NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Why Teachers Prefer Work In Catholic Schools

October 16, 1996

The pay is not as good, but in all other respects teaching in a Catholic school is more rewarding than in public schools, according to educators who have tried both. Catholic teachers' salaries vary, but generally they earn 20 percent to 45 percent less than public school teachers.

Here, however, are some of the benefits they cite:

  • Students at Catholic schools respect teachers more, are better behaved and more interested in learning.
  • Parents are more involved and supportive of teachers.
  • The schools impart a feeling of community, which public schools lack.
  • Catholic school teachers say they have more autonomy in choosing books and setting curriculum -- without having to endure the red tape of the public schools.

Teachers say that while Catholic school budgets are more limited, they are allowed to provide leadership and moral guidance -- two elements lacking in public schools. A number of teachers who have transferred to Catholic from public schools say they will never go back -- regardless of the higher pay scales.

Source: Nanci Hellmich, "For Teachers, Less Pay, More Respect," USA Today, Wednesday, October 16, 1996.


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