Salaries for teachers are generally higher in Remsen than in any other school district in upstate New York. That's according to Business First's annual ratings of teacher pay, which are based on an analysis of salary levels at five selected points in teachers' careers.
Remsen, a small district in Oneida County, pays its teachers a median salary of $89,516, according to New York State Education Department data for 2011, the latest year for which official figures are available. No other district has a median above $76,000.
Rounding out the top five for teacher pay are Albany, Greenville, Sweet Home and South Colonie.
Business First's teacher pay rankings covered 430 school districts in 48 upstate New York counties. The study was limited to districts with enrollments of more than 260 students. Complete details will be printed in Business First's 2012-2013 Guide to Upstate School Districts, a 482-page electronic publication that will be available on Friday.
Business First analyzed pay levels at the fifth, 25th, 50th, 75th and 95th percentiles in each district. Niagara County districts listed in the top 100 for teacher pay included: 10) North Tonawanda; 14) Niagara Falls; 40) Niagara-Wheatfield; and 52) Lockport. Nearby in Erie County, Grand Island ranked 26th.
•Business First also released its top 100 rankings for administrative efficiency, with Lancaster rated the most efficient school system.
The runners-up on the efficiency scale are Arkport, Frontier, Williamsville and Hamburg.
Upstate's 430 districts have been assessed in three areas: spending per pupil, the ratio of pupils per administrative staffer, and the share of the district budget devoted to debt service.
Niagara County districts ranked in the top 100 included: 8) North Tonawanda; 29) Lockport; 66) Starpoint; 82) Royalton-Hartland; 95) Lewiston-Porter.
In nearby Erie County, Grand Island ranked 43rd.
•Business First's Upstate New York socioeconomic climate rankings put Pittsford as the most affluent school district in Upstate New York.
Rounding out the top five on the affluence scale are Niskayuna, Fayetteville-Manlius, Guilderland and Voorheesville.
Upstate's 430 districts were assessed by: share of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunches; percentage of 5- to 17-year-olds living below the federally designated poverty rate and the combined wealth ratio, a measure of property and income wealth within each district. A ratio of 1.000 equals the state average.
The best scores go to districts with high wealth ratios and low percentages or free lunches and poverty. In the top 100 for Niagara County are: 39) Lewiston-Porter; 58) Starpoint; and 86) Barker. Grand Island ranked 41.