The salary of experienced teachers entering the Long Beach Unified School District ranks number one among 47 Los Angeles County school districts, according to an annual independent survey recently released by the Los Angeles County Office of Education. Teachers entering the district with 15 years of experience earn up to $75,343 per year for 182 days of work, the highest pay among 47 comparable school districts in the county. Teachers already in the district with 15 years of experience earn the same salary. The report on unified school districts, or K-12 districts, also shows Long Beach schools ranking competitively on several other teacher salary schedules, including salaries for both new and experienced teachers. For new teachers with a credential but no experience, Long Beach ranks second out of 47, offering a starting salary of $43,227. Long Beach teachers with a master’s degree and 13 years of experience rank third highest in pay at $65,859 per year, while teachers with 25 years of experience and two years of education beyond a master’s degree rank seventh highest in pay at $77,343 per year. This ranking of seven improves significantly upon Long Beach’s ranking of 34 on the same salary schedule last year, an accomplishment that shows the school district’s commitment to offering competitive salaries even during the leanest of times. The survey, which reflects 10-month salaries for 2004-05, is the most commonly used comparative tool in school districts during bargaining with employee groups, according to the Los Angeles County Office of Education. In compiling the survey, county officials group together job classifications that are commonly found in school districts. The job turnover of experienced teachers leaving Long Beach to take positions in other school districts has declined to 49, down from 66 teachers four years ago. In contrast, far more teachers from other school districts—1,552 experienced teachers—applied to teach here in the last year. That’s a ratio of more than 31 experienced teacher applicants for every experienced teacher vacancy. Why do hundreds of experienced teachers seek employment here? The top reasons given by the applicants attest to the quality of the Long Beach Unified School District. Approximately eight out of 10 teacher applicants mentioned one or more of these factors in their decision to apply here: • 78 percent cited competitive salaries. • 80 percent indicated the district’s strong academic focus was an important factor in seeking to teach here. • 77 percent said the district’s excellent staff development opportunities for teachers were attractive. • 79 percent indicated the district’s support for newly hired teachers was desirable. The school district is California’s third largest and has more than 5,000 teachers.