Teacher salaries scrutinized as schools feel the crunch

FREEPORT - As Long Island school districts struggle to stay under the state's new 2 percent tax cap, teachers are finding their salaries and benefits are being dipped into more and more.Teachers in schools across the Island are being dealt wage freezes and contract concessions. Experts say that before 2010, teacher raises on Long Island averaged 2.5 to 3.5 percent. Now, they average 1.5 to 2 percent, but contracts are more likely to call for pay freezes or raise deferments altogether.It's a debate that's not likely to end soon, when employee salary and benefits make up a whopping 70 percent of the average school budget on Long Island.To see extended interviews on teacher salaries and school budgets, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select the 'iO Extra' tab.News 12 LI series: What's UP With School Taxes?Part I: For LI school districts, cuts inevitable with new tax capPart II: Tax cap complexities: How some schools pierce the cap

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