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From one to another...

Here are some suggestions from a 20+ year veteran in LAUSD.  Some I learned the hard way!  Any of these can help you lead a happier and healthier life.

Salary Table

LAUSD teachers get paid once a month, on the 5th of the month.  You can look at your paystubs here.

The way to get a raise is to take a salary point class.  When you finish each class, turn in your units IMMEDIATELY to the district as soon as you get the paperwork after a salary class is complete.  The district will time stamp it and give you back pay to that date.  

I recommend that you get to Payscale 27 (BA + 98 units) prior to your tenth year of teaching because of the jump in salary between year 9 and 10.  Check it out:


LAUSD Teacher Salary Tables:


Each November, you can update your health care plan that includes doctor, dental, and vision.  Read everything carefully.  


There is a difference between In-Network/Network Provider and Out of Network/Non-network provider.  “Do you take my insurance” is not enough; you need to actually ask prospectives the question  “Are you a Network provider?”  There was this one situation I had with glasses and a tiny, boutique place in Santa Monica I loved.  They took my insurance!  They were not a network provider!  This meant I was paying about $1300 for a pair of glasses.  I totally thought this was how much glasses cost!  Now I use Costco; they are a network provider for my plan and I pay somewhere closer to $150 for glasses.  Waaaaay better.

Additionally, the district offers FSA (flexible spending account) plan options for dependent care and health.  This means that the district will take money out of your paycheck each month and then pay you back as you submit receipts.  Doing this can lower your taxes, which is a good thing, but beware that if you do not submit receipts you will lose that money.  You will need to update these every single year in November, when the window for changing insurance plans occurs.


Go to the STRS website and set up your account:

This is where your teaching retirement information will live. Your retirement compensation is based on a formula that includes years of service and your age.  STRS offers classes to teach you about your retirement compensation  

Your STRS retirement compensation is different from your LAUSD benefits.  Your LAUSD benefits were shared with you when you signed your contract.

Because STRS will not be enough to get you through retirement, I recommend that you invest in a 403b, 457b, and/or ROTH IRA plan, as you are not eligible for Social Security/401K.  You can use LAUSD’s plan or ask colleagues for recommendations regarding the people they use and then interview financial managers.  Whomever you choose needs to be on the LAUSD vendor list or they will not be able to work with LAUSD.

My grandfather recommended that, for every raise I received instead of spending it I put that money into my monthly retirement plan for the first few years.  This way I wouldn't miss it because I was already used to living on whatever amount of money I had been living on.  I followed his advice and I'm so glad I did!  Now you can, too.

Credit Union

As a public school employee you are eligible to join a credit union, which may have a higher interest rate than regular banks.  Credit unions can help with home loans, car loans, and other useful things.


I like Schools First Federal Credit Union.  Their interest rates are higher than other banks or credit unions

Discount Tickets

The district offers discount tickets for Universal Studios, Knott's Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Legoland, Seaworld, movies, and other fun adventures.  For some of the options, you’ll need to pick them up in person--for others, you can purchase online.  There are also timely adventures to be had--the LA County Fair, and spooky Halloween events for example.  Check out the website for more information: or  At the time of this writing, you will need to use your SSO to look at it. 

Teacher Discounts!

Many companies offer teacher discounts, including phone service, drivers insurance, and retail stores.  I got free air buds the last time I bought a laptop.  Always ask!


If you're an educator and you know about stuff I haven't mentioned here that would be helpful for other educators, would you please share them to me so that I can add to this list?  Thank you so much.

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