Oceanside Unified 2020 Compensation Analysis
This current version was updated November 16th 2021.
If anyone has any issue with the data or analysis, I’d welcome that discussion – I’d like to make sure my data is as accurate as possible, if you see something, say something! You’re welcome to email me at email@example.com.
Data for this analysis was from a period starting in 2012 and ending in 2020, based on the latest pay data available from the sources listed.
I use this period for a specific reason. In 2012 the people of California recognized that cuts made as a result of the Great Recession had gone too deep into education, and voted to increase taxes to fund better education for our kids, via Proposition 30.
San Diego County
During this period funding for schools (per the California Department of Education’s “Annual Financial Data” reporting, commonly called “SACS Data”) has increased dramatically.
Education funding in San Diego County is up $4,515/student, from $9,468 in 2012 to $13,983 in 2020. A total increase of 47.69%, or 5.00% per year.
This has resulted in a total rise in revenue in this county of $1.6 billion dollars per year, to $5.6 billion dollars in 2020.
During this time the inflation rate in the county (per the California Department of Industrial Relations) has averaged 2.12%, meaning school funding has gone up 2.36 times faster than inflation.
As a baseline for comparison to compensation levels normal in private industry in this area, I’m using statistics for private industry as reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (US BLS) and the US Census Bureau (US CB).
Wage and Benefit Compensation
According to the US BLS, in 2020 the average pay of private industry workers in the county was $70,584/year.
The average worker’s pay has increased at a rate of 3.68%/year during this period.
Median Wages by Educational Attainment
To determine comparable wages by educational attainment, I use US CB numbers, which are reported as median values.
According to the Census Bureau in 2019 the median county resident with a bachelor’s degree made $62,806/year. The median for those with graduate or professional degrees was $89,813/year.
[Data on 2020 has been delayed by Covid and as of the time of this writing was not yet available]
According to the California Department of Education’s DataQuest reporting system (“Staff Education Report – District Level”) for 2018-2019, 44.74% of OUSD teachers have a bachelor’s degree, 55.26% have more advanced degrees.
[Data on 2019-20 demographics has been delayed by Covid and as of the time of this writing was not yet available]
If we adjust the US CB numbers to weight them to the same mix, the average county resident with educational attainment equivalent to the OUSD teacher workforce made $77,730 in 2019.
To adjust for 2020, the growth rate of these wages has been 2.93%/year since 2012. If we assume this growth from 2019 to 2020, the current comparable private industry wage to OUSD teachers would be $80,011/year.
Education employees receive significantly more in benefit compensation than private employees, so a comparison of total compensation needs to include this. We will call this the “benefit advantage” here.
Healthcare premiums, for both the employee and their family, are usually 100% paid by the district in California.
Data shows the average portion of healthcare premiums paid by California employees in private industry in 2019 to be $6,797.
[Data for 2020 was not yet available as of the time of this writing]
Retirement plans are usually “defined benefit” (i.e. pensions) in school districts. That involves periodic contributions by the employee and the employer (the district) to that plan.
For comparison, in private industry Vanguard (the world’s largest retirement plan administrator) has found the median contribution by private companies to retirement plans on behalf of their employees in “non-matching” plans (meaning contribution was not dependent on the employee contributing) in 2020 was 4.4%.
In private industry both employer and employee are also required to contribute 6.2% to social security.
Total annual retirement contributions would be:
For a total annual retirement contribution amount for private industry of 21.20% of employee pay, of which 10.60% of that is compensation provided by the employer.
California’s public employees are usually exempt from Social Security withholding so nothing is deducted from the employee’s pay and no employer contributions are required.
CalPERS and CalSTRS (the pension plans for support and certificated staff respectively) have different employer contribution rates.
District contributions are broken down by “Normal” (mandated annual contributions), “State:” contributions (which come from the General Fund, not the local district), “Supplemental Benefit Maintenance Account”, and (SBMA) contributions – which funds future inflation adjustment increases to pension payments.
In 2020 these were:
Both CalPERS and CalSTRS are also not fully funded to pay out 100% of projected payments. Typically their funding – with all the contributions above – is only sufficient to cover about 70% of future payouts. This unfunded portion is called “Unaccrued Actuarial Liability” (UAL.)
UAL can be quantified in some ways – CalPERS requires payment from some entities and lists those contributions on it’s website – but generally not with school districts. Accordingly we will leave those out of this calculation, but they are still costs that will need to be dealt with at some point.
Since private industry provides compensation of 10.60% for these benefits, this means during this year employees covered under CalPERS were given an extra 10.13% in compensation and CalSTRS members an additional 18.13% above and beyond what is normally contributed by the company in private industry.
For the purposes of this examination, I call that the “benefit advantage”.
According to the state’s school district budget (SACS) data, in OUSD during our examination period funding has risen from $8,810/ADA in 2012 to $13,756/ADA in 2020 an increase of 56.14% or 5.73%/year. This has resulted in a total increase in revenue in this district of $60,583,475 dollars per year.
During this time the inflation rate in the county (per the CDIR) has averaged 2.12%, meaning school funding has gone up 2.71 times faster than inflation.
Using public pay data reported by Oceanside Unified, obtained through California Public Records Act requests and posted on the Transparent California website, we find:
All Full-Time Employees
In 2020, the average total pay of 1576 full-time OUSD employees was $74,227/year.
This is $3,643 or 5.16% more than the average county resident. This is pay only.
Including the cost of benefits, the average actual total compensation of this group was $101,137/year.
The district’s employee population is about 55.96% certificated (meaning CalSTRS), applying this to the employee population as a whole gives a blended retirement advantage of about 14.61%.
This means full-time employees receive an average of $10,843 more than private employees toward their retirement program.
Adding the healthcare advantage of $6,797 to this means OUSD employees receive an additional $17,640/year in non-paycheck compensation compared to private employees, making their adjusted comparable average rate of compensation $91,867/year.
This is $21,283 or 30.15% more than the average county resident.
Pay increase rate:
To determine the rate of pay increase for employees, we look at longitudinal data (data on the same employees over this period). For more on how this works and why it’s important, see our Methodology page.
In 2020, we find 729 full-time employees who have been with the district since 2012. This cohort of continuing employees has had their average total pay increase by $22,984/year (or 38.07%), with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.11%/year.
This average growth rate is 1.12 times greater than the rate of growth for the average county resident (of 3.68%) during this period.
Median total pay for this group increased with a CAGR of 4.39%
In 2020, the average total pay for 66 full-time administrative employees was $132,069/year. Including benefits, average total compensation was $168,303/year.
The median total pay for such employees was $130,421/year and total compensation $164,474/year.
With benefit advantage (CalPERS and HW) the average comparable compensation is $158,157/year, median comparable $163,450/year.
In 2020, we find 33 full-time administrative employees who have been with the district since 2012. These continuing employees had an average total pay of $135,774/ year, with average total compensation (including benefits) of $172,279/ year.
Since 2012, these employees have had their average total pay increase by $51,412/ year (or 60.94%), with growth rate of 6.13%/year.
This growth rate is 1.66 times greater than the rate of growth for the average county resident (3.68%) during this period.
In 2020, the average total pay for 882 full-time certificated employees was $90,962/year. Including benefits, average total compensation was $120,421/year.
The median total pay for such employees was $93,789/year and total compensation $124,776/year.
With benefit advantage (CalSTRS and HW) the average comparable compensation is $111,046/year, median comparable $115,349/year.
In 2020, we find 417 full-time certificated employees who have been with the district since 2012. These continuing employees had an average total pay of $102,006/year, with average total compensation (including benefits) of $133,808/year. The median total pay for such employees is $105,352/year, with total compensation $136,644/year.
Since 2012, this cohort of employees has had their average total pay increase by $26,271/year (or 34.69%), with a growth rate of 3.79%/year.
This growth rate is 1.03 times greater than the wage growth for the average county resident (3.68%) during this period.
Median total pay for this group increased with a growth rate of 4.01%/year.
The case is often made that teachers should be paid commensurate with their educational attainment, based on what they could be making with the same education if they were working in private industry.
Using data from the US Census Bureau and the California Department of Education we see that in 2020 the median county resident with similar educational attainment to the mix of Oceanside teachers that year made $80,811.
[Data on 2020 has been delayed by Covid and as of the time of this writing was not yet available]
In 2020 OUSD’s median total pay for certificated full-time employees was $93,789/year, which is $13,777/year (17.22%) higher than this.
Adding the benefit advantage to this makes for a comparable median total compensation of $115,349/year, which is $35,338/year (44.17%) more than comparably educated county residents.
If we assume a 30 year career, this difference could amount to a total of $1,060,139 in additional pay over this time.
As we saw above in “Funding”, despite revenue growth of 56.14% at a rate almost 3 times greater than inflation, the district is having financial difficulties.
Wage growth at higher rates than average for residents of the area combined with final pay rates also significantly higher than comparable employees has substantial budgetary impact. Particularly in K-12 education, where the cost of pay and benefits is often 80-90% of a districts’ budget.
To look at the impact of this higher growth rate, if we look at just the cohort of employees who have been with the district since 2012 (not the entire employee base of the district, just a sub-set), we see if this group’s total pay growth had matched the average county resident, the net budgetary impact (for this group only, for pay only – not including benefits) would have been a reduction in annual total compensation cost to the district of $7,286,440 per year.
This understates that number as well. Pension contributions are determined as a percentage of pay, higher pay creates higher pension contribution obligations, increasing the financial impact on money available to the district to fund programs and services for our kids.
These calculations are made from verifiable numbers, drawn from reliable and public sources of data, to inform our debate on the financial difficulties of our schools with real data.
You are welcome to use this in any way to draw your own conclusions.