Overtime pay doubled and more teachers earned more money in Pittsburgh Public Schools [PPS] in 2022.

According to an analysis of payroll data provided by the district, PPS paid about $277 million in salaries and overtime in that year.

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Though the median income for the 4,265 salaried and non-salaried employees was around $66,200, 1,121 employees made over $100,000.

Besides the superintendent, employees in the district's operations department brought home the biggest paychecks — in large part due to overtime, which, in some cases, increased base pay by double or more.

The district spent at least $17 million in overtime and supplemental pay, nearly twice the amount from the previous year.

Teachers were also a significant contingent of those employees with total earnings over $100,000. Of the 742 teachers hitting that benchmark, 153 earned over $110,000 and the highest-paid teachers earned more than $130,000. In the year prior, about 70 teachers had total earnings earned over $110,000.

Staffing shortages in custodial, food service, building and trades and secretarial-clerical positions may have resulted in increased overtime for the district’s existing staff. In an email response to questions, a district spokesperson said they are targeting recruitment efforts toward those groups including a sign-on bonus for custodial and food service staff.

How much did each employee earn?

The district paid Superintendent Wayne Walters the highest salary at $243,449 — 6% higher than former Superintendent Anthony Hamlet’s salary when he departed.

Several employees from the central office and the operations department followed the superintendent into earning top salaries in the district.

Patrick Quirin, a steamfitter foreman with the operations department, was the second-highest paid employee, earning a total of $187,348 — of which $112,641 was overtime and supplemental pay.

Search the table below to learn how much district administrators, teachers and other staff earned last academic year.

What were PPS teachers paid?

The district employed 1,952 K-12 and preschool teachers last year. Of those, 589 earned between $100,000 and $110,000, reflecting an increase in salaries from the previous academic year.

The district spokesperson said they have reduced their teaching and school-based support staff in the past two school years following a drop in student enrollment. During the 2021-22 school year, 33 teaching positions were cut.

In 2021: The majority of teachers earned between $90,000 and $100,000; the highest teacher salary was less than $110,000; and about 6% of teachers were paid between $100,000 and $110,000.

In 2022: At least 30% of teachers were paid between $100,000 and $110,000.

Three PPS teachers were paid over $130,000 — the highest earnings for teachers in the district. The district paid 28 teachers over $120,000. Supplemental pay was responsible for many of them earning over $120,000 in the district.

It takes 12 years of teaching to start earning the maximum base salary of $99,000 with PPS. The starting salary for new teachers is about $48,340. Teacher base salaries were raised by 1.8% in the last year, according to the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers [PFT].

According to the district, new contract rates, additional education and service-based longevity increments and more teachers reaching the 12-year mark of their salary schedule resulted in an increase in salaries for teachers.

The 35 full-time substitute teachers in PPS earned an average income of about $31,000. CAPA 6-12 is the only school that has salaried and hourly adjunct teachers, who earned an average of about $36,040.

Which schools have the most and the least experienced teachers?

Most schools have teachers with average tenures of at least 14 to 16 years of experience in the district.

Brookline K-8 has the most experienced teaching staff, with its 28 teachers averaging 21 years working in the district. Teachers at University Prep 6-12 at Milliones [UPrep] have an average work experience of seven years, the least in the district.

The average teacher pay at Brookline K-8 was nearly $99,580 while it was about $76,578 at UPrep.

Where do teachers live?

PPS teachers are not required to live within city limits to work for the district, unlike paraprofessionals and other staff like custodians and food service workers.

  • 14% of teachers live in ZIP codes that are entirely within the city of Pittsburgh.
  • About 56% of teachers live outside the city.
  • About 29% of teachers live in ZIP codes that cross the city boundaries, so city residency is unclear.

How diverse are PPS teachers and other staff members?

The district serves 18,652 students of whom 51% are Black. By contrast, 86% of PPS teachers were white — the same percentage as the previous academic year.

Seven PPS schools mirrored the student body’s diversity with at least 50% of staff who are Black.

Four schools, however, employed less than 10% of staff who are Black.

In no school in the district are 50% or more of the teachers Black. Miller K-5, though, came close with 43% of teachers who are Black. Three schools — Manchester 6-8, Phillips K-5 and Woolslair K-5 — have no Black teachers.

James Fogarty, executive director of advocacy group A+ Schools, said the district should invest in scholarships and workforce development, and rethink its teacher certification programs to make it easier for students of color to enter and complete them as a way to diversify the teacher pipeline.

PFT President Nina Esposito-Visgitis said the district needs to leverage Brashear High School’s Teaching Academy Magnet program to track students and entice them to work in the district to improve teacher diversity.

Brashear High School has a majority of Black students and many of them enroll in the Teaching Academy. As per a memorandum of understanding between PFT and PPS, graduates from the Teaching Academy are guaranteed a teaching job in the district if they follow an education track in college and maintain a certain grade level.

Lajja Mistry is the K-12 education reporter at Rtvsrece. She can be reached at lajja@rtvsrece.com.

This story was fact-checked by Matt Maielli.

The Fund for Investigative Journalism helped to fund this project.

Editor's note: Last year, Rtvsrece reported on racial and gender wage gaps within the district. We requested the data again this year and received a dataset that showed significant differences. When Rtvsrece asked the district questions about that data, however, the spokesperson said the district needs to analyze multiple data points that contributed to the differences and did not have a response to those questions. Rtvsrece will continue to seek confirmation and details from the district.

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Lajja is the K-12 Education Reporter at Rtvsrece. Originally from India, she moved to the States in 2021 to pursue a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California. Before...