Locating Local Public School District Salaries
Last updated 1/22/2024
There are more than 1,000 public school districts in the state of California, and each maintains its own salary schedule. Public school teachers’ salaries are established through multi-year collective bargaining agreements that expire in different years from district to district. Unfortunately, there is no single, up-to-date compendium of district salaries. The California Department of Education provides this catalog, which contains “lowest salary offered” figures for both districts and county offices of education. Unfortunately, the data are not formatted in a manner that displays the lowest salary offered to fully-credentialed public school teachers at the “BA + 30” level. Therefore, unless and until the CDE furnishes data that have been appropriately organized, we suggest you employ the following steps to identify the lowest salary offered to a fully-credentialed public school teacher, in order to meet the required of California Labor Code Section 515.8, as explained here. (Scroll to the bottom of the current page to view the law.)
1. Identify the public school district in which your private school is located
If you don’t know the name of the public school district in which your school is located, use this directory maintained by the California Department of Education. Click the “Advanced” button to the right of the search box to access the main search page. Under “Search Type,” select the “Private/Nonpublic, Nonsectarian Schools” radio button. Now enter the name of your school and the zip code in which it is located in the corresponding boxes and click the “Search” button. If the result fails to produce your school, try searching again using only the zip code in which your school is located. Then, select your school from among the list of those returned. (Note: if your school failed to file the private school affidavit, as required by law, it may not appear in the CDE Directory.) The public school district in which your school is located will appear in the second row of information.
For purposes of illustration, let’s assume we’re seeking information applicable to a private school located in the Lodi Unified School District.
2. Locate Salary Information for the School District
Using a search engine (such as Google), type “Lodi Unified School District Certificated Salary Schedule” in the search box. Now, press the “Enter” key on your keyboard, and you will see a list of entries. Next, select the link reading “Salary Schedules” at or near the top of the page. After the new page loads, scroll down until you see the “Certificated Teacher Salary Schedule PDF” link, and click it.
3. Find the Lowest Salary Offered to a Fully Certificated Teacher
You will want to locate the lowest salary offered at the “BA + 30” level. In our sample case (involving the Lodi Unified School District), this figure is found in the “Class C” column. The lowest salary in the column is $61,656.
Next, you will need to calculate 70 percent of $61,656, which equals $43,159.
4. To Determine the Minimum Salary Threshold for a Private School Teacher
A. Find the lowest salary offered to a public school teacher at the “BA+30” level by the public school district in which your private school is located. Multiply this figure by .7 and write the letter “A” next to the resulting amount.
B. Using the table found on this web page, find the 70 percent figure for the lowest salary offered to a fully-credentialed public school teacher by the county office of education for the county in which your private school is located. Write the letter “B” next to this figure. (The table is searchable. Simply type the name of the county in which your school is located in the search box to the upper-right of the table.)
C. Write down $36,507, and place the letter “C” next to this figure. (This is the figure we have ascertained to be the lowest verified statewide salary offered to a fully-credentialed public school teacher at the “B.A. + 30” level, for the 2023-24 school year.)
D. The minimum salary to be paid a private school teacher deemed an exempt employee is the lesser of “A” and “B” as long as that amount is greater than “C.” If neither “A” or “B” is greater than “C,” then “C” ($36,500) is the minimum salary threshold.
The Current Law
California Labor Code Section 515.8.
(a) Section 510 does not apply to an individual employed as a teacher at a private elementary or secondary academic institution in which pupils are enrolled in kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive.
(b) For purposes of this section, “employed as a teacher” means that the employee meets all of the following requirements:
(1) The employee is primarily engaged in the duty of imparting knowledge to pupils by teaching, instructing, or lecturing.
(2) The employee customarily and regularly exercises discretion and independent judgment in performing the duties of a teacher.
(3) On and after July 1, 2017, the employee earns the following amount:
(A) For a full-time employee, the greater of the following:
(i) No less than 100 percent of the lowest salary offered by any school district to a person who is in a position that requires the person to have a valid California teaching credential and is not employed in that position pursuant to an emergency permit, intern permit, or waiver.
(ii) The equivalent of no less than 70 percent of the lowest schedule salary offered by the school district or the county office of education in which the private elementary or secondary academic institution is located to a person who is in a position that requires the person to have a valid California teaching credential and is not employed in that position pursuant to an emergency permit, intern permit, or waiver.
(B) For a part-time employee, the proportional amount of the salary identified in subparagraph (A) that is equal to the proportion of the full-time instructional schedule for which the part-time employee is employed.
(4) The employee has attained at least one of the following levels of professional advancement:
(A) A baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
(B) Current compliance with the requirements established by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, or the equivalent certification authority in another state, for obtaining a preliminary or alternative teaching credential.
(c) When budgeting for a future school year, a private elementary or secondary academic institution may determine the salary requirements in paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) by referring to school salary schedules in effect for up to 12 months prior to the start of the school year.
(d) This section does not apply to any tutor, teaching assistant, instructional aide, student teacher, day care provider, vocational instructor, or other similar employee.
(e) The exemption established in subdivision (a) is in addition to, and does not limit or supersede, any exemption from overtime established by a Wage Order of the Industrial Welfare Commission for persons employed in a professional capacity, and does not affect any exemption from overtime established by that commission pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 515 for persons employed in an executive or administrative capacity.
(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 99, Sec. 1. (SB 621) Effective January 1, 2018.)