotiated agreement. Usually the most recent ones are posted.
Every district is different when it comes to experience. My current (this year) allows 8 years to be brought in, but not part time years. My new district allows step 5. Mat-Su allows three years.

Bush districts are all different in benefits. Check out insurance, housing, relocation, etc...

Also look at turnover rate for the district or even site. Sometimes numbers can be misleading, but be weary. Also look into cost to get into district.
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