Teachers, students separated by 20 miles face very different circumstances

The schools in Bow – an affluent, suburban community bordering Concord – have always enjoyed a sterling reputation for academic success and good pay for educators, where teachers earn on average $63,169 a year.

Twenty miles away, the schools in Pittsfield – a geographically isolated, depressed former mill town – have faced test scores and graduation rates well below average. There, teachers are paid on average $22,000 a year less than Bow. While the district has a contingent of veteran staff, it faces high turnover – sometimes up to 20 percent a year – and a steady churn of young, untried teachers.

…Frustrated by taxes, Pittsfield has, on several occasions, flirted with closing its high school. But each time the proposition has been considered, the conclusion has been the same: between tuition, special education and transportation, taxpayers wouldn’t save much, if at all.

Teachers, students separated by 20 miles face very different circumstances

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